Ever wondered what it would be like to travel the world in 80 days, like the illustrious explorer Phileas Fogg? Wonder no more, because you can now recreate his intrepid voyage in this choose-you-own-adventure-style game/interactive book.
Route to victory
There are 144 different cities in 80 Days, though you won't be able to visit them all; The trick is to work out the best route as you go. There are various weird and wonderful modes of transport at your disposal, and more than one way of getting from city to city. You need to factor in the cost, the time taken, and the connections with other places you want to visit.
When you arrive in a city you get a number of options: you can buy and sell goods in the market, stay overnight in a hotel, or explore the city to get information that will help your quest. For example, you might find out a quicker route to Stockholm, or learn that a fur coat that cost buttons in Munich can be sold for a fortune in Warsaw.
All of the cities are shown on an interactive globe, which you can rotate and zoom in and out of. Routes that you've discovered are shown via a line between two cities, and you can tap it to view information about the mode of transport, price, and journey time.
The story unfolds
These gaming (or, better, 'decision-making') elements of the game are knitted together by an exquisitely-written text narrative. After each short section of story you're given a number of options to select where the story goes. Depending on what you select you'll encounter different people, experience different events, or land yourself into trouble or not.
For me, it's the narrative that makes 80 Days so enjoyable. In fact, at times I found the process of planning routes, booking hotels, or buying hats to be a tedious distraction to the overall adventure.
What a wonderful world
80 Days is immaculately presented. Although it's not graphically rich and a lot of it is text based, the overall package is stylish and engaging. For example, as you're reading a chunk of text you'll get the sound effects of wherever you happen to be: whether it's a city square, a train, or a barge. Subtle non-intrusive animation is used to good effect here, too.
An incredible journey
Whether you've read Jules Verne's masterpiece or not, 80 Days is a great way to enjoy the yarn in a more immersive way. In fact, it's actually the perfect accompaniment to a long trip!