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Review: 80 Days

Available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac. This is a review of the PC version of the game.

For those who want to travel the world, haggle in Arabian markets for exotic spices and tend to Phileas Fogg himself after drinking some dodgy water in Singapore, 80 Days has all of this and much much more. The game is (very) loosely based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days and sees you playing as Passepartout, Phileas Fogg’s manservant, as you aid him on his quest to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less.

I have been staring at an empty word document for almost twenty minutes now in order to find the best way to begin talking about this game, and frankly, with the space I have, I don’t think I could possibly cover everything I want to talk about. Firstly there’s the way you interact with the game, basically like a book: you are given a passage and you choose how that passage ends, in any number of ways, and this will dictate how Fogg perceives you to be, how well you get along with him and so on. Secondly there’s the fact that on your journey around the world if you don’t tend to your master properly, then Fogg could die on his voyage, which puts an enormous amount of pressure on you to keep him happy and well rested on this daring journey.

I was then going to talk about how you can choose to navigate the globe any way you choose (providing you begin your journey going east). You can try and move quickly by hopping on the Trans Siberian Express the earliest chance you get, but risk Fogg becoming ill due to the cold, or you could stick to the British colonies and ensure that you have a safer, but slower passage, around the world. Every destination provides new stories, as you could be in Venice in the midst of a carnival, but on a different play through when you pass through the Venetian city, you could be embroiled in a bar fight, and have to escape the city under the cover of night.

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Then I was going to discuss how I think that the way you have to manage your money provides an interesting dichotomy to your travels. You could try and pick up some valuable items in markets, like a bottle of wine from Paris, and find out that it’s remarkably valuable in Hawaii, but whether or not your journey will take you there, is a difficult one to predict. Is it really worth carrying this bottle of wine around the world, when it takes up valuable luggage space? However, if you don’t manage your money properly, you can always go to the bank and apply for a loan, but then again, you can only do that a few times, or else the bank will refuse to give you any more money and you could end up going bankrupt.

At the end I was going to talk about how you have a real impact on the world during your travels. The people you meet and the things you do for them, although you never actually see them behind a wall of text, are all very well realised. At one point, I chose to navigate the world by going through the Arctic and once on vessel, I met the captain, and fell in love with him. Love and relationships in games are often shoehorned in for the sake of cheap character building, but here, being Passepartout and naturally impacting the flow of the story, the love I had for this captain felt real and precious. Then when the expedition came to a startling halt, the captain died in the cold, and I couldn’t help but cry for my poor character, being left alone once more, with no one but his master.

So instead of a simple review,I was going to talk to you about my own adventure, but I’ve just reached my word limit so I guess you’ve got to play the game for yourself. It’s incredible value for money, with endless replayability, and if you don’t end up liking it, then I can only assume you don’t like adventure or fun.

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Ben Pearson

Ben is an avid fan of video games and movies, and if you're reading an article by him then he likes you very much.

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