The game is made up of a series of 6 expeditions, each larger and more difficult than the last. The goal of each expedition is to discover and explore the Golden Pyramid in each map, and hopefully bring back items to increase your fame and fortune.
Selecting an Explorer Edit
You can choose from 7 explorers from the start of the game, and you'll quickly be able to unlock more as you play. Selecting your explorer is important, and depends on your strategy. Beginners should start with Charles Darwin for combat practice, or Marie Curie for pacifist runs. When clicking on an explorer, carefully inspect the aspects of their starting party:
- Perks - Your explorer starts with 1 perk, listed under their description. You'll be able to select an additional one after each expedition. Your party members will also have similar perks that can be upgraded in-game.
- Companions - These supporting characters have varying specialties that generally focus on combat, travel, or trading. An explorer's starting companions typically compliment their unique perk.
- Items - A group will typically start with some kind of sanity-restoring item, 2-3 travel aids, and a weapon.
Choosing A Destination EditBefore each expedition, you get to select your destination on the World Map. Your first expedition always has 2 options: Jungle and Drylands. Drylands has the easiest terrain. Jungle will require machetes to break through thick forest easier, but also has butterflies for collection.
Starting your First Expedition Edit
You are always offered a quest right before setting sail. These will potentially give you advantages and special opportunities during the expedition, and yield a reward after returning to London. The quest for your first expedition will ask you to take something to or from a village, which is revealed upon landing in the region.
Don't worry about using your ship's storage or water this trip - just head straight for the village first to complete the quest. This will grant you a +2 Standing bonus with the natives, allowing you to recruit an extra companion. The pack animal option will give you more capacity, while the 2 humanoid choices will have useful toughness and dice for combat / choice events.
Now you can trade with the villagers for special items if desired. You may want to give up some basic tools like rope or climbing gear in exchange for food items, but keep at least one torch in case you find a cave! Then go ahead and rest overnight in the village - this will bring your standing back down to its original setting. Now you're equipped and ready to explore the rest of the map!
The key to survival is Sanity, which you can monitor on the top bar of your screen. Always try to keep this meter at 30 or higher, as dropping below that can trigger ailments, loss of loyalty and other negative events. Low sanity can sometimes even cause you to lose companions. Avoid moving through difficult or hazardous terrain, as these cost more sanity than moving through grasslands. Keeping terrain-specific travel items can help reduce these costs.You can only restore your sanity in two ways: using certain items or resting somewhere overnight. Since rest spots are few and far between, you'll largely depend on keeping a stock of sanity-restoring items to consume during travel, but take care: even these can have side-effects if consumed when sanity is very low! If you are lucky enough to find a rest spot location, stay overnight as many times as needed to refill your sanity. This can slow your position in the race to the pyramid, but it's much better to arrive there intact than not at all.
Combat is also a huge part of survival, and is highly dependent on the combinations of dice that are possible with various party members. Studying this mechanic will do wonders for your ability to fight enemies, select optimal companions and use supporting weapons. Enemies can be distracted with certain items, but sometimes combat is simply unavoidable. Beware: an unprepared party can easily die in combat, ending a game in failure.
Exploring the Map Edit
Your quest completion reveals a shrine location on your map: head towards it. You may discover other location markers (indicated with a ? symbol) on your way. Investigate as many of these as you can! Don't hesitate to Cancel Travel to stop moving mid-leg if something catches your eye, such as a neighboring location or an enemy getting dangerously close. Remember you can also set a custom route with stopping "checkpoints" by clicking multiple waypoints before starting a travel leg.
Revealing locations and entering new relevant regions on the expedition map will reward you with Exploration Points, which you can then use to promote your companions and strengthen your team. Exploring more of a map will also grant you more fame at the end of an expedition.
Once you reach the shrine, go ahead and loot it, but be ready to run - every shrine creates a disaster if disturbed. Travel towards unexplored parts of the map immediately after looting.
Now it's time to get out of here! Pay attention to your compass in the upper-left corner: it will guide you to the golden pyramid and becomes more accurate as you uncover more of the map, so long as a magnetic mountain isn't confusing it.
Returning Home Edit
You can return from an expedition in three ways: reaching the Golden Pyramid, returning to your ship, or constructing a hot air balloon. You must reach the pyramid to gain any race bonus, but you'll still be able to continue with the game if you escape in your ship or balloon. Remember: coming back bruised is better than not returning at all! The hot air balloon should be a last resort to avoid death, as it forces the player to abandon items and most companions due to its limited capacity. The player must have at least one other humanoid companion to help them construct the balloon in order to use it.
Returning to London can be very relieving. You gain a new perk, your sanity is refilled, and you can exchange your trophies for Fame (for points towards winning) or Funds (for purchasing goods prior to the next expedition). After charting your next destination, you're rewarded for your previous quest, offered a new quest, and given the choice to recruit a new companion. Then you'll get to purchase items or animal upgrades with your funds before venturing into the great unknown again!