Sunday, June 07, 2009

Around the World in 80 Days, review

I've just played my way through a solo, virtual 3 player, game of Around the World in 80 Days.


The game is inspired by the Jules Verne novel of the same name. Each player takes the part of a person racing around the world, attempting to complete the journey in 80 days or less.


Be the person who gets around the world in the least number of days. It's not actually required to do it in less than 80.

The Board

Around the edge runs the score track from 0 to 80 which scores the number of days taken to travel the journey.

Across the middle of the board are 10 spaces scattered across the world, your piece will travel along these 10 spaces. Between each space it indicates the mode of transport that has to be used to move from space to space. Each location also has two bonus chip spaces.

The Bits

There is a heavy start player counter showing a stopwatch. Each player has a wooden meeple and a matching score token. They also get a coloured chit that the player keeps in front of them until they get around the world.

There are some bery thick card coins that you'll earn.

A standard wooden die.

Two decks of cards. The first bigger deck shows trains and ships in various denominations.

The second deck is the event deck, each card is either an event or a bonus to the player that draws it.

There are also small but thick cardboard bonus counters that get put on the board next to the locations.

Finally there is a detective meeple.

Set Up

Shuffle the decks. Deal three travel cards to each player, put the detective on his start space, pick a start player and your good to go.


The start player draws and lays out 1 more travel card than players against the boards action track.

Then players take turns. On your turn you take one of the cards layed out by the start player. You also get to carry out the action associated with the card you took. one lets you get a coin, another lets you use a balloon on your turn, another makes you draw an event card, another lets you move the detective, another lets you be the start player next turn and the last lets you discard and replace cards from your hand.

Then you can play cards from your hand to travel to the next location.

Is that it?

No, not really. There are a lot of things to consider when you step through your turn.

The trave cards come in various denomination. A train card of value 4 costs you four days to play it, so picking lower value cards is better than picking higher value cards. But that's not your only decision when picking a card. The action you get to choose when you pick a card is very important.

For instance when you take the Detective action you get to place it anywhere. Any player who ends their turn in the same space as the detective loses two days so zapping the other players with this is very important.

The Balloon action is an important selection. When you take this action you can ignore one of the cards you play to move and instead roll the die to see how many days the trip takes. Additionally if roll high you can spend a coin to reroll that die, so picking the coin action is also important.

The event option is generally a good option as events usually give you a good thing.

Also choosing to be the start player this turn means you get to choose from all of the cards next turn.

Now choosing when to move from one space to the next is also important. Not only do you have the choice to not move and collect cards, but the first and last player to each location get to reveal one of the bonus chips in that location. These give you bonus and often your opponents penalties.

Being the first to get round the world has it's own appeal even if it takes you longer because after someone gets to the goal every other player who hasn't made it yet loses a day every turn.

There are a lot of decisions here. Everything matters. Being first has bonus', being last has bonus' waiting for good cards is important, but not waiting too lonmg is also important!


I really liked what I found here, the components are very nice, the game play keeps you interested, the ability to stuff your opponents is fun and the theme is very friendly. of course anyone who remembers the novel is going to get a kick out of the events and game theme.

I like it!

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