80 Days is the perfect mobile game for holiday downtime
No matter what your plans are for the next two weeks, chances are that you will have a lot of downtime that needs to be killed. You might be on a plane towards a tropical island, on the bus to go see your brother, heading into the city to shop, or taking a short break from your family party, but there will be some time when it’s just you and your phone. 80 Days, from Inkle Studios, seems to have been specifically — and perfectly — engineered for end of the year downtime.
In case you didn’t catch the Jules Verne reference, 80 Days is game about traveling around the world as quickly as possible. The catch is that it’s 1872 so you are without the aid of modern airplanes and high-speed trains. The other catch is that in this Jules Verne-inspired world you might not have jets, but you have undersea ships, rocket-planes, and dirigibles to get you from England and back in just a few short weeks.
The nineteenth century futurism extends past transportation and into the world through its text adventure gameplay. As you travel you talk to people to discover new routes between cities, but past that useful knowledge you can dive deep into the world, learning about automaton soldiers, the Artificer’s Guild, and all manner of sub-narratives. The decisions you make in the text adventures impact your trip — one option may earn you some a few pounds (as in English money) while another might get you locked up for two much-needed days. Reading carefully and understanding the world will help, but there is a lot of luck involved as well.
With 148 cities, there are an endless number of ways for you to make your way around the globe. Picking the right route is important, but you can’t just zip from east to west because you might not discover the correct route in time, the boat you want might not leave for three days, or there could be a crew mutiny as you cross the Pacific causing your route to be changed. 80 Days has a delightful mixture of planning and surprise, so that you always feel like you are master of your fate, but never to the point where you are bored.
The game is interesting, challenging, and replayable, but it does all the other stuff a great mobile game should. It has excellent visuals and sound, and, most importantly, it handles save states perfectly. If you are playing and then have to take a call or reply to a text (or go to Google Maps to check out where your next stop should be) the game is always exactly where it should be when you open it back up. This sort of reliability is absolutely critical to mobile strategy games. If I’m playing an action game I understand that I might lose 30 seconds of play time if I close the app, but a game like this, that takes well over an hour to beat and involves significant planning, has to perfect when it comes to saving the state of my game no matter what happens with my phone or tablet. 80 Days does just that.
Source: Games – Geek.com