I wanted review this several weeks ago when I first found the game. It’s not a visually exciting game. It is however an very re-playable game. First, this game is on Steam and iOS…I don’t think there’s an android version, but I didn’t check so I could be wrong.
The game is set in steampunk world where carriages, early motor cars, trains, and the occasional flying bird or walking city can help you get where you’re going. Which is of course, back to London.
The premise? You are the valet for a rich and eccentric man who has made a bet that he can get around the world in 80 days. You manage the expenses, luggage, make all the travel choices, and of course keep your gentleman well-groomed and happy. The game is all text based with decision trees, but don’t let the simplicity fool you.
As you travel you learn about Mr. Fogg, yourself, and the world. What you pack can make as big a difference to the story as who you meet and what questions you ask. You can find love, find betrayal, become a criminal, get into fights, and for the more exotic stories apparently get to the moon, travel underwater, and journey to the center of the earth, but I have no idea how to do those. Yet.
Honestly I could not rave about this game enough. The first time you play you can only go to Paris from London, after your first game…I said it was replayable, right?! You can start in Cambridge instead. Pack your bags (there’s limited space) and click on your desired route. And embark!
During your travel time you can care for your gentleman, talk with conductors and drivers, or other passengers. And that too, changes your game. For example if you help this poor man find his cigarette case it turns out differently than if you don’t. Maybe minor differences, but sometimes that the difference between being able to continue or spending three nights outside under palm trees while waiting for the bank to wire more funds so you can continue. (That was not my finest hour as a valet).
Once you arrive you may or may not know where you’re headed to next. Sometimes you have a lot of routes, and sometimes only one. Most (but not all) towns have banks which will wire funds, a market to buy and sell goods which is only open at particular times, a hotel to spend the night if the travel doesn’t leave till tomorrow. Sometimes there’s an option to walk around and explore to find new routes. Often there’s nightly events that also may affect your travels. Rescuing a young woman from the Venetian canals might just be the ticket to a fast and cheap route west. (Or it may just be a way to be embroiled in the local politics).
I thought I grabbed pictures of the dirigibles, flying birds, and walking cities…but apparently not. You can complete the game in 3-4 hours. I have completed it bankrupt and having taken over 111 days to return home, in less than 50 days by flying over the arctic, and most often just round 80 days. I have been fed up with and annoyed by my master’s habits, or bursting with enthusiasm at the end of our journey and the best of friends. I’ve doubted Mr. Fogg’s integrity, been drugged in Hong Kong, solved a murder, visited forbidden cities, and traveled in many different experimental crafts.
And I’m sure I will continue to do so. Steam says I have logged a mere 12 hours so far and I know there’s so much more to this game to discover.