80 Days is a fantastical reinterpretation of the Jules Verne classic Around the World in Eighty Days. Here, airships and mechanical men intermingle with more mundane aspects of the 19th century to create an environment that is both familiar and charmingly strange. Much as in the book, the main goal in this interactive fiction game for iOS devices is to traverse the globe within the eponymous time span.
There is no right way to play 80 Days, the latest title from development studio Inkle. As the loyal Passepartout, it's possible to either pick the most expedient path across the world or dive into the game's rich, intricate environments. A large part of 80 Days is delivered through Meg Jayanth's gorgeous writing, which players interact with via text prompts. The journey itself, however, is conducted by discovering new routes and choosing the most appropriate mode of transportation. 80 Days also includes a live feed that tracks the progress others have made through this entrancing game, providing a competitive element unusual for the genre.
Thick with mysteries and opportunities for disaster, Inkle's new title is far more palatable than its source material. It is unlikely to appeal to those who don't enjoy extensive reading but for people who love high adventures and good writing, 80 Days is a voyage that must be taken. The game costs $4.99 and can be purchased here.