A mix of a rogue-like RPG and turn based strategy. The game's mechanics are very similar to heroes of might and magic (more akin to King's Bounty - I, however never played this game), but instead of controlling castles and creature growth, you control a single hero and must explore the new world in order to obtain resources and riches, make alliances with locals and explore many sites.
The story of the game is very compelling. Although most of it is text-based, without voice acting (well, this is an indie game, not a high budged AAA title), the writing is very well done. The choices you make affect the world you're exploring and also influence your companions attitudes. Depending on your choices, you can be ruthless, greedy, peaciful, just etc, all according to your playing style.
All characters' stories are unique, although the character interaction occurs randomly and sparingly. Some of the quest-related companions are more colorful and tend to have more "screentime" than your normal characters. Most, however, tends to disappear after their related quests complete.
The combat is very balanced and most units have its own advantages and disadvantages. Most of the time, however, I used almost the same party, a composition of soldiers, hunters and a healer. Soldiers acts as your tanks, absorving damage and delivering high melee damage. Hunters do little damage, but are very flexible tactically and can be used for quickly disposing the enemy healers. Sometimes I could experience some other party combinations, using scouts and native troops, but my first lineup seemed to be sufficient to win most battles. Some units are just weird to use, such as scholars. The native troops are very interesting and have very unique strategies related to them. The amazon unit, for example, are exceptional damage dealers but can absorve very little damage.
The only weakness of this system is the AI. sometimes it makes very stupid decisions such as having its healer to seek one of your soldiers on the battlefield and fight him in melee or running wildly through your units provoking atacks of opportunity. Most of the time, however, it makes reasonable decisions such as seeking your weakest units to kill first, and looking for flanks and sneak atacks. I believe the AI performed much better during ambushes than in traditional battles - the first ones were very difficult while the others very easy. But considering how difficult is to program a good game AI and comparing to other available titles, this game performs well.
Overall, the tactical part of the game is very well made, and if you are a tactical junkie like me, you will just love it.
The party management mechanics is nice, all characters must do some task in order to obtain food and other resources. After some hours, however, this party management becomes a chore, since it requires a lot of micro management, or you will end up consuming a lot of food or having your goods stolen.
In summary, expeditions conquistador is a very good indie game, delivering a high quality experience with a short budget. The story is very nice but character development could be improved. The tactics part of the game is very enjoyable, while the party management is a bit repetitive.
Posted: December 1st, 2013