Renowned Explorers: International Society is a game developed by Abbey Games, where you play as a team of explorers trying to become the most well-known and famed of them all. The RPG strategy game has an incredibly unique combat system and a bunch of replayability.
You have a three-member crew, with one captain and 2 other members. You create your crew from people that have different focuses and skills. There are Scientists, Fighters, Scouts, and Speakers. Depending on how you want to fight your battles will decide on the dynamic of your crew, which I talk about later.
Your overall goal is to become the most renowned explorer. Renown is points you earn from going on expeditions, defeating enemies, finding treasure, and completing the mission. You earn different resources to help you grow your crew and get supplies. The primary resources are gold, status, and research. To get these resources, you earn tokens from your expedition, and these tokens add to your renown as well. The more tokens you have, the more resources and renown.
You have expedition resources that get spent as you play. Supplies dictate how far you can go to get to your mission when you hit zero your crew starts to suffer. Resolve is the most precious because it’s easier to lose and very hard to gain. If you lose all of your resolve, you automatically lose the game. Resolve is lost when your crew loses spirit (explained further in the combat system). Insight is gained from treasure, which you can spend on jobs outside of expeditions to gain more primary resources.
You will experience encounters on your expedition, where you will combat enemies. Here is where the interesting and unique combat system starts.
Winning is not always about fighting, in fact, there is no death involved. Everything is based on emotions, mood, and spirit. A character’s spirit is like a health bar. If you lose all of your spirit, you will be downed and your crew loses resolve.
You have three types of attacks on your enemies, which change their emotions and that’s how you lower their spirit.The three attacks are friendly, devious, and aggressive. Friendly is being just that and will change your opponents mood to one of three (confident, excited, or impressed). Devious also has three moods (saddened, terrified, or enraged). Change in moods will lower spirit until the stop fighting. Aggressive attacks lead to enraged and are physical attacks that eventually lead to your opponent not being able to attack anymore.
What is most important for encounters is the overall attitude of the encounter. It acts like rock-paper-scissors. Friendly beats Devious beats Aggressive beats Friendly. At the top of the screen, you will see the encounter attitude, on the left is your crew’s attitude (based on what attacks you give) and the right is your opponents (which also tells what attacks they give). In the middle is the overall attitude, which gives different advantages and disadvantages depending on what it is.As seen above, your attack is devious, they are aggressive. The overall attitude is provocative so you earn +25 grit in attacks.
Like other RPG games, you will build up skills for your characters that will help in different situations and can boost the main skill of your character. These skills will boost your percentages of passing challenges, which are vital to gaining more renown.
There are many other mechanics in the game that would make this post incredibly long, but overall the game is quick and fairly easy. I definitely suggest doing the tutorial and the whole tutorial so the combat system makes the most sense. You only get 5 expeditions to win the most renown, so you have to play smarter, and a game is shorter. Most of the complaints about this game were that there is no long campaign involved, which I don’t find a problem with since I don’t usually play long campaign style games. Overall, I enjoyed this game and it’s different mechanics and combat style, so if you enjoy strategy and RPG games, I certainly recommend this one.
I got this game on sale, but it is usually $20 on Steam. You can find it at a discount on Green Man Gaming too.
If you were an explorer, where would you go first in your adventures? Share in the comments below!
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