I am pretty sure that future historians will be shocked to discover that Victorian London never really had any steam-powered robots and that steampunk was, indeed, an imaginary thing. Then again, we’ll all be dead by then and it’d probably be wiser to simply focus on contemporary matters. The freshly released 80 Days (iPad, iPhone) for example.
80 Days appropriately takes place in a steampunked version of 1872 and is obviously based on Jule Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days classic. You, the player, are cast as Passepartout, the valet of Phileas Fogg, and have to make sure he and you both actually manage to traverse the world in 80 days — hopefully by passing through up to 150 cities. And, no, there really isn’t a moment to waste as even the best airship or the fastest mechanical steed cannot compare to a modern jet airplane.
Choosing the optimal route(s) is then quite a challenge, especially as you have to also make choices at every place you visit, keep an eye on a frustratingly unstoppable in-game clock, manage your extremely limited inventory space and enjoy all the wonderful prose and illustrations the game and its well-crafted and excellently written world have to offer. Not that the game is difficult, mind you, but it definitely isn’t a walk in a Victorian park either.
From France to Burma and from the Amazon to Central Africa you’ll enjoy a brilliantly paced, memorable and quite frankly terrific piece of modern interactive fiction, that masterfully blends strategy, resource management and adventure.
80 Days is available now on the App Store and will set you back a mere $4.99.