Mar. 17th, 2017

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The thing about 80 Days is that to really enjoy it to the fullest capacity, you need to forget that it's called 80 Days.

Yes, it's a very loose adaptation/expansion of the classic Verne novel. Yes, Monsieur Fogg still made a bet that sees him and his valet (you, Jean Passepartout) traveling east in a race against time. Yes, the game has a ticking clock that nudges you to shop in each town quickly and check schedules for what day X leaves Y and gets to Z, and scour towns for any other way to get from point D to point H without passing through point F, where there's been a riot that could slow you down...

However, the first few times you play this game, FORGET THE BET. If you miss the 80th day deadline, oh well. Mr. Fogg will just have to go around the world again, won't he?

Instead...

Let yourself wander off to Istanbul on the Orient Express. Cross the Sahara by mechanical camel. Find out how automata are made. Take a beautiful Belgian airship through the skies. Encounter pirates on land, air, and sea. Accidentally stumble upon the plot of other Verne novels already in progress. Work out what kind of character your version of Passepartout is, and then drastically swap his personality the second time you play to see what THAT version has to say. Try to recreate the events of the novel. Deliberately avoid recreating any of the events of the novel.

It's a very large and richly described world, with so much optional text and so many sideplots I feel as if even -I- have only seen perhaps a third of it. Yes, I said "the first few times", because there's so much more than you can see on one trip, and on subsequent trips the random seed changes and all new events appear...

It would be a tragedy to rush through it in one mad rampant eighty-day blur and never see any of it again.

80 Days is amazing. A masterpiece of open-world interactive-fiction writing. Grab it on iOS, Android, or Steam. I cannot rec it highly enough.

(Oh, and when you ARE ready to get serious about it, my best time is 59 days. However, a proper valet never reveals their secrets.)

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