Think about this – interactive ‘build your own adventure’ storybook plugged into a role-playing adventure, based on the classic Jules Verne story ‘Around the World in 80 Days‘. Seems like a lot – but when put in the hands of Inkle Studios, the result is an amazing game that recently topped Time’s ‘Top 10 Video Games of 2014’!
Type of app: Choose Your Own Adventure game
Platform/where to buy: iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore
Developer: inkle Studios
•TIME Magazine’s Game of the Year 2014.
•Choose your own route around a 3D globe exploring over 150 cities.
•Massively interactive story tailored to your every action.
•Beautiful elegant art-deco inspired art style.
•Race other players in real-time. Can you be the fastest?
80 Days Major features:
I wrote about the original iOS release of 80 Days here, and thoroughly enjoyed playing it on my iPad but never finished my review. Now I have had the chance to play the game again from the start on my Android tablet, my great love for the game has been rekindled, and I am very willing to declare it one of the best games of any type I have played all year.
It is worth reading what Time wrote about 80 Days:
80 Days is less about gameplay subversion than stylish, thoughtful immersion, employing a beloved genre–interactive fiction–to set you loose in a reimagined, politically contemplative rendering of Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in 80 Days. Here be mechanical golems, undersea trains and steam-powered creatures as you traverse a game world (designed by a British-Indian woman) that doubles as trenchant commentary on the nature of colonialism.
The game is a reimagining of the classic story, and you play as Phileas Fogg’s loyal valet, Passepartout. From the very start the game defies expectations – you assume it will be a very simply variation on the well-known tale, but you would be wrong. You might assume that the game is structured around you succeeding no matter what, but again you’d be wrong.
Here is the bottom line – with seemingly few limits, you need to help Fogg get around the world with limited luggage, resources… and only 80 days. That is the main quest of the game, but not the only important part. In fact, for me the game was much more about exploring the stories and choices available.
The game changes more than a little each time you replay and make new choices. How you play Passepartout can also have an impact on whether people will talk to you and what they will reveal. In fact, you will often find yourself wondering just how deep the plot-threading goes … if you didn’t get a certain item or handle a discussion in a certain way, would you ever have entered a plot branch? It isn’t clear just how broad of an influence you can have … but it IS clear that if you fail, you fail.
Both Apple and Time put this game on their ‘best of 2014’ lists – and I completely agree with them, and feel you will too.
Ease of use/Overall performance:
80 Days reminds me of the Sorcery! games also from inkle Studios (not surprising) and other adventure games. Getting into the game is simple enough – just start playing and make some choices. The graphical style is not overly demanding, so it looks and plays great on all of my tablets without any concerns about performance.
The game scales extremely well from my Kindle Fire 7″ up through my iPad Air, and since it is a joy to play and so varied in what happens I now have THREE concurrent games going – iPad, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Kindle Fire HDX! It really is a game that is simple to pick up and play, but difficult to truly master!
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! From the very start I was drawn into the way the familiar story was changed, and 80 Days provided an incredibly engaging experience. The story is excellent regardless of what choices you make and keeps you going through city after city. The characters are unique and fully realized and provide helpful clues and fun distractions along the way. You will spend many hours working through 80 Days, and it is enjoyable throughout!
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing
Source: Publisher provided review code
Price: $4.99 on iTunes App Store, $5 on Google Play, and $5 on the Amazon Appstore
Here is the 80 Days trailer: