For the modern man, an expedition is either a leisurely trip to some exciting destination filled with interesting activities or a hard to achieve trek to some narrow corner of the world where a limited number of humans have walked before.
Our XXI century world no longer understands that, in our not too distant past, men, using tools, weapons and animals, went into unexplored wilderness in order to find entirely new things, to discover riches, meet fellow humans or found new settlements.
Expeditions: Conquistador is a good game precisely because it manages to capture this feeling of going into the unknown with a small party and with limited supplies, not knowing exactly what you will encounter or how you will react.
I have agonized over the recruitment screen for the game for long minutes, wondering whether a soldier can contribute more than a scout and how many scholars I need to take with me.
Expeditions: Conquistador is driven by numbers, sort of like a role-playing game, but all the potential recruits also have traits that will determine their behavior and can influence the overall expedition.
I wondered how Cortes and Pizarro approached the same issues and then thought that I really didn’t want to begin the extermination of whole nations as they did.
This is how video games can best serve players, by delivering interesting mechanics and choices while making gamers wonder about how the simulated experience relates to the real world in which they live.
There are times when I wish that the development team at Logic Artists dropped the entire campaign concepts and simply made Expeditions: Conquistador a sand box sort of experience, randomly generating new lands to explore and new threats to deal with.
But the game offers quality as it is and it’s worth spending time to experience it.