Remember the movie Around The World In 80 Days starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan? No? Nor do I. Nor does anyone. I bet even Coogan has wiped it from his memory. If you asked him about it I have the feeling he’d mutter: “I’m sure you’re thinking of Ricky Gervais…” before running the other way.
Yeah, well, anyway, this game has nothing to do with that movie except for the fact that they’re both based on the novel Around The World In 80 Days by Jules “Hammer Time” Verne.
While a game where you play as Jackie Chan as your roll some dice to see how many wacky antics you get up to on this turn does sound appealing; 80 Days: The Game replaces that idea with the idea of collecting cards in order to complete routes.
< I declare myself the greenest of all the people!
Each player chooses the little wooden person they feel best represents them and starts the game in London. The aim? Why that would be to make it all the way around the world in 80 days or less to beat your fellow racers! Take longer than 80 days and you’re as good as done, so stick a fork in you, or however that expression goes.
To move from city to city there are a selection of different links. Want to get from San Francisco to New York you have to use two train cards. Want to travel from New York to London why that will cost you two boats and a train, SIR. The numbers on the cards indicate the number of days it costs to travel. Use a boat with an 8 on it, and a train with a 3, that trip just cost you 11 days.
How do you get more travel cards?
Why, that’s so simple I can answer it right here… with these words…
On each turn a selection of cards is dealt along the bottom of the board, lining up with an action. On your go you pick up a card and perform the corresponding action. Depending on the number of players, depends on the number of options that are presented in the game, but let’s say you’re playing an all out six player non stop no nonsense action packed extravaganza, the options available are:
Option 1: Get a gold coin! BRILLIANT! Gold coins are used when rolling the dice. Don’t like your roll? Pay a gold coin and roll again! It’s that simple! It’s like the way we used to play Yahtzee! Don’t like your roll? Pay me a gold coin and you can roll again… that’s not true… that’s actually a lie… I’ve never played Yahtzee… I was just trying to be cool… be down with that Yahtzee crowd… they’re so leet they spell leet with 3’s… I wish I was madcore like them…
< Yahtzee: all the fun of the math combined with all the excitement of being an old person!!
Use the balloon. On your turn instead of using a travel card, you can instead roll the dice (or is it die? Or is it ‘I don’t care’?) Whatever you roll is how many days it takes to travel. Not happy with the six you just rolled, pay a gold coin and roll again.
Option 3: Pick up a Question Mark Card (which has a more accurate title, but I’m not going to look it up, because I’m a massive jerkwad.) The Question Mark Card’s give you a variety of different options like “use a balloon” or “use a submarine” or “go get me a drink while I look at your cards.”
The fourth option is: Move the Detective. You can move the fat little detective around the board from city to city, if you land in the city with the detective in it you lose two days. So the detective can be really devastating if you’ve only got a couple of days to play with, but what we’ve found in most of the games we’ve played is that the detective gets moved to a city which we’ve all passed and he just stays there until the games over. Poor detective, he can’t help being so useless.
Choose option 5 and you get to be the start player on the next turn, which is handy as the start player gets the first choice of cards.
Option Six is:
Something which I’ve never used because we haven’t played with six people… as I don’t have five other friends Trade up to three travel cards with the face down pile.
The last person to arrive in London is automatically disqualified and the person who took the least amount of days to arrive is the winner of the RACE. AROUND. THE. WORLD. IN. 80. DAYS. FULL. STOP. NO. RETURNS.
< Six players? Why that seems almost ideal!
80 Days plays dramatically different depending on the number of ‘racers’ you have sitting around the board. We’ve found the more the better.
Every two player game we’ve attempted goes a little something like this:
We are both even.
I do not have enough cards to complete one leg.
The other player is now ahead by one leg and wins.
NON STOP THRILL RIDE ACTION.
Three players is a little better, but we’ve found that the game really shines with four or more.
One of the main complaints levelled at the game (levelled by us, mind you) is that there isn’t a whole lot going on. Yeah, you get a choice of what cards you’re collecting and it’s not blind luck like if you were just drawing them from the deck, but it never feels as though you actually get a chance to implement any real strategic moves.
More players gives you more leeway in this regard. In a three player game if you’re the guy who hangs back for a turn or two to pick up some better cards so you make better time, you’re toast. You’re done and dusted. You’re knocked over and painted blue. You’re… something else. But with more players racing to the finish you get more of a chance to catch up.
Am I recommending Around The World In 80 Days? If you have six players it’s worth it more than if you only have three. I personally think it’s more fun than my friends and family do, but I think the fact they didn’t pay any money for it and I did strongly influences those opinions. So if you shell out cash for 80 Days you will force yourself to like it more than others will. Also it looks real purdy.
- Last edited Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:37 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:31 am
Don't forget that coins can be used to buy cards also. That can drastically change a game if the right event card comes up. And in a six player game the seventh available option is for the last player to draw one card blind from the deck.
 And you're not 100% certainly eliminated if you're the last player to reach London, you're only out of it if you don't reach London on the same turn as the pen-ultimate player (or 4th player in a 6-player game)
- Last edited Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:01 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:59 am
One of the main complaints levelled at the game (levelled by us, mind you) is that there isn’t a whole lot going on.
For a gamer that's true, but for non-gamer's, there is plenty going on in:
> Collecting the right cards to move on, trying to get low numbers of pairs
> Collecting and applying event cards
> Using the balloon and rolling dice [note: I understand you still have to play the right cards to move to the next location, you can't just say balloon and roll the dice]
> Collecting gold coins so you can pay for dice re-rolls and deciding whether to push one's luck with a dice re-roll
> Moving the detective so as to hold up or penalize others, such as the leader. We play so that you can move it onto another player's square after their turn and they have to add the two day penalty.
For a gamer that's true, but for non-gamer's, there is plenty going on in
I agree that for a gamer there isn't a lot going on, but I've played a lot of my games with my girlfriend who would insist on being called a non gamer, and friends of ours who other than a game of Carcassonne under their belt would also be non gamers. They didn't find a lot going on either. They didn't really get the feeling of having any influence over the game.
'You pick up a card, you play a card, you move to the next city.'
It's not that the game isn't fun, it's just that there's better games out there to get non gamers involved.