It has been just over a year since I reviewed inkle’s release of Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! interactive game, with the second chapter of that game coming later last year. Now they are back with an interactive game based on Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, and once again they have produced a compelling and stunning experience! Type of app: Real-time, massively-branching multiplayer interactive fiction game Platform/where to buy: iPad/iPhone; available in the iTunes App Store Developer: inkle Description: 150 cities to explore. Detailed research and techno-fantasy combine in an 1872 of tensions, inventions and exploration. Climb the Burmese mountains, trek the Zulu Federation, sail up the Amazon and disappear under the Indian Ocean – but don’t fall behind the time! Major features: There are three main things that make 80 Days such a blast for me:
- The great integration of the classic story
- The ‘RPG meets adventure meets interactive novel’ approach
- The art & music and presentation are all gorgeous.
The basic theme of the game places you as Phileas Fogg’s loyal valet, Passepartout. You get to make choices as you go along, balancing your finances, Fogg’s health, and always tracking your time. You need to make your way from city to city and get around the world in 80 days. One thing I loved was how the game lets you balance actions so that one move impacts other aspects of the game play. For example, if you bribe your way onto a train, you will lower overall stress but use up your funds in the process. In the process you can totally deplete your funds and end up having to beg your way along to keep making progress! Sure, if you take this approach your relationship with Fogg might benefit… but it might instead suffer. Thus the choices you make may makes things easier… or harder… as you proceed. I also loved the time pressure the game imposes. Knowing that while playing this game you have a fixed end-point is very different than many RPG games where everything is ‘urgent’ because the fate of the world stands in the balance … but if you want to pick some flowers and trade for some leather armor that is fine. Not here – in this game if you mess up too many times… you fail. Ease of use/Overall performance: If you have played Sorcery!, you know what the basic control scheme of this game is like. It is simple and intuitive to play the game – you are tapping through choices, and scenes and locations. The style melds RPG standards and interactive fiction in an innovative way. As noted the technical aspects of the game are excellent – great visuals, snappy performance in terms of load-times and transitions, tap-accuracy is solid, and I never had a crash. Music, art and overall design is excellent and engaging. Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! This game has the comfort of the familiar mixed with an innovative art style and genre-mixing gameplay in a way that very quickly engages you in the story and keeps you playing through the end. Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing! Source: Publisher provided review code Price: $4.99 – (full, complete Universal game, no in-app purchases)