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Written by  :  Droog (522)
Written on  :  Sep 07, 2003
Platform  :  Apple II
Rating  :  2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

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This is a flawed game ruined by irritating random events and too many death traps.

The Good

Mapping the Amazon and the underground temples and learning to avoid the obstacles and traps in your way is a lot of fun. This is especially true once your characters make it past about level 10 when they have enough life to survive most encounters without having to immediately camp and heal your party. The game is designed so you never can carry quite enough supplies to do what you need to do, so you end up taking risks and making narrow escapes instead of just rolling over the enemies once you have the cash.

The Bad

The main weakness of Expedition Amazon are the death traps which occur early and often. Most of the random events in the jungle can be overcome with the right equipment, but once you get underground, there are certain traps that will instantly kill one of your party members (such as the lava boreholes) and other events that have a good chance of doing so (such as your rope breaking when you try to cross over a sacrificial well). Since the maps are fixed and not random, mapping the underground eventually becomes a game of memorization and guessing rather than skill.

Mapping sectors can be very frustrating because (especially underground) there are several random events which can cause you to flee or leave the sector. Leaving the sector with an incomplete map (a map is incomplete if it has more than 2 or 3 unmapped squares not including traps) forces you to map the entire sector again. This is frustrating and pointless, especially when you first start playing the game.

Another big problem is that your game is over when you lose all of the expedition, which is silly. After all, why were you making all those maps in the first place if other people could use them to follow in your footsteps?

There are also a lot of items that seem valuable but are really somewhat worthless. The automatic rifles are too expensive and use too much ammo to be effective. The Loran can be somewhat helpful, but not as helpful as its 99,000 price would indicate. What I'd really want to buy is a porter that could carry extra med kits or ammo for those really long underground expeditions.

Finally, once you have mapped all the jungle sectors and the first two underground levels it is not clear what you are supposed to do. It makes you wonder why you bothered to play the game this far in the first place if there is no ending.

The Bottom Line

Expedition Amazon is a game of exploration that is fun if you can get past the extremely frustrating gameplay.