To many people with an interest in literature, Jules Verne is considered one of the true fathers of science fiction. The iconic French author who did most of his work in the 19th century is responsible for a number of highly adventurous stories that pioneered a number of scientific concepts—some of which have more or less become reality in the years since. Verne's writings focused largely on themes of travel and exploration, with his two most lasting works being Around The World In 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.
For book lovers, 20,000 Leagues actually took on new relevance last year. It played a significant role within the pages of Anthony Doerr's World War II novelAll The Light We Cannot See, which incidentally won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Verne's deep sea adventure tale was referenced throughout Doerr's novel as a source of comfort (and sometimes a symbolic take on the greater story) for one of the main protagonists.
The way in which 20,000 Leagues factored into a 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner demonstrates that Verne's stories truly are timeless, as fascinating to a modern audience as they surely were to people reading it a century ago. Despite advances in technology and the realization of some of Verne's imaginations, the stories are fraught with incredible adventures and fascinating characters. Weirdly enough, this has also made the works of Jules Verne the inspiration for a number of modern gaming titles.
Sticking with 20,000 Leagues, the clearest example is an android mobile game called20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: Captain Nemo. It offered players the chance to escape the famous submarine captain's clutches during a crazed journey across the oceans. This more or less follows the plot of the book, and it made for a pretty natural adventure and puzzle solving game with players solving various tasks in the hopes of slipping past Nemo.
Around The World In 80 Days has an even stronger presence in gaming, most notably through a game at Gala Bingo called Around The World In 80 Plays. That site features a number of bonuses and promotions to interest new players initially, but it also has various game titles that speak to literature, film, and TV. The Around The World In 80 Days tribute stands out most among these titles because it combines a 19th century novel with a concept as modern as online casino gaming. And the game itself is a delight, offering players 80 spins to "explore the globe" and "bring back hidden treasures."
Actually, this isn't the only modern game based on this particular work of Verne's, as there's also a pretty fascinating mobile app for this one too. 80 Days, which was made by Inkle, is actually one of the more impressive achievements to have hit the app stores in recent memory. It coupled a hugely expansive narrative based on Around The World In 80 Days with an explorative gaming concept. Basically, you plot your route around the world, moving from city to city in the role of Passepartout, the faithful valet to the wealthy Phileas Fogg (all from the book). Your task is to pick a sensible route while balancing finances, keeping Fogg happy, and seeing as much of the world as possible. It's a bit like playing your way through the actual novel.
One wonders what Verne might say if he were alive to see his century-old science fiction novels being adapted in this manner today. It certainly speaks to the enduring quality of his work, as well as to the fact that game developers will work with anything that can spark some intrigue.