• 80 DAYS (2014) - Joseph Humfrey & Jon Ingold

     

    “80 DAYS, based on the classic Verne novel AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, takes the nearly-perfect premise of the book and uses it as a launching point for one of the most interesting tales I’ve come across in the interactive fiction genre … 80 DAYS follows the adventures of English gentleman Phileas Fogg and his French valet Passepartout as they try to make good on Fogg’s wager that he can circumnavigate the globe in a mere 80 days. Fogg’s good name and fortune are on the line, and while 80 days seems like a long time, unpredictable events keep popping up to steal away those precious hours. While various other elements from the original story can potentially crop up depending on your choices, there’s a good chance that the premise is the only familiar element you’ll come across in your own adventures … Passepartout takes a much larger role than Phileas in 80 DAYS, standing in as your playable character … Time is constantly your enemy … You’ll feel like you’re making good time and then suddenly a vehicle goes off in an unexpected direction, your money is stolen, you’re thrown in prison, or some other crazy happening occurs to throw you behind schedule …  the true riches of the journey are found in the people you meet, the places you see, and the events you take part in. Phileas Fogg came to that realization somewhat late in the novel. I wonder how long it will take the average player to find the same truth?” (Excerpted from Shaun Musgrave, TourchArcade, August 1, 2014)

     

    92486863-vollbild“I’ve introduced 80 DAYS to four different people so far, and watching their expression shift, slowly admittedly, from scepticism towards surprise and then excitement has been almost as rewarding as playing the game itself … There’s the pirate airship that tried to kidnap me and Fogg on the way to Berlin. The world champion boxer I sparred with on the Transcontinental train across America. The accidental boarding of a ship that was supposed to go to Chittagong, but ended up with me in Singapore, somewhere I had not researched, had definitely not prepared for, and had no idea how to proceed from … 80 DAYS does something that is wholly new, wrapped in a format that is wholly familiar. It’s vignettes, miniature novellas woven together into a narrative that encircles the globe, and keeps the constant pressure of time in the back of your mind … What makes 80 DAYS so good is the way it gives you as much freedom as it’s possible to give within that remit, while also filling the world with engaging stories that are simultaneously self-contained while also able to slip in and out of the greater narrative of both your trip around the world and the global stage that Inkle Studios, the game’s developer, have created in their own version of the late 19th Century, filled with automatons, airships, mechanical horses and walking cities.” (Excerpted from Phill Cameron, The Telegraph, August 18, 2014)

     

    TravelElephant“The point of 80 DAYS, ultimately, is to enjoy that narrative – the familiar-but-different vision of the world, and Passepartout’s intrigues and flirtations as the player steers him through it, ever attentive to a loose thread or popped collar stud on his gentleman’s person. The game and the player are conspiring to write a book – a picaresque narrative guided but never derailed by the game’s systems. On a simple, mechanical level, 80 DAYS is about resource management. Specifically, three numbered resources, two of which control the rhythms of your journey around the world, one of which measures your proximity to victory or defeat. Money, health and time. And a fourth, inferred from context, which is best described as the cool and well-managed love between manservant and gentleman … Developer Inkle has populated its 1872 with a glittering array of unavoidably Steampunk modes of travel: airships, evapotranspiration-powered flying bicycles, robot-driven steam carriages and submersible ocean liners … That melding of the scientific romance of other works by Verne into Phileas Fogg’s journey broadens the field of play, and has other, intriguing impacts on the world, of which more later … The way the game is played closely resembles the diaries of aristocrats on their grand tours. Fogg and Passepartout arrive in a strange city. They might visit the market, or wire for more money …” (Excerpted from Daniel Nye Griffiths, Forbes, August 20, 2014)

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