Around the world in 80 days board game

by Douglas

(Japan)

Click to buy Around the world in 80 days board game from Amazon!Click to buy this item from Amazon!Game:
Around the world in 80 days board game
Game manufacturer:
Rio Grande Games
Number of players:
3-6 Players
Ages:
10+

Quick verdict

A fun travel game where speed might just not be the fastest way to go around the world!

The game and gameplay

Based on Jules Verne’s book of the same name written in 1873, players take on the role of the eccentric Englishman Phileas Fogg in trying to win the bet his “friends” set him and traverse the world using ships or trains in under 80 days. You can actually still win the game even if you take longer than 80 days, but that is by the by.

The first thing that will strike you is the very compact and beautiful board. There is a world map covering most of the playing surface with 10 locations highlighted with a representative picture.

The journey starts in London, then Paris, Brindisi, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Yokohama, San Fran, New York before finally returning to London.You can’t go off route and normally you are only allowed to travel to the next destination (if you can) on your turn. You can’t do the whole trip in one game turn!

There is also a detective (as in the book) that thinks you are a bank robber (please read the book!) and will detain you for two days questioning if you ever end up in a location where the detective is.

Click to buy Around the world in 80 days board game from Amazon!Click to buy this item from Amazon!To travel the world you use travel cards – cards with pictures of ships or trains and a number referring to the number of days it’ll take you to travel if you use this card. Some places require two ship cards to travel while other places require a combination of ship and train.

Using two train/ship cards with the same number mean that you only have to use half the total number of days added together. There is also a very original game playing method which I found really interesting and fun.

At the start of each round a new batch of travel cards are dealt out at the bottom of the board. The cards are placed under the “action track”. When a card is taken (a bit like a profession chosen in Puerto Rico) you get to keep the card and do whatever action the card was placed under.

For a 6-player game you can collect gold coins (used to buy more cards or re-rolls on a dice), use a hot-aired balloon (possibility to decrease number of days taken on a particular trip), take a mystery event card, move the detective, take the starting marker to begin the next round, or swop travel cards in your hand for some new ones.
Pros and cons

It’s a great game. There are time markers that keep score of the number of days taken around the outside of the board game and a host of bonus chips for the first (and last) person when they reach each location.

Mystery event cards can also be used to help progress (or hinder others) but with a catch. There are two event cards (bad weather) which force all players to add an extra day or two to their totals and each player must return any event cards being held in their hands!

The verdict

The compact game board, colours chosen for the playing pieces and the small touches (complete with gold coins with the Queen Vic on them), make Around the world in 80 days board game a lot of fun.

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