AROUND the WORLD in 80 DAYS Iello David Parlett 2-6 players aged 10+
In 1974 David Parlett designed one of the best ever "no luck" boardgames - the Hare & the Tortoise. In 2004 University Games published their game based on the adventures of the valet Passepartout and his effervescent "Master" Phileas Fogg as they raced Around the World in 80 Days to win a bet. In 2011 French games company Iello published a boardgame called the Hare & the Tortoise (which had little similarity to David's original game but was just as brilliant) and then in 2016 Iello completed the full circle by publishing Around the World in 80 Days which is almost a replication of the original Hare & Tortoise and was designed by David Parlett.
So here we are in London with you accused of stealing £50.000 from Her Majesty's Bank. To prove your innocence you have to travel around the world (the game board) and return free of Rumours and with only £10.00 or less in your pocket. Whatever the "theft" and rumours have to do with the game is in doubt. The original story had Fogg chased around the World by a copper, a detective named Fix because he resembled the description of a thief so there is that simile, but why in this game, is Fogg's (your) innocence proved because he arrives back with less than £10.00? In Jules Verne's story Fogg bets £20.000 and throughout the adventure he spends almost as much as that but it is the fact that the real thief was captured three days before Fogg arrived back in Britain rather than the fact he had very little money on him that proved him to not be the bank robber. Thus for me the concocted preamble for the reason for this race does nothing and means just as much. However, we can be thankful that 40+ years ago David Parlett devised a superior race mechanic for his game and that with IELLO he has repeated that excellence with, as they say "knobs on".
The gameboard shows a Race track that leads in a Westerly direction from the central space "London" around the board in snake-like fashion and returns to London from the East. There are also, unnecessary in our opinion except for their visual effect, two mini boards that form the Bank and show money purses, each with a coin value, where for convenience the money cards are placed face up on the purse with their correct denomination. The other components are a small deck of RUMOUR cards, another deck of PASSEPARTOUT cards, a Travel Journal (Player Aid) for each player and a movemtn piece neatly shaped in wood to form the most notable wear of a gentleman of the period, a Top Hat.
Players begin with a Top Hat in their chosen colour, a Travel Journal, £80 money and 3 randomly dealt Rumour cards. The board has 80 spaces, London plus 79 others, with the nib of a pen pointing the direction travel should be taken. Movement is simple, you pay your money and you move your Top Hat. The amount of money you spend is up to you, the number of spaces you move depends on the amount of money you spent; 1 space = £1.00, 2 spaces = £3.00 and so on as shown on your Travel Journal; thus you cannot simply spend your £80.00 and travel around the world, it will cost you a lot more in time and money than that. Because you have the Travel Journal and the movement chart you can choose which space to land on. As each space has either No Effect or an Effect it is your skill and deduction that will win or lose you the Race.
The spaces available to you are: The Passepartout Space where you draw a passepartout card and immediately apply its effect. The Red circled Layover Space which you can only land on by moving backwards. The Betting Space where your position at the start of the next turn may win you additional cash, the £Pound Space on which you can spend unwanted money £10.00 a turn or simply move off as normal, and finally the Police News Space where you can only land if you have a Rumour card but then may discard a Rumour card and earn some money; remember to tip your hat in respect to the Police. All of these Spaces have been carefully designed and positioned to cause the ultimate challenge for every player.
Your movement may never land you on an occupied Space, but you still count occupied Spaces in with the total movement available to you - in other words, unlike many other Race games you do not skip occupied spaces. Thus, for example, if you want to move 16 Spaces and there is another player's Top Hat exactly 16 spaces from your Top Hat then you cannot make the move; you can spend less and stop short or pay more and pass the other player. I have already mentioned that you can move backwards and by doing so you gain £10.00 per space moved, though you must always land on the first Red circled Layover space behind you; if this is occupied you cannot move backwards.
This movement is very much like it is in the Hare and the Tortoise Game except that you are spending Cash instead of Carrots. Other differences are the Rumours and Passepartout cards. Rumour cards do not actually "do" anything other than be a nuiscance as you are required to get rid of them before entering London. They are printed the same on both sides and show the Police News sheet which is posing the question Is Phileas Fogg the Bank Robber ? Passepartout cards are mainly helpful, the Valet helping his Master, but occasionally they have a mini sting in their tails. For instance some let you discard Rumour cards which is great if you have them but generally causes you to miss a turn if you haven't.
The design, the quality, the idea of having a drawer-type box made of solid pressed card, all make this a game the creators and publishers must be proud of. Many, if not most, of today's board gamers will not remember the original Hare & Tortoise and so this is their opportunity to enjoy what a lot of us older folk have been enjoying for over 40 years. It can be purchased from your local game store or on Amazon for around £35.00 - £40.00 including postage.
I have always said that every games-playing household should have a copy of The Hare & the Tortoise but that can now be amended to "every games-playing home should have copies of The Hare & the Tortoise and Around the World in 80 Days". It is not a case of played/own one don't need to play/own the other. It's definitely a case of played the first must play the sequel.