80 Days

It might sound strange, but Chris­tian has al­ways wanted to dis­cover his in­ner Fogg

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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.

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