REVIEW: 80 Days: Jules Verne with a Twist

Zebadiah Blackwell, Contributing Writer 

Imagine what it would be like to travel around the world in 80 days during the famous tale by Jules Verne. Now imagine that same thing but in a twisted sci-fi, steam-punk world. That is the setting for 80 Days, developed by Inkle.

This primarily text-based, story-driven game puts players in the role of Frenchman and butler, Jean Passepartout, whose English master, Phileas Fogg, is a betting man. Monsieur Fogg has made a bet to get around the world in 80 days and, as his valet, you are tasked with accomplishing this bet. The 3-D globe assists you as you travel and find different routes to take your master around the world, as you travel from town to town and discover new routes. The game design is smooth and the map is so user friendly you feel the game almost runs itself.

However the world is not as it seems. Immediately on your first ride to Paris, the only forced route, the train you hop upon suddenly transforms by sprouting fins and diving into the English Channel. Later on you meet all kinds of mysterious creatures and ride on the likes of airships, mechanical birds and elephants, gyrocopters and even a rocket to the moon. The spinoff of this classic story creates a fantastic adventure for anyone.

You meet a wonderful cast of characters, including Monsieur Fogg, who is, at first, a highly unlikeable master, who is like any stereotypical rich Englishman, a bit snobby and coarse. PC Gamer, the most reliable name in computer gaming for 20 years, describes it as, “There’s a remarkable amount of nuance in the game’s storytelling and characterization. The people you meet are fascinating and richly painted, making it all the more devastating when you, inevitably, have to leave them behind.” PC Gamer gives 80 Days a 91 out of 100, which is an absolutely amazing score, for its characters, music, design, and gameplay. 80 Days also received the Time Game of the Year in 2014.

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The game teaches several good lessons as well. First off you have to manage your funds to insure you can pay for your routes. Items can be purchased at the local market and sold to other markets where they may be worth more. Second you have to manage time and plan ahead so you do not miss the next route.  And finally you may not reach your goal on the first game, so it encourages players that “when at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

80 Days is a must have, must play game for everyone. The game is now available on PC for $9.99 and on mobile devices for $5.00. Get it on your device today. Check out the official site today at http://www.inklestudios.com/80days/