I do not know who actually coined the term Exploration game; I only started using it after reading tapeworm's description of his game (Seiklus.) Exploration game itself is a very broad term, there are alot of games out there that can be considered exploration games, Zelda or Metroidvania games for example, but are described under a different genre. Personally, I am not very interested in a strict definition of what exploration games should be. To me, games with heavy emphasis on exploration and discovery of the game world are exploration games regardless of the actual genre the games are placed on. Similarly, some of my exploration games are hybrid of another genre.
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From this day to the ending of the world,
We in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
King Henry V
This is an updated version of Boundless Ocean. It includes a mini-expansion set that introduces an all-new location called the Harbinger. The area is accessible through the mandala wheel (instead of sending you straight into the final fight in the previous version.) The update also replaces all of the old walkabout sprites with newer ones. There's also some extra cutscenes added to the final ending sequence.
If you have never played BO before, BO is essentially a console-styled RPG with emphasis on exploration. You will spend some time fighting and building your stats, but for the most part, much of the joy of the game comes from exploring BO's surreal landscapes.
I should've put this in the game before: If you're not familiar with the oHR engine, you can escape from battles by holding escape during battles
Length: 6-8 Hours.
Development time: 10 Months.
First release: 2005.
To my dearest,
As I write this letter, I realize the irony behind our situation. We lived within a few steps of each other in the same house for decades. Everyday we met and talked. I had so many chances to tell you how I felt, but I couldn't. I thought I'd gotten rid of all the embarassment from when we started living together.
We've shared everything from our hopes and dreams to our most embarassing secrets; everything but this. I've decided to leave you my journal -- at least what remains of it.
Several of the pages have been ripped out as they were nothing more than the bitter remnants of sad memories. I fervently hope that this will help convey these uneasy feelings.
Maybe then you can personally touch the depth of the pain I've been harboring for years. Every bit of my thoughts towards you are laid bare within this journal. We will never have the chance to apologize now. It's far too late for regrets. At least now you'll understand.
Length: 1-3 Hours.
Development time: 4 Months.
First release: 2004.