Commodore User1st November 1988
Published in Commodore User #62
Around The World In 80 Days
Yes, now you too can have the chance to explore all the sights and sounds of the mid 19th century globe, for you are none other than the hero of Jules Verne's lighthearted book - Phileas Fogg, scientist, explorer, flounderer, drunkard and cad.
Whilst collapsed in a semi-paralytic stupour one night, you made a small (£20,000) wager with a friend that you could circumnavigate the world in under 80 days. Just you and your little French friend Paspatous. You leave England for Paris, and your adventures begin.
Around The World In 80 Days sadly, isn't very exciting. The thought of spending 2 and half months doing what you can now do in under 24 hours doesn't sit comfortably in my mind. Not to say that the game is based on poor subject matter. It's simply that the game is merely based on four sub-games, each supposedly showing part of the journey.
Not that Phileas even makes an appearance in the game! It's all seen through the eyes of Paspatou.
The main part of the game is basically a view of a map of the globe, and a small white dot showing the location of our heroes. Dotted around are various pieces of information showing the date, form of transport, how much money is left, and the four action icons. These are 'Bribe', give the pilot/driver/rower money to make him go faster; 'Cards', which you play to win money, 'Play', which takes you directly to the next subgame, and 'Pause'.
The first of the subgames is a gentle jaunt through an Indian jungle and into an underground temple. Later subgames include acrobat hurling in Japan and bank robber avoiding in London.
The subgames are viewed side-on, much in the mould of Rolling Thunder. The game 'scrolls' (I use the term in the loosest sense of the word, it actually flip-scrolls and very badly too!) from left to right, occasionally up and down, and pits you against various nasties. In the first one, you are pitted against tribal natives which you attack with exploding spears. Later on you kill birds, rats, and the guy who makes all the irritating background flute noises. Yes, that is something that I can say is OK, the sound effects. Though not the best I've heard, they are quite atmospheric, though they can't save this game.
Gameplay is almost non-existant; the controls are slow and unresponsive, and as for the time it takes to fire, you're better off trying to avoid things.
A weak attempt after Into The Eagle's Nest.
The C64 version of ATWIED (sounds like a reggae band) features all the same screens and subgames of the Amiga version, and thankfully has dropped the flip-scroll format and turned into a smooth scroller. The graphics, however, are equally bad and the sound is terrible.
It's also marred by extremely long multi-loading times. Avoid.