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Subject: Best map exploration game? rss

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Enon Sci
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I've always been drawn to exploration in games, whether that be overturning tiles to discover hidden treasures, or visiting unknown lands that slowly (and evocatively) build their world through exploration.

Sadly, after 14~ years of playing these games, I've never found one that really aced the experience. Some have looked cool, but I ultimately passed on a purchase (Eclipse for no good reason, Archipelago because I didn't like the 2 player vibe or hidden end game conditions), where others crashed and burned at my table (DungeonQuest (third edition), horrid).

My ideal would be a game with a map build with tiles, like Explorers of the North Sea, but with more interesting or interactive things to discover than sheep. e.g. Flip a tile and find a crypt that you can then explore, drawing from a specific deck of encounters (which ideally wouldn't all be combat). Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island came close, depending on the scenario, but there wasn't much interaction to be had with any particular title.

I'd like to find a game more focused on discovery and exploration than combat, which is probably the real reason I skipped Eclipse.

Suggestions?

p.s. It isn't lost on me that an unstated element connecting all these "map exploration" games is the user built map aspect, but some exploration games have a static map (Runebound, Eldritch Horror, etc). To me, these static map games are a little different, but I chose to not call out the tile building element specifically in the hopes I've overlooked a static map game that did exploration better than I've experienced in the past.

Scythe wouldn't count, nor would Legends of Andor. Both have nice maps, and you move around on them, but you're rarely - to - never actually exploring (a little in Andor, depending on the scenario).
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Lazy Mountain

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Haven't played but...Burgle Bros. ?
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JPotter
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Vikingar? Probably too little to explore, too much fighting there.

How do you feel about the map exploration in Civilizationcomputer games? Assuming you've played any of it's numerous iterations and competitors. The boardgame versions don't offer nearly as much exploration, due to the limits of physical games, I suppose.

How about Mage Knight? The Star Trek version, Star Trek Frontiers? Or Star Trek: Fleet Captains?

Just stumbled across a KS for Archmage ... take a look?

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Geoffrey Burrell
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Twilight Imperium also has a blind map option which is able to be explored.
 
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Carel Teijgeler
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Try to find Source of the Nile

or a solitaire PnP Terra Incognita, maybe they are more to your liking. No tiles, though.
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Merchant of Venus (second edition) has a static map, but the cultures are randomized in every game.
 
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chris thatcher
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Lost Valley: The Yukon Goldrush 1896
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Claudio Hornblower
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The 7th Continent
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Clash of Cultures has a great implementation of exploration.
Space Empires 4X is really well done as well.
Best exploration I have ever played is 504, however, I would not recommend you buy that, just that producers emulate that particular module.
 
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Adrian Iordache
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Goldland
Not in hotness category (the game is 15 years old) but you might at least enjoy reading about it, if not trying it.
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Tony Thorsvik
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You might like Akrotiri. It has tile exploring where you can manipulate where to place the islands in order to excavate temples to match your objectives. Has no combat and a bit of pickup-and-deliver mechanisms with personal goals.

I am sure I am not doing justice in this explanation but might be worth looking into.
 
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Lee Kennedy
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If you can take some complexity then Magic Realm may be what you are looking for. You can literally explore a tile and discover a hidden Crypt.

It is long out of print, but there is Realmspeak, a java based program, that is free.

 
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Tim Tix
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Check Near and Far.
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James Champagne
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+1 forMage Knight Board Game

Also, there's Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

You may also enjoy Xia: Legends of a Drift System and its expansion, Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star.
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Dave VanderArk
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iadrianik wrote:
Goldland
Not in hotness category (the game is 15 years old) but you might at least enjoy reading about it, if not trying it.

Yes! Good choice.

Also, while looking at classics, you could check out Entdecker, or Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons.

Tobago is another good out of print exploration game.
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Mark Jackson
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I've very much been enjoying Escape from 100 Million B.C. lately. It's pretty combat heavy, but not all combat. And thematically it's a slam dunk for me personally.
 
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Robert Wolkey
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New World - you have to go old school if you want to find a really good one. I've been looking for good exploration game for a long time and this is one of the best I've found. You should be able to find a copy for decent price.

Source of the Nile - is another oldie, but goodie.

 
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James Flight
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Expedition Northwest Passage is an excellent game to consider

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Antonie van der Tweel
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Return of the Heroes
 
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Nick Stables
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Castaways

Not a map made of tiles, but an island you trek through to the summit via a board, turning cards over when you explore, a semi-co-op that I've enjoyed solo....

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Will S
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I could've sworn I posted this just a few minutes ago, but now I don't see it, so....

How about Tikal?
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Gert Beffers
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Spanish Main

A game by Francis Tresham. The rules were a bit hard for me to work through, though they are not difficult. Once learned, it's a nice game. It has the tile exploration element as a core mechanic and every game has a different map.

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Antonie van der Tweel
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Wolkster wrote:
New World - you have to go old school if you want to find a really good one. I've been looking for good exploration game for a long time and this is one of the best I've found. You should be able to find a copy for decent price.

Source of the Nile - is another oldie, but goodie.


There is a very good Vassal module for Source of the Nile.
 
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Crazed Survivor
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The 7th Continent will probably be at the top of the list when it's out.
 
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Andy
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I know you're looking for a game that generates maps with more interesting features but for anyone else reading this it's worth mentioning the granddaddy of tile-laying map generation:

Carcassonne
 
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