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80 DAYS designed and developed by inklestudios.com and diected by Joseph Humfrey and Jon Ingold from a script by Meg Jayanth.

The year is 1872.

Welcome to the future.

Phileas Fogg has wagered he can circumnavigate the globe. Hundreds of journeys, thousands of routes. Travel by steamer, express train, airship, hover-car, hydrofoil, gyrocopter, camel, horse-back, hot-air balloon...

Can you make it in 80 Days?

From inkle studios, writer Meg Jayanth, and independent publishers Profile Books comes a new globe-trotting interactive adventure created using the same inklewriter technology as Sorcery.

Available now for Apple devicesAndroid and Kindle Fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This review is on the ANDROID version of the game:
Being a text based game of paragraphs and action selection some of the choices you are given are confusing. These are some of the choices I was given on the 2nd Day - "I inquired as to their hourly rate...."    "The hangar was crowded with airships..." As you can see, the first is an actual question and the second is a statement that one would imagine is going to be expanded into more information. I just think it's an unusual choice of either action or no action because in this style of game you are usually faced with a choice of actions or there is no choice you just read a paragraph then click to continue reading until a choice (of action) is required.

The story for the game is driven by the original tale from the imagination of the great Jules Verne, but instead of following Verne's plot exactly each section of text is followed by one or two, occasionally three, player choices similar to those described above. There are a few screenshots which are stills with the occasional overlaid icon or two which can be accessed and manipulated, such as your suitcases, but otherwise I have to date seen no other moving parts, it is a pure text adventure.

The game is about the Around the World Race with it having to be completed within 80 days. At each step of the journey you are confronted with a map and usually a choice of direction. Rolling the cursor over the map-screen brings up information such as distance as well as showing you cities which are possible for your route and of course your journey to date.

You often have the opportunity to spend the night in an hotel where you can adjust your suitcases as well as rest up. You also have the chance to grab an earlier flight or coach ride but tiredness will consume you if you don't plan ahead and take necessary sleep-overs.

As Phileas Fogg's companion, Passepartout, you are planning the majority of the journey and are thus always looking for the fastest route, though you may never go over the 80 days under any circumstances.It is a game of decision making and planning, though it is often that I would have liked a little more information as to the possibilities and consequences of the choices I had to make. In life one is always weighing up ideas and options but generally not then taking one with no idea of what will occur. In this game you are in a way taking a chance with every choice you make.

Although I have a rather inexpensive 7" ANDROID Tablet (I bought it from IJTDirect.com for about £30.00 inc postage) which uses the outdated Android 4.1.1 system the game play is remarkably speedy; one touch brings up the next block of text or the next screen dependant on my choice from the options available. The only minor problem I have, and this may be because of the game's design or my Tablet's ineffectiveness, is that the text is rather small and I cannot seem to enlarge it - the finger stretch drag across the touchscreen either doesn't work or isn't intended to.

I cannot say that this is an exciting or exhilerating game or one that I find impossible to put down, though it is one I regularly return to, usually playing it in 30+ minute sessions at a time about 4 or 5 times a day inbetween doing other things. It is ideal for a car journey (as long as you aren't driving of course) or any journey at all in which you are a captive passenger (Train, Plane etc though maybe not so good on a Tractor on a bumpy road). It is also fine for when you want to just sit down with your feet up enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, wrapped up against the cold winter we are currently suffering. I have also been suffering from a heavy cold and have found it something I could do while I was not feeling like doing anything and not actually trying to sleep it off. Then my sessions were longer than 30 minutes but probably not as productive. What I am rambling on about is that if you aren't feeling well and not wanting to sit at a desk or watch TV etc but you cannot fall asleep then it is a good way to take your mind off your ills.

It is like playing a graphic novel or one of those adventure books where you read a passage and at the end are asked to turn to page X or page Y. Sometimes previous options are returned to but not always and unlike the book versions you cannot take a step back if you think you have made a mistake. Basically you cannot test the water and then make your decision, you make your choice and you live with it. Sometimes the text will draw you in to a side-story which may seem intriguing. Occasionally these will lead to nothing more than you having wasted precious traveling time and on other occasions they may actually help you in some way, though when you set out on the deviation there is no way of knowing if it is a good idea or not. Generally though in these situations there is an option which will steer you back towards your previous route, towards if not directly back.

In essence this is a worthwhile dalliance if you have time on your hands, much like Fogg's journey itself.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015