Renowned Explorers: International Society – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, RPG, Strategy
Developer: Abbey Games
Publisher: Abbey Games
Platforms: PC

Renowned Explorers: International Society – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: deeply tactical adventure game, turn-based combat, good variation of characters, procedurally generated expeditions
Bad: normal difficulty is relentless, RNG hates me
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Renowned Explorers: International Society is brought to us by the creators of the well-appraised indie title REUS, namely the Dutch indie game development studio Abbey Games. The adventurous and strategical game features the same jest as Dyscourse, while offering the same kind of addictiveness that REUS offered.

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Story

Renowned Explorers: International Society, or RE:IS in short, is set in a fictitious 19th century world where groups of explorers battle it out against each other to become the most renowned explorer. The first step is to become a member of The Society based in London, which keeps track of your successful expeditions. The more secrets you uncover in your endeavors, the more points you’ll score. The most Renowned Explorer is elected after five successful expeditions but the road to glory is a tough one as you’ll have to beat your rival, the French explorer Rivaleux.

Each playthrough can differ from the previous one thus there are many narratives to explore but the main thread is described above.

Graphics

The beautiful hand-drawn visuals of RE:IS is certainly a trademark of Abbey Games. While this bright colored cartoon styled graphics can be looked at as childlike, the art style adds a certain charm to the surprisingly deep tactical gameplay. You could say that the visuals are a perfect combination of Dyscourse and The Wolf Among Us, although the game uses a top-down turn-based tactical view of the regions and combat.

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Although there aren’t too many of them, the animations of the characters are flawless, just like the wheel-spinning animation that is key to the entire gameplay that is mostly based on RNG and decisions made by the player.

Sound

The soundtrack lures you into a translucent state of adventure, with each region having their own style of music. Voices are certainly lacking in the game, at least for the most part, as you may be able to tell certain grunts and friendly – or not so friendly – “Hey’s” apart. Everything combined, the muttering of the characters and the artistic visuals, add an easy-going charm that is needed to get lost in the game.

Gameplay

You’ll start the game by selecting your desired game mode. There are two options. The discovery mode allows the player to make discoveries with greater speed, while the adventure mode allows for more memorable adventures. The latter one can be considered more difficult as you cannot reload to previous events, and losing in the adventure mode means that it’s game over – for real.

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Once that’s done, you can select your captain and two crew members. The game offers a large variation of characters to choose from, each with their own skills. There are twenty characters combined, in four categories: scientists, scouts, fighters and speakers. It will take quite some time to find the perfect combination for you but as the game uses procedurally generated expeditions, the perfect team you created may not be best for the following two playthroughs.

The first expedition is played in a specific zone pre-defined by the game. During that expedition, and each one that follows after that, the player must collect various resources. Gold is needed to buy gear and supplies in-between expeditions, while research can be spent on unlocking technologies. Status allows the player to acquire entourage that can help increase the points received for each successful expedition.

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An expedition is completed by traveling from A to B, both preset, but the player must make stops before they reach B. Each stop can give resources but they can also have absolutely nothing to offer and some may have an encounter. This is where a minor part of the tactical decisions come in already as traveling consumes supplies, and there are quite limited. Running out of supplies will result into misfortune, such as a crewmember losing speech.

Resolve is another major resource that requires some tending. You can lose resolve by failing tests or being defeated in encounters but you can also regain supplies and resolve by choosing your next step carefully. If resolve drops to zero, your entire expedition is over. The end of an expedition is marked by a fairly epic encounter, in order for you to bring home the treasure or treasures found during your expedition.

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Aside from being a highly tactical game, especially during encounters which are turn-based, the game also offers RPG elements. Your crewmembers can level up, which unlock certain skills and abilities and you can gear them up – ultimately increasing their stats. Another important key mechanic is the spinning wheel. When presented options, the game shows a certain percentage, which is represented in the wheel. However, RNG can still be a pain – even at a 91% rate.

Conclusion

Renowned Explorers: International Society is a casual but deeply tactical adventure game that can be highly addictive, much like Abbey Games’ previous title REUS was. The sounds and artistic visuals give an easy-going charm to an unexpected difficult game. The game has a high replay value due to the numerous tries it will undoubtly take you to complete the game, and because of that, the game feels unrelentless but highly rewarding.

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Renowned Explorers: International Society - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and Iā€™m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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