hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Explore the four-colored world in Pioneers

9:30 PM on 03.14.2013 // Joshua Derocher

Preview: Pioneers

Pioneers was chosen as IndieDB's "best indie of 2012," and after spending some time playing it, I can see why. The classic graphics are inspired by old-school Apple or Atari, and while they only use four colors, it still looks great. The gameplay is basically a turn-based role-playing game where you create a party of characters who have stats that determine how good they are at certain skills. The game is also a good mix of Oregon Trail, Pirates!, and Dwarf Fortress.

The goal is to create a party of adventurers to explore and map new lands, meet the natives, get rich from trading, and trying to survive while you complete quests. It's strongly reminiscent of older games from the Atari and Commodore era, but the gameplay is also very rich with a modern twist.

Pioneers (PC, Mac, Linux)
Developer: Eigeen Lenk
Release date: Q3 2013

I started off with a quick tutorial showing me how to chop down forests in my way, gather food, and rest in camp. Then I was transported magically to a small town where I built a ship, hired another member for my party, and bought supplies for the journey ahead. Once the ship was fitted, Phineas Corey and Clement Wells (you can't name crew members) were ready to set sail for adventure. On my way out of town, a merchant approached me with a  quest -- if I could round up some spices, he would give me some gold. Sounds good to me, and I didn't have any other plans.

Sailing is similar to the original Pirates! and wind direction is very important, but to make things easy, there are markers on the edge of the map showing where the head and tail winds are. Clement and Phineas sailed East, got lost, sailed West, got lost, and eventually just sailed around aimlessly for a while. It is difficult to discover land since you can only see a small circle around your ship from the top down. There is an auto-mapping system in place so that you can tell where you have already looked, but it still took me a long time before I was able to find land. 

While sailing happens in real time, when the party disembarks, the game becomes turn-based in the style of XCOM. Each party member has a certain amount of movement points they can use each turn, and it's possible have everyone working separately on a different task. Everyone has their own inventory, health, energy level, thirst, and hunger too so it's important to make sure they are all carrying the supplies they need and enough food to survive. I learned this the hard way, of course.

Once the party found land, they were almost out of food, so I sent the boys off in search of something to eat. Phineas found some berries while Clement was busy chopping down some trees and loading wood onto the ship. They had to have something to show for this trip, after all. I sent Phineas further inland to see what he could find, and he found a wolf which proved to be a better fighter since Phineas didn't have any weapons on him. I decided to have Clement return home alone to try and get together a better-equipped party.

I hired a scout and a scholar to bring along, as well as much more food than I brought last time. My party wandered around for a bit exploring and gathering some berries, but I couldn't find any spice around. I started having each party member chop down forests to make a path towards the center of this island that I had discovered, and that's when I realized that I had been playing this game for over four hours. I guess it's fun.

While Pioneers is available to download and play right now, it is still an early alpha build. There is a lot more planned for this game, and if what's added is anything like what's already implemented, I am very excited. It's up in the concept section of Steam Greenlight, so go give them an upvote if this sounds like something you like, and you can also keep up to date with their progress on IndieDB.

Photo Gallery: (6 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Joshua Derocher, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Josh_Derocher Tips
Josh is a PC gamer. He can usually be found flying around in EVE Online. He's been known to enjoy playing role-playing games like Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim, and Planescape Torment. He starte... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
ashamasha avatarashamasha
i have almost all the pieces i need to build my own Arcade machine... and the last one arrive this Saturday! Soon, one my childhood dream will became true!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Interviewer: Konami, why are you selling cosmetic DLC for MGSV? Konami exec: I breathe through my skin.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What is the Dtoid chat room?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Batthink avatarBatthink
This GrumpOut video was pretty funny to me (props to TheBadSpoon on the Dtoid chat room);
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Sonic Lost World is coming to PC on November 2nd for $25! I may double dip, hopefully they'll make the final boss less rage-inducing. Ah well, I can always grind for extra lives lol.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Older. Grayer. Wiser. Dick still works. #Ballin
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Wow I just want a mic for the PS4...why are they so expensive ;_;
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Went to play MGSV, got prompted to download the MGO data; it's not on the PS Store yet. Or maybe it's Kojima-san's way of telling me it's not the real MGO data, but is instead a janitor who once protected me from a puddle of pee and now wears my face.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -