It might sound strange, but Christian has always wanted to discover his inner Fogg
Before I discovered the Jules Verne classic Around the World in Eighty Days, the intrepid adventure of circumnavigating the globe was all about the 1983 children’s animated series Around the World with Willie Fog. It turned out the Victorian gent wasn’t a lion after all, rather he was a slightly shady British gambler and globetrotter with funds suspected of being pillaged from the Bank of England. Verne’s character might seem like the archetypal Victorian explorer but he’s actually far more interesting than that, and despite being given various personalities in the many films and TV series over the years, he’s never had anything to represent him well in video games. Step forward 80 Days, a brilliant piece of interactive storytelling from Cambridge-based developers inkle (inklestudios.com).
Inkle’s developers cut their teeth in the world of choose-your-own-adventure games with Sorcery!, a game that brought to life Steve Jackson’s classic text adventure books from the 1980s. 80 Days is all original dialogue though, and thousands of choices can be found in the game, which has received a number of updates which add new routes to expand your options as you attempt to beat the 80-day deadline in travelling from city to city across the world.
You play as Passepartout, Fogg’s valet, where you are responsible for packing the bags and choosing the route for the next step of the journey. Through the stunning silhouetted artwork and snappy script, 80 Days becomes a delightful romp that continually questions your actions, and it’s great to see inkle continuing to update the title with meaningful new routes since its release in July 2014.