If you don’t like to read, then, well, you’re probably not going to read this review. But, if you do like to read and you’re a fan of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days you’re in for a treat.
80 Days is a mobile game, for Apple devices, where you play as Passepartout, valet to Phileas Fogg. You’re in charge of packing the suitcase full of usable and possibly valuable items, handling the funds, making purchases and sales of goods, making travel arrangements, and almost every other decision during your journey. It’s all on your shoulders. You’re going to make it around the world in 80 days because you chose well, or you’re going to fail because you made some mistakes.
I failed. I’m playing through the game again, but I was a failure my first time through, so there’s that. This isn’t a game that’s set so you can’t fail. If you mess up you will not make it around the world in 80 days. And don’t get cocky because you made it to the United States with around 14 days to spare. That means nothing. This takes place in 1872, the Transcontinental Railroad was just finished and even that doesn’t extend across the entire country.
I missed a boat by minutes in one city and was forced to wait until the next departure 2 days later. I pushed a steamship captain on a bet to save time, which eventually led to the explosion of the engines on his boat, killing some of his crew and disfiguring even more. I also got Fogg to withdraw large sums of money from the bank to complete our journey faster. I was robbed, maybe more than once, and I spent money on bribes for faster travel or earlier departures. I made some serious mistakes and it took us 81 days and I don’t even know how much money spent to reach London after we’d left. Fogg had lost the bet and was now financially ruined, but hey, you can always try again. You should try again.
There’s 150 cities to travel between, many different travel options(boat, airship, train, car) – each with their own comfort level (you’ll have to make sure Fogg is comfortable during the journey, you are his valet afterall), items to be bought and sold in the various cities, and many people to talk to. That’s not even counting the decisions you’ll make during the text segments, where you’ll often decide whether or not to explore a city or stay and tend to Fogg.
80 Days is a great game. You can even see other people’s routes and freak out at how somehow is so much further ahead of you even though you’re two days behind them. But don’t let it ever get too stressful, you can always start over if you’re a failure, like me.
You can, and should, buy 80 Days on the App store now.