By – Sophie Jones

80 Days PC Review 1

Get ready to pack suitcases, as you become the butler to the most pompous man in England, attempting to travel around the world in 80 days. By day 15 I had travelled to Thessaloniki via France, Amsterdam, Berlin and Budapest. I was making rather good time but as I got to Hong Kong my journey took a very bad turn. Whilst exploring the city I found myself in an opium den and before I knew it I had been drugged and was on an airship to Yokohama. My master Mr Fogg had disappeared and I had no money to travel anywhere. As a French butler I leant my services to the circus until Mr Fogg finally found me. This added a few days onto my journey and later I was hindered as Fogg caught cholera in Honolulu. This game really is full of possibilities and anything can go wrong. I didn’t quite make 80 days on my first try but currently on my second attempt I am making great time as I have just arrived in San Francisco after 30 days! I wonder where my choices will lead me as I venture on.

The game begins in London, Butler Passepartout is minding his own business, when his boss returns, exclaiming that they are to jet set around the world in just 80 days so he can win a wager. It is then the players’ job to select items to pack into their suitcase. But in true video game fashion you won’t be able to pack everything, so choose wisely. You are then tasked with uncovering travel routes so you can plan which journey will be the quickest. With 169 cities to choose from there are many places you can go.

These can be unlocked when talking with you current transport driver, if you have the right items in your suitcase you can bribe them to learn more about where your heading and which route is the fastest. Other transportation links can be found if you buy selected documents at the markets found in cities. For example, as I planned to head to America I bought the American train timetable which revealed all the train lines on the map. The final way to locate different ways out of each city is to explore and talk to the citizens. Depending on where you choose to go and to whom you speak will depend on what you discover.

80 Days PC Review 1

However, even if you find the speediest way don’t expect everything to go to plan. There are two factors that you have to keep in mind. You only have a limited amount of funds when you begin, so you always have to be wary of how much you are spending. You can buy things in the cities markets which can be valuable elsewhere, these items are great at earning you more money. Although, sometimes you do have to go out of your way to sell them. After picking up a bust in Greece, which was worth a fortune in Ha’il, I found myself on a camel ride lasting 8 days. Probably not the best way to spend my time. Of course you also have another option you can go to the bank and withdraw money, this will also add days onto your adventure and might leave Mr Fogg in debt when you get back to London.

The second thing you have to watch is Mr Fogg’s health. He starts off with 100 but this will decrease every time you travel. To combat this you can get items from the market that cater to certain transportation methods. When travelling on dusty roads you can purchase equipment that are part of the dusty road set, these will negate the negative effects the journey will have on Fogg. Unfortunately, these are not available everywhere and you won’t have room in your suitcase to pack everything. So, it’s best to have an idea where you’re going so you can prepare for the conditions. Whilst on a sea trawler I hadn’t packed any sea worthy equipment and before I knew it Fogg’s health had plummeted to 40/100. Thankfully, before setting sail I was told how much it would set me back and I knew I could afford such a trip. These item sets can also be handy when trying to negotiate travel prices. Some trains, boats etc. don’t depart on the day you necessarily arrive. You can barter with the drivers and if you have the right sets you can successfully travel earlier or for free.

You can also maintain his health by attending to his needs like any good butler would. But be warned you can only do this if he likes you. If you say the wrong things or decide to act recklessly he will not approve and if the relationship deteriorates he will not let you shave his beard, or shine his shoes, so there will be no way to replenish his health on long tireless trips. The other way to heal is to stay at hotels for the evening, but this will eat up your time and money.

80 Days PC Review 1

One of the best things about this game is that it’s not just about planning and travelling, the story is descriptive, surprising, and highly engaging. As it is told through text windows expect to be doing a lot of reading. You have to be attentive as you are given options to choose and how you respond can effect a great many things, it can open new routes, offend Fogg, lead to money gain/ loss, and most importantly, some choices can delay you a great deal.

What you choose can also change Passpartout’s personality, he can be suave, courageous etc. These can affect how people react to you. Whilst travelling in a blimp a mutiny broke out and I decided to side with the first mate. This then led to the balloon being shot out of the sky, and we began to sink in the ocean. I was stuck there for 3 days and nearly killed Fogg. It is these kind of choices that make the game truly engaging, as you never know what could happen, and this makes every play through unique.

There are several other mechanics present which make it diverse. You have a camera option which takes screenshots and turns them into postcards. This was a cool feature but it didn’t add too much to the experience. There is also a world icon which directs you to the globe view where you can observe the routes you have unlocked and see your stats. These tell you how many days you’ve been travelling, the distance, your temperament, Fogg’s disposition and more. This is a fantastic way to concise all the information and detail what you have done. When journeying you can pass your time by reading the newspaper, this shows a main headline which usually contains one of Passpartout’s exploits. This was enjoyable to read as you could see how your actions were viewed by the cities you had been to.

80 Days PC Review 1

Suitcases also add a puzzle element to the game as you have limited space. You can buy more cases but these will also incur extra costs when traveling. Some routes will only let you take a maximum number of cases as well. Finally, when looking at the map I noticed lines which represented other players playing the game and the directions they had taken. This was fantastic as I could compare my own journey to theirs and see where I could possibly improve. It made the game feel connected.

Aesthetically, the design was simple yet effective. A globe is shown on the main screen and when you visit cities you are taken to a beautifully illustrated cityscape. Whilst traveling the transport vessel is shown on the left hand side as the text window takes up most of the screen. There are so many different ways to get around in the game which keeps it appealing to look at and fascinating to play. I travelled via a mechanical bird, a robotic horse and an airship. This almost gave the world a steam punk vibe as these aren’t your typical city lines in modern day. There was also an extreme emphasis on automations and engineers making it unique and fresh. In the bottom right, the profile of Mr Fogg is present and occasionally a speech bubble will escape his lips with a snide or snarky comment.

My main qualm with the design was its lack of music. When voyaging you sometimes heard the sound of a train or birds in the sky but most of the time you were in utter silence. This was a shame as although the cities were slightly alive with the sounds of the ocean the experience lacked ambiance. With a more diverse soundtrack and perhaps a narrator this title could have been astounding but instead you were left sometimes in silence to scroll though mounds of text.  From a technical perspective I ran into no issues. The game did not falter. In the settings you have the option to adjust text speed, scroll sensitivity, vsync and resolution. As it is just a text based game with some nice picturesque backgrounds it’s not really demanding on your system.

80 Days PC Review 1

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing 80 days as it was a unique and fresh experience. It reminded me of the board games I used to play as a kid. The trophies list is vast, and after only unlocking 3 on my first try, I know there is much more I have yet to explore.  With the promise of a lot of replayability I would say 80 Days is worth every penny.

80 Days Technical Summary:

80 Days PC Review Sum

  • Time Played – 8 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – None
  • DRM – Steam, None if purchased via GOG
  • System Specs – 2.60 GHz Intel i7-4720HQ, 8GB RAM, Geforce GTX 980M
  • Control Scheme – KB/M
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam, GOG
  • Demo – No

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