Tobold's Blog
Saturday, September 26, 2020
The 7th Continent / Citadel like videogame?

As I said in my previous post, I pledged for The 7th Citadel, an upcoming boardgame, because I like its predecessor, The 7th Continent. That makes me want to play The 7th Continent again, but I’m not at the place where I got that stored this week. So I was wondering whether I could play a computer game or mobile game, which plays in a similar fashion. But I can’t really think of one. The closest I can think of would be a mobile adaptation of a “choose your own adventure” game, like Warlock of Firetop Mountain. But The 7th Continent is more than that: It combines exploration of tiles with a lot of decision-making gameplay. You constantly need to decide what to do next, or how to approach a given problem with the resources at hand. Sometimes that resembles the gameplay of a point-and-click adventure, but the game mechanics are more intricate than “combine lighter with hairspray”. It is a pretty unique game.

In a board game, success or failure is determined usually by chance, modified by game choices. You chose to pick up that rope, and it increases your chances in that climbing challenge. Most videogames have an added dimension, where you need to get the execution of a move right, pressing buttons at the right moment. There aren’t many games in which you don’t have constant action or movement, but rather a constantly changing list of decisions you could take. Or maybe there are, and I just don’t know these games. There are so many games on the app store that it is pretty much impossible to find anything you don’t know the name of. You can’t easily search for “decision-based exploration game”.

If you have any recommendation for such a game, I would be grateful.

Well, there are lots of games that are kind of 'in that direction' notably in the turn-based strategy, RPG, and roguelike sectors - but you are probably familiar enough with them that I hesitate to make any particular suggestions.

The idea that something new happens on each turn and you have to deal with it using the resources you have is kind of a guiding light for many of these, but it's really a personal thing whether a particular games hits that button for you.
You might want to try Out There and 80 Days.
This War of Mine and Darkwood might also be of interest, although they both have execution element.
King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind lean more heavily on strategy side.
I also enjoyed digital Sorcery! adaptations. There is decision making involved, especially in 3 and 4, although it might be not apparent because of CYOA format.
Maybe Cultist Simulator, if you haven’t played it. I found the exploration of the rather obscure combinations needed to advance too frustrating, but many others seem to like it.
Considering your previous posts: skip Cultist Simulator. It's a card combo game running in real time, so it quickly turns from "think" to "click as fast as you can". Which is too bad because the basic idea is good (even if the "puzzles" are more about guessing WTH the developer was thinking when writing the texts, which are often very obscure....)

It also has some serious design mistakes, like the fact that in order to increase the "difficulty", in addition to the main progression you also have to deal with "crisis here and now" mechanics which force you to divert your attention. Problem is, there are 2-3 of these mechanics, they are always the same, and they quickly become purely aggravating, adding nothing to the game itself.

I don't know if any of the expansions improved the game, I only tried the base version.
Renowned Explorers sort of fits your quite vague description. However it's

a) Slightly abstracted- the theming is fairly good, but there are definitely abstract elements.
b) Also features turn-based combat, which you may or may not like.
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