80 Days Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: 80 Days
Genre : Interactive Artistic Creativity System
: Nintendo Switch (also for PC, iOS, Android)
Developers | Publishers : Age rating of the ankle
: PEGI 3+ | US E10+
Price : US$ 12.99 | € 11.29 EU | £ 9.99 UK
Publication date : 1. October 2019.

The revision code was not used, I bought the game myself.

If there’s one thing to say about 80 days, it’s this: Enjoy it slowly, like a cup of tea in the afternoon.

I think you, Mr. Passepartout, the protagonist of the game, will agree. But your host Fogg might not, because it’s all a matter of efficiency. He finally bets on when he’ll be back in London. And whatever your personal preference, as Fogg’s valet, it’s up to you to fulfill your master’s wishes! He doesn’t care about Fogg’s mustache if you want to stop sniffing roses.

Yokohama, where I joined the circus because I was broke.
What would Passepartout think of Mulan?

But to really enjoy these 80 days, you have to remember that it’s more of a bedtime than an adventure.

I learned my lesson after my third or fourth breakthrough. I rushed the game, so I wasn’t very impressed at first. I was impressed by the amount of writing that went into this game, the plots that take place in dozens of cities and journeys, and their wide-ranging outcomes – half of which are impossible to meet without having played the game multiple times. Congratulations to authors Meg Jayant and John Ingold!

Adventures of the human larder

The goal is to travel around the world in 80 days, but you may not make it and still achieve what the game is all about: living the adventure of travel in an age of technological wonders. Developer Inkle plays well with this steampunk theme.

It’s an alternate 19th century. Century. Not only do they travel by boat or train, but they also traverse a city on foot (yes, a city with four mechanical legs), on a flying plastic (what?), on a submarine, on an experimental hovercraft, etc. It’s more about the journey – and the people you meet – than getting to London on time or bringing home a fortune (although earning £20,000 is nice).

Blimp : My favorite mode of transportation.
Have you seen the Taj Mahal, but have you been there?

While the core of the game is reading the stories as they unfold, your role as a player is to choose between different routes, different dialogue options, and to get a feel for the events. It is the latter that I find most interesting and fascinating.

What do you think, Mr. Passepartout, of a parade of fearsome automatons? Or the friendly advances of a man dressed as Death? The suggestion of a jewel thief? Your master’s sleepwalking incident? Or even his role as valet subordinate to Phileas Fogg? After all, that is often the purpose of the trip: not just the facts about a place, but also what you felt about it, the people, the miracles and the failures.

And there are many small and large incidents. The long ocean crossings are particularly dramatic: a murder charge, a kidnapping, a call to mutiny…. The French servant and his true English gentleman would rather do without, thank you very much! As a player, however, I found these events a clever way to kill time on long trips.

Will your French accent help or hinder you? It’s up to you!
What did you say, buddy?!

I loved the novelty of being the servant of the hero rather than the hero himself, and deciding how the servant feels and reacts to events. These reactions can determine the outcome of the story or even serve as a reference point for the story itself.

The Passepartout game also reminds us that behind every big man is his baggage handler. Sometimes it turns out that the carrier is the better man.

Gearboxes (except one or two) well oiled

Not only do you try to discover new stories and cities with each play, you also manage time, health and money. Money flows when you buy and sell property in a city. Clothing, equipment, weapons, trinkets, etc. not only fund your travels, but can also make you healthy and trigger interesting events. These game elements are not particularly fun mechanisms, but they do allow you to change the rhythm of the reading.

Dress chic for the climate.

Aside from the stock management, which is the only time you see a hint of color, the visual style is minimalist and the tones are muted for the other 80 days. Cities are depicted by almost flat silhouettes and in black and white, but sometimes also by rather elaborate silhouettes. The music and sound effects are as minimalist as Master Fogg: understated, discreet, and not the center of attention, but elegant and modern if you pay attention. All of this is secondary and part of the Passepartout experience text.

Do you block, hit or hit hard? It feels like we’re back to the days of text adventures, doesn’t it?
Knowing the real Singapore made me smile.

The only part of the game that seems a little immature is the conversations halfway through. These are short conversations you can have with the driver (or sometimes passenger) of the vehicle in question. They don’t seem worth the effort, although they might reveal new routes. The conversation with Fogg is confusing and useless, rarely providing valuable information. Sometimes the caller is labelled with the wrong name.

I also came across a small insect, or so it seems. I’ve been stuck in Cambridge twice. In both cases, Fogg refused to leave and stayed night after night. After spending a month this way, I had no choice but to restart the game. It doesn’t always happen when I come to Cambridge, and I don’t know what causes it.

Little stories happen in the middle of the track. You also have the opportunity to chat, read the news or serve your host.

However, these setbacks do not affect the overall quality of the game. If chatting in the middle of the job is a waste of time, you can always choose other options: Ask Fogg to shave to restore the points of life, read the paper or do nothing. Sometimes nothing is exactly what I want to do on a trip.

In fact, 80 Days of Play is my perfect vacation: the people you love in isolation, leaning on pillows, ready for a good fairy tale. As someone prone to motion sickness, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I prefer to see new places through images and imagination. In that regard, 80 Days does well, but don’t expect it to be a National Geographic high-definition.

Finished late, heavily in debt. But I had a lot of fun going around the world!

Designed for recreational reading

If you haven’t played too much interactive fiction yet, don’t forget to adjust your mental gear and put on your metaphorical reading glasses. After making this change and taking the time to slowly enjoy 80 Days, I really enjoyed the little stories that make up Passepartout’s grand adventure.

After six games, in which I put about two hours each, there are still quite a few towns I couldn’t get to and puzzles I couldn’t quite solve. If I had gone through the old towns before, I could go back and get a glimpse of the countryside. I almost died, but I’m not really dead yet. Who knows, maybe I’ll make up a story that will make me do it!

Conclusion: I love it.

Message: Not to be confused with the video game of the same name from 2005.


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