By Michael "Mr. Kebabs" Schaap on September 11, 2015

Exploring islands all over Europe and Asia in order to find great treasures? Of course I'm in! The people at Abbey Games offered us a chance of a lifetime: Renowned Explorers - International Society, a game in which you solve a series of multi-solution challenges and build a reputation for yourself. Sound good, but will I build a decent reputation, something I can be proud of, or will I earn a reputation for failing to find any treasure whatsoever? Well, let's jump right in and find out!

As mentioned, your main goal is to search mysterious islands and find lots and lots of treasure. There are lots of islands to visit relieve them of their valuable treasures. But beware! There are other parties around that also have their eye on these treasures. So you’ll have to fight them or outsmart them. The game starts with a tutorial, which gives you an idea how to assemble a crew and handle a combat situation.

When playing Renowned Explorers, you can choose between two different game modes. The first mode is the Discovery mode; When playing this mode you can save and load whenever you want and you can freely explore areas. The second game mode is the so-called Adventure mode, which is a lot more difficult to complete. When playing the game in this mode, if it’s game over, it's really game over! You’ll have to start from scratch, so be careful what you do when playing this mode. After the last update, you're able to choose between four difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard and Insane. For the Discovery mode there’s even a cheat mode, which lets you skip battles. And although this cheating sounds just fine and dandy, it does have a downside; you will lose any chance you have of earning trophies.

So, back to playing the game! You start off by choosing a captain for your little band of explorers. This captain can be picked from all four categories of explorers. Maybe you've always wanted to be the Scientist, the guy with a lot of knowledge, all of which can be used to your advantage. Or would you rather be a Scout, who can travel ahead of the rest of your party and is able to gather more money or challenges during fights. If this still doesn't sound like something up your alley, why not try a Fighter; a barbarian type character that deals a lot of damage. If you're more of a pacifist, you can always opt for the speaker. This one intimidates your enemies and earns respect throughout the world. Each class plays has unique pros and cons, and by combining them, they give you the opportunity to try different tactics in battle. So gather your wits, make a battle plan and defeat the many opponents that stand between you and all that beautiful treasure.

After choosing your captain, you may choose two more characters from any of the classes. My favorite was the Dutch fighter, who hits enemies over the head with an oar! You could pick all of your party members from the same class if you really wanted but usually, that’s not a very smart thing to do, mostly because each class has its own expertise and character traits when dealing with conflicts. So if you only have one type of solution to a problem, your options are very, very limited. But, there are 20 characters in total to choose from, if you manage to unlock them all. So it shouldn’t be that hard to form your ultimate party. And of course these characters can all be upgraded during the game.

When you've assembled you crew, you’re ready to go out and explore. You will start on an island and get to see where the treasure is located. But the road you take towards these fabulous riches is entirely up to you. You can follow several routes, each with different challenges. Sometimes, you’ll run into a shop where you can buy supplies and other stuff, or you might enter a village and raise your status. And of course you'll come across several enemies and that means battles! In Renowned Explorers, these battles are turn-based. Every battle will start with information about the enemies, including their strengths and weaknesses. You can plan your fight accordingly, so you’ll have a better chance of coming out victorious. Winning gives your team a better moral level, while losing does exactly the opposite. When your party has no moral left, you lose the game and have to start over.

The developers did a great job designing this game. I like the cartoony style of the graphics, and I absolutely love the world map with the different colors and miniatures of statues or buildings from that country. For example, in France you’ll see the Notre Dame, in England the Big Ben. It's not that big a deal, but it looks really cool. So if you like exploring games with RPG elements, Renowned Explorers is a game you should really try!

available on:

Abbey Games
September 2, 2015