Adventure games are not the only ways to experience interactive storytelling, especially when it comes to freedom of choice. Inkle Studios‘ 80 Days is a fresh take on interactive fiction with strategy elements.
Do you remember the choose-your-own adventure books? If not, then don’t worry, because they were quite popular back in the days before Windows took the world by its hand, before gaming wasn’t anything more than a nerd activity. But these days, with smartphones ruling supreme, a game like 80 Days can thrive.
Based on and incorporating parts of Jules Verne’s original, the game is much more than simply reading text and watching pretty (static) pictures. There’s even steampunk in the classic tale of a man who bets he can travel the world in around 80 days, i.e. transportation systems like mechanical camels are no surprise.
What’s more surprising is the way how the story elements play out, depending on your choices. The starting point and goal is always London, but in between you have to decide which cities to visit and what to do there, who you meet and who you avoid. As other travelers also try to travel as fast as possible, strategic planning is required.
All in all, this sounds like a story-focused game, but with enough to keep it interesting through various playthroughs. The PC version includes 30 new cities in North and South America, new characters, and new plot lines, something which wasn’t available in the original mobile game. So don’t wait any longer to get the definitive version of a game that already won an IGF award for Excellence in Narrative and was nominated for 4 BAFTAs as well.
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