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80 DAYS is a computer game based on the novel of Jules Verne and retells the story of how Phileas Fogg
and his manservant Passepartout take on a bet to travel completely around the world using all manner of
transport in just 80 days; a remarkable feat in the times of magical and mystical automatons. 

The story starts in London in 1872 with Phileas Fogg being told to pack his master's suitcase. This is your
first interaction within the game. You have one case and how you pack it is important to how you get on
along the journey. Each piece of equipment could belong to a set or be valuable in one or more of the cities
en route.

The route taken is up to you, though Fogg may stick his oar in and agree or disagree with your
choices. You usually have more than one option of travel vehicle but the better of these may also
be the slowest or not be leaving for a day or two. If it is uncomfortable Fogg will complain, if it
is expensive Fogg will complain, if it doesn't leave immediately Fogg will complain. You are
supposed to be Fogg's manservant and keep him well groomed and happy and if you do your rep
with him will rise; if you don't it will fall - this includes attending to his toilet as well buying the
correct tickets for the best possible journeys; plus you get brownie points for bhuying and selling.

This is a decision making game; you read a paragraph and then are generally offered a selection
of responses. The game is quite slow, has little animation and no action per se but it isn't stale.
It does offer the occasional fun factor and there is a good deal of automaton engineering within
the structure of the story.

The adventurers board the Amphitrite Express train in London and travel on it towards Europe.
When it gets to the sea at Dover there is no Channel Tunnel or Ferryboat awaiting them. Instead
the train simply closes up its doors and windows etc and dives into the water; it is the world's
only Bathyscape-Locomotive.

Whenever a City is reached there are several options available. There is generally an Hotel for
an overnight stay, the journey often carries on the following day, plus there is usually a market
where you can buy all manner of goods - each will tell you a cost and where it can be sold for a
profit.

There is also often the opportunity to go exploring. Here you get to speak with one or more of the
people in the city and if you ask and answer correctly you can get to  discover all manner of things
such as how the equipment, the Gramme Machine, used by the Artificier to light the street lights, 
is created and how it works.

I have already said that the game is quite slow, indeed it is on occasion agonisingly so, especially
when the journey is on a slow boat or train or the road is dusty, bumpy and bruising for the driver
and passengers. It has taken me several hours to reach 14 hours on my journey Around the World.
I am not sure if I am just trying to go round the world in 80 days or less or whether I am supposed
to also be visiting as many of the 169 available cities as I can.

I shall be back playing it after this review is posted and may even take a look at what I have done
and where I have been and start again with a fresh outlook. I may do this! The problem facing me
is that it has taken hours to get this far but at the moment it is more interesting than enthralling.

The good news comes from the press release I received though, for apparently once I have guided
the intrepid pair back to London there are more adventures awaiting them. Different routes, the Moon,
a First Nations Village, more Mysterious Devices, a hard core Poker game and the possible discovery
of Atlantis are all on the cards. You can even join forces with Europe's most notorious jewel thief, the
wonderfully named, Black Rose.

 

 
© Chris Baylis 2011-2015