80 Days is a critically acclaimed interactive fiction game released by Inkle on iOS platforms on Jul 31, 2014 and Android on Dec 16, 2014, with an additional journey via the North Pole added to both platforms on that date.
The plot is loosely based on Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days. The year is 1872 and Monsieur Phileas Fogg has placed a wager at the Reform Club that he can circumnavigate the world in eighty days or less. The game follows the course of this adventure, as narrated by Phileas Fogg’s manservant Passepartout, whose actions and decisions are controlled by the player.
After leaving London on an underwater train to Paris, the player can choose their own route around the world, traveling from city to city. Each city and journey contains unique narrative content. The developers estimate that on one complete circumnavigation of the globe players will see approximately 3% of the game’s 500k words of textual content.
In their role as valet, players must manage finances, their master’s health, and time as well as buying and items in different markets around the globe. The choices made by the player in story sections can also have a large impact on how the journey proceeds.
The game has several secrets, Easter Eggs and hidden endings, with the rarest having been seen by as few as 3 players ever.
The game has a rating of 89/100 on Metacritic. Phil Cameron of The Telegraph described it as “one of the finest examples of branching narrative yet created”. AppleNApps noted “The story is absolutely superb with the little twists, and nuances on the classic to keep you constantly engaged to press onwards.” PocketGamer said ” It’s rich with ideas, brilliantly written, and creates a world that you’ll want to visit over and over again.” Gamezebo wrote “80 Days has a solid amount of depth to it, [and] a great story…It’s a challenge – but an intelligent one.” GrabItMagazine said “the studio inkle deserves high praise for creating an accessible and, ultimately, fun way for people to experience Verne’s classic work.”
It was named as Time magazine’s 2014 Game of the Year. Despite being a game, The Telegraph newspaper also named it as “one of the best novels of 2014″. The lead writer, Meg Jayanth, won a UK Writer’s Guild award for her work on the project.
The game received three IGF nominations for 2014, for Excellence in Design, Excellence in Narrative and in the Grand Prize category.