I'm trying to arrange a mutiny. A storm has pushed the ship Phileas Fogg and I are travelling on off course, and the captain has decided to head for Honolulu instead of San Francisco.
We don't have time for such a diversion. We are, after all, trying to circumnavigate the globe in under 80 Days.
It's not going well though. I keep saying the wrong thing, turning possible allies against me as I try to drum up enough support to overthrow the ship and make sure it goes to its intended destination.
We're already short of money, short on time, and short on pretty much everything apart from shaving cream and wool trousers.Travel log
The game is essentially a choose your own adventure book, albeit presented with the sort of swagger and literacy that some examples of the genre can't muster.
The story is set in a steampunk world filled with incredible contraptions and fantastic characters. It's a war torn world, revealed in snatches of conversation and fantastically written descriptions.
You play Fogg's manservant, Passepartout. Every choice you make alters the story in some way. You might change your relationship status, find some new routes from a fellow passenger, or discover a way to make some cash at your next destination.
Planning your route means weighing up your luggage, the cost of transport, how much health it's going to cost you, and where you can move on to from your destination.Lost in a good way
You can get cash from the bank, but it takes a few days to get a decent amount. Some of the cities you end up in have markets where you can buy and sell goods. Most places have hotels, but sleeping rough is a valid tactic if you're low on money.
There are some amazing sights to see on your journey. In India you'll come across a walking city, in Paris you can chat to the creators of ornate blimps, and in Russia you'll find yourself in the middle of a robotic revolution.
The story is so good you'll want to play through it multiple times, partly to see everything the beautifully created world has to offer, and partly to experience the other side of the choices you made the first time round.
There's a clever multiplayer meta-game as well. You can track the progress of other players as they make their way around the world, seeing how far ahead of your friends you are and which routes they've picked.Steam
The mutiny doesn't play out the way I want it to, and Fogg and I are dumped on Honolulu behind schedule. It's fine though, it's another unexpected part of the journey, another conundrum to overcome with words and a map of the sea lanes.
80 Days is something special. It isn't perfect, and sometimes the decisions you make won't have the outcomes you expect. But there's a weight to proceedings that makes you push on through the wonderfully written experience.
If you've any interest in story, then this is a game you have to play. It's rich with ideas, brilliantly written, and creates a world that you'll want to visit over and over again.
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