80 Days, or Phileas Fogg goes steam punk

Choose your own adventures are an old thing: if you're not familiar with the genre, it's something that started out as books.  As in real, paper books. They were usually some type of adventure books, where you'd arrive at a decision point after a page or two and then jump to a different page after choosing how you'd want the story to proceed.

So, after computers came into a picture, it kinda made sense that people would start making something similar in game form. Like Telltale, whose games are pretty much chosen your own adventures with a couple of QTE's throw in for a good measure. And then there's the stuff Tin Man Games does, which are much closer to actual books, with a lot of text and in some cases some minor dice rolling RPG battles thrown in for a distraction.

Istanbul with luggage full
With this lengthy opening, I'll just get right on the subject at hand, which is 80 Days by Inkle LTD.  It is, after all, an another kind of a take on the ages-old choose your own adventure genre.

80 Days is based on the old, old adventure story "Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. It's a tale of a British gentleman Fogg and his manservant Passepartout, who embark upon a journey to travel around the world in only 80 days after Fogg makes a bet about it at his club. This time around though, instead of your standard 19th century England, the world has been given a strong steampunk flair. And to make thing more interesting, the countries around the world are in one turmoil or an another, be it looming war or a smouldering revolution.

At times the conversations tackle more serious matters.
Unlike in the original story, 80 Days allows you to choose pretty freely how and from where you travel. You can, if you want, try to copy the journey from the original book if you remember the locations or you can travel through Russia, Africa, Australia or either of the poles and all of America. In fact, the game doesn't end if you don't make it in 80 days. It lets you travel at your own leisure. In all, you can choose around 170 different cities to go through and all of them have a different kind of narratives and things happening in them.

The gameplay itself is pretty simple. You choose your destination from a map, then you'll make decisions during the travel. As you play as Passepartout you can either choose to attend your master or spend time speaking to other passengers, trying to source up new routes to embark or other clues on what lays ahead.

The world map of 80 Days has more than enough routes to choose from
The way 80 Days has been done allows quite a different kind of game experience on multiple playthroughs. If you choose to follow different paths to travel through different cities, you are bound to stumble upon different stories and people. There's a surprising amount of content put in the game and the writing is overall very good. Sometimes it's humorous, at times it's serious, but it's always interesting and well written.  On my two playthroughs, I didn't see many similarities in the stories, even when I used some of the same routes on my second play through. Despite I met same people on those legs of my journey, not the same things happened.

The narrative isn't all static, you can alter the things to a degree.
Overall I'd say 80 Days is very much recommended game for anyone who's interested in choose your adventure style fiction. It's highly replayable and it doesn't sound or look half bad either. On a side note, I played 80 Days on my Android tablet, but it's the same game on all platforms, so choose the one that suits you the best.

Available through Steam, Google Play and GOG. It's also on several other platforms, so go knock yourself out.

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