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80 DAYS

by inkle and Meg Jayanth

Science Fiction
2014

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Number of Reviews: 2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An extensive, map-based CYOA game with an enormous amount of polished content, April 6, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours
In this commercial game, you are trying to get around the world in 80 Days with Phineas Fogg. It is ostensibly based on the novel, although I haven't read it yet.

This game employs a beautiful map used to select various routes across the world, and has nice, mostly static visuals representing your conveyance, the city you're in, and various NPCs as well as the player and his luggage. However, this game is very much CYOA in beautiful packaging rather than just a text-heavy graphical game.

The usual pattern of the game is that you start each day in your current city with some funds and the chance to get more funds, buy some luggage, sell old luggage, or explore. You then pick a route to travel onto the next city, which may or may not require waiting a few hours or days for.

Each route can cost between a few dozen pounds to 7000 or more pounds. Faster routes generally cost more. Along each route, various events happen such as mutinies, romance, murders, etc. which you have to deal with. Your choices affect what city you are in, how fast you get there, NPC reactions, your amount of money, Phineas' health, and extremely poor choices can lead to death.

The setting is steampunk, a genre which I am on the fence about. Among steampunk games, the writing is very good. Some highlights for me were Haiti (Spoiler - click to show)with organic automata, Agra (Spoiler - click to show)A city that walks on four legs, with the Taj Mahal on top, and Salt Lake City, which provided my first glimpse at an interactive fiction treatment of Mormons, my religion. On their treatment of Mormons, I was pleased to see that they treated it fairly kindly, with any negative reactions being those typical of the day. This is typical of the whole game, in that it seems remarkably well-researched (although never perfectly) for its scope.

I found the game somewhat tedious at times, especially on multiple replays. I frequently found myself skipping filler text or repeatedly tapping on the clock. However, on playthroughs where I focused on exploration over time, I had an enjoyable experience.

Overall, I strongly recommend this game for anyone without a distaste for steampunk. I know several people who would love this game if it had a more realistic flavor. But the steampunk setting allows any historical inaccuracies to be waved away, and provides for some fun pictures, so it's a trade-off.