80 Days is a video game based loosely on the novel, “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne. Instead of playing Phileas Fogg, who is trying to win a wager by going around the world in 80 days, you play his valet, Passepartout. Yet despite being the servant, you are the one doing all the planning, the research and the dangerous shit so your boss can get all the glory.
Huh, just like in real life.
That alone would be a fun game, but 80 Days becomes a true delight by changing the world that you travel in. Steampunk inventions are everywhere so you are often traveling in coaches drawn by mechanical horses, airships, submersibles and at one point, a freaking city that walks. There is an Artificer’s Guild that adds another layer of intrigue and politics to the already complex real world politics that exist.
The other delight is that this game is woke as fuck. Men and women share many roles from Captains, to soldiers to engineers. Transgender characters are present as well as LGBT relationships. The colonialism of the original is replaced with a scathing commentary on the impacts that colonialism has on society. If you avoid fiction from the past because of the misogyny and racism, then this game is a welcome relief.
Despite being a video game, it is really a reading game. You are going to be reading a lot. There is no dexterity required. The game play is choosing dialogue, buying items and choosing routes. My only critique is that the clock is always ticking, even when you are trying to arrange your inventory from three suitcases down to two because there is limited room on the next gyro-copter.
I played this game a lot when it came out for the iPhone and now there is a version for PC’s and Macs. Both versions are wonderful and I highly recommend it.