The iPad's lush screen and touch controls make it an alluring gateway to interactive fiction, including the exceptional 80 Days from inkle. Based on that mainstay of summer reading lists, Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, 80 Days is a masterful example of the new generation of IF, blending dynamic presentations of text with gorgeous graphics and scene-setting music. It more or less follows the basic premise of the book, in which Phileas Fogg bets his buddies that he can circumnavigate the globe in the titular amount of time. You don't have to consider yourself a fan of literature or even reading, per se, to thoroughly enjoy the adventure, which beautifully intertwines strategy with the story's well-written narrative.
You play as Passepartout, valet extraordinaire to wager-loving Fogg who, it must be said, is kind of a tool. While Fogg sits back and reads the paper, it falls to you to arrange travel, manage the money, and generally keep the journey moving forward. It's an uneven division of labor, but it does give you the opportunity to explore the small hamlets, bustling towns and back alleys through which your extraordinary journey will take you. As you walk the streets, you'll meet artisans crafting marvelous steampunk creations, you'll hear whispers - and shouts - about war and revolution, and you'll meet more than one intriguing lady. Whether or not you complete your trip in the target 80 days, you'll find much to enjoy on the way. The story unfolds in choose-your-own-adventure style, offering you different ways to react or respond to conversation and events. Your Passepartout can be reserved or roguish, curious or discreet, or a little bit of all of the above. There are no dead ends for picking the "wrong" answer, just different opportunities, which makes replaying 80 Days not only enjoyable, but desirable.