80 Days

EDGE - - GAMES -

iOS

This in­ter­ac­tive adap­ta­tion of Jules Verne’s clas­sic ad­ven­ture is a role­play­ing game in the true sense of the term. As its ti­tle sug­gests, 80 Days tasks you with cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ing the globe quickly enough for Phileas Fogg to win his reck­less wa­ger; more sur­pris­ing is how it af­fords you the rare plea­sure of be­ing able to shape the per­son­al­ity of an es­tab­lished lit­er­ary fig­ure.

In this in­stance, you’re cast not as Fogg, but his valet, Passep­a­rtout. Start­ing with just £4,000 in funds, you’re asked to pack as much as you can fit in a sin­gle suit­case be­fore de­part­ing. The items you take can ei­ther be traded at mar­kets for profit or kept for var­i­ous ben­e­fits: the open-road set will make bumpy by­ways smoother, while the at­tire of a gen­tle­man trav­eller may al­low you to ne­go­ti­ate swifter pas­sage. Set off and you’ll see a monochro­matic im­age of your cho­sen trans­port against a sky that cy­cles through vivid colours as the hours tick on, a red line tracing your route.

Your avail­able des­ti­na­tions are de­ter­mined by sev­eral fac­tors. There’s a thrill to dis­cov­er­ing a new course, whether through con­ver­sa­tion, in­ves­ti­ga­tion or by sim­ply pur­chas­ing a book­let from a lo­cal mar­ket. You’ll see rib­bons dart across land and sea, each one rep­re­sent­ing an op­por­tu­nity, and not only to reach your in­tended tar­get sooner, but also to dis­cover a new city, to meet new peo­ple, to take in fresh sights, sounds and smells, all evoca­tively de­scribed in sharp prose.

Wher­ever you land, you’ll have de­ci­sions to make. Do you take a de­tour to sell a pur­loined cut­lass for a tidy sum in Ban­ga­lore, or head straight to Delhi? You’ll weigh up the need to carry valu­able goods with the cost of con­veyance. En route, you’ll con­verse with cap­tains, pas­sen­gers and driv­ers, glean­ing new routes and trad­ing tips – though you’ll also need to at­tend to your mas­ter, lest his health fal­ters and you lose valu­able days.

Yet Passep­a­rtout is de­fined more by words than by deeds. Pas­sages of text of­ten ask you to make choices that re­flect his in­ner­most thoughts, and the mo­ments where he ob­serves his en­vi­ron­ment or rem­i­nisces are as af­fect­ing as his even­ing es­capades are hu­mor­ous. In con­ver­sa­tion, you can be aloof or cyn­i­cal, in­quis­i­tive or en­thu­si­as­tic, cau­tious or im­pul­sive.

80 Days cap­tures the orig­i­nal text’s wide-eyed spirit of ad­ven­ture, its fas­ci­na­tion with the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments of the time, and the won­ders of the world it­self. Be­fore long, you’ll be en­joy­ing the jour­ney too much to worry about com­plet­ing your task in good time. Whether or not you suc­ceed mat­ters lit­tle; with over 100 cities left un­ex­plored on your maiden voy­age, as soon as you touch down in Lon­don, you’ll im­me­di­ately want to set off once more.

Travel de­tails can be shared with fel­low play­ers. Tap any of the ve­hi­cle icons you’ll find spread across the map and you’ll be able to see the routes that oth­ers have cho­sen, as well as how long their jour­neys have taken

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