Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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The Sorcery! series has been great so far, which means anyone with an interest in interactive fiction should have been pretty excited by the upcoming release of 80 Days. Guess what? You were right to be psyched! 80 Days is a fantastic game for the interactive fiction aficionado, providing plenty of interesting choices and some much-requested replayability.
Based upon the classic novel by Jules Verne, you take the role of Passepartout, Phileas Fogg's loyal servant, as the pair attempt to travel the world in 80 days. Changing things around from the book, there's a steampunk twist to everything here and it works well at offering a fresh take on an otherwise familiar story.
Action is very much like the Choose Your Own Adventure books of days gone by. As you travel from city to city, you're given a series of choices of what to do next. It's impressive the amount of depth that 80 Days appears to offer, with each play through feeling quite different from the last. 150 cities are at your disposal but being able to explore some of them will involve having the right conversations with people, picking up relevant maps, or simply stumbling across a pertinent piece of information.
Choices are frequently dictated, much like in life, by time and money, with each playing a pivotal role in what you decide to do next. You can acquire more money via the bank but there's a waiting period involved, which then affects your chances of traversing the world in 80 days. Fortunately it never feels too restrictive, with the journey always feeling pretty exciting.
Adding a competitive element of sorts, you can always check to see how other players are faring via a live feed feature on the game's map. It works like ghosts in a racing game, giving you an idea of how others are progressing, so it's not a major feature but it's a neat sideline idea. Those who don't always have an internet connection will be pleased that it doesn't stop 80 Days from being fully playable while offline.
The sheer depth of the storyline ensures that 80 Days is a particularly fine piece of interactive fiction. Particularly wordy at times, it won't appeal to adrenaline junkies, but those who enjoy fiction and being in charge of where a story goes will lap this up time and time again.