Written by Eythen Anthony | Edited by John Gerritzen

The Trials and Tribulations of Reaching the South Pole.

In 1911, two famed explorers, Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen, began their expeditions to be the first person to reach the South Pole. After almost 2 months of travelling through sub-zero temperatures, Amundsen was victorious in his quest and planted the flag of Norway in the South Pole, while Scott passed away on his journey back to England. To commemorate this monumental event, developer Every Single Soldier released the game Terra Incognito: Antarctica 1911. This is their sophomore project, beginning with the strategy-based, nautical adventure Her Majesty’s Ship


In Terra Incognito, you play as two characters, Robert Scott and Edgar Evans (a member of Scott’s party), as they travel across patches of ice. They are faced with plenty of hardships, such as hypothermia, starvation, and polar bear attacks. With proper planning and enough time, you, the player, can say that you’ve successfully traveled to the South Pole. 

As the player, you have to be wary of all things around you and be able to plan for them. It’s important that your characters have the right amount of food, fuel, tents, and ladders. Food allows you to avoid starvation and provides energy for your characters. Fuel is used at tent sites and provides warmth for the team. Tents can be placed along a pathway to speed up travel, store items, and supply warmth when fuel is added. Ladders, one of the most useful items in the game, are used to cross gaps in the game and provide faster access to your destination. 


An important thing to first note about the game is the fact that you control each character individually. While this is a difficult mechanic to use at first, after practice, it’s a useful technique to speed up travel. You can switch out who you’re playing as by clicking the character’s icon at the bottom of the screen. When one is running low on supplies, he can be sent back to the main base and the other can begin travelling. However, the player has to be careful sending them back because, left unchecked, they could die on the way. While annoying during some playthroughs, this mechanic does add some realism to the playthrough and gets the player more involved.

Thankfully, the movements in Terra Incognito are not all mechanical, which is nice in areas where turning your sled is difficult, as there are a variety of hotkeys that allow for faster transport on the icy wasteland. You are able to plant flags and build tents, allowing for unmanned transportation and safer travel as tents can provide heat for your characters. This is a well thought out mechanic that accelerates the journey for the player.


While the gameplay is addicting, Terra Incognito does not feel like a game that I want to replay after reaching the South Pole. After reaching certain locations, you gain experience points that can be used to upgrade your characters, such as making ladders longer for them, having them move faster, etc. While that is a good idea, it doesn’t make me feel like I need to play this game again. After reaching the South Pole, I felt satisfied, but not excited to play again.

Also some mechanics felt like they need to be worked on when it comes to improving gameplay, such as with the dogs. The dogs are introduced after completing the first stage and we are told that they will die if they run out of stamina or if they do not have food. However, the dogs seemed to work fine even with no food and no stamina, a glitch that I noticed in stage 2.


The Verdict: Good

For a player who is looking just to reach the South Pole, they will feel a surge of excitement reaching the point, even with the bugs. However, for speed runners looking to reach the end the fastest, Terra Incognito: Antarctica 1911 will provide a challenging quest paired with a satisfactory feeling of success.

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