This is the perfect commuter game. It feels so right to be absorbed in a mad dash across the globe in 80 Days when you’re living out a little voyage of your own every day.
And even if you’re splayed out on the sofa at home, this game will pull you effortlessly into its steampunky retelling of Around the World In 80 Days. You play not as Phileas Fogg himself, but as his valet Passepartout. Think of 80 Days as an interactive novel; you pick your route across the globe while conversing with Fogg and other characters you meet along the way, choosing from suggested dialogue cues.
From London, where Fogg agrees to that fateful wager, you’ll head to Paris. From there, it’s completely up to you – take a route south for a warmer trip through Europe and the Middle east, or brave the chillier nordic region and the vast expanses of Russia. Each city has its own atmosphere, characters to meet and items to trade.
The biggest decisions you’ll face will be balancing Fogg’s finances and wellbeing whilst keeping ahead of that ticking clock. Every decision comes with trade-offs; a speedy journey might come at a huge financial cost, or adversely affect your health. Equally, a cheaper option might be slower, but it could be your only option until you can get to the next town and trade.
It’s not just the storytelling and consequences of your actions that paint such an evocative picture. The sound design adds real texture to the world; stop at a market and it’ll be soundtracked by the hubbub of whatever far-flung city you might be passing through. Travel by land, air or sea and it is announced by a honk of your rickety private car, or the chug of a steam train.
Meg Jayanth’s script sparkles with dry Victorian wit. Fogg is rash and impulsive, full of the tally-ho spirit of the age, and as Passepartout, you can shape your character in interesting ways through the choices you make. And with all of the different cities to visit and people to meet, 80 Days invites you to play again and again, picking a different route every time.
80 Days is among the very best narrative games on the App Store – a multi-award winning landmark in interactive storytelling. For commuters and sofa-dwellers alike, it’s essential.