Writing new games in BASIC is definitely a lost art. But I was drawn back to this forgotten medium.

Back in 2017, I had put together plans to implement Tiny BASIC on an Arduino with a 4-row x 20-character LED display. I’d then adapt classic BASIC games to it. This was intended as an homage to the fun I had with BASIC machines in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

I’d converted a few of the games into Tiny BASIC when I got distracted by Michael Rieneck’s board game, Around the World in 80 Days. I’d known that Oregon Trail was outside the capabilities of Tiny BASIC, but converting the 80 Days board game seemed doable.

In a few nights I wrote it in structured BASIC for LowRes Coder, with the plan to rewrite it in Tiny BASIC. But I never got that far.

After watching the European Alliance TV series starring David Tennant, and then rereading the novel, I decided to update the game. Once I discovered wwwBASIC, that seemed the logical choice. Unfortunately, wwwBASIC’s lack of scrolling made it a bad fit. Fortunately, Charlie Veniot fixed that, and other issues, with his BASIC Anywhere Machine. So I adapted the game to his BASIC (“Anywhere BASIC”?).

In Eighty Days, you race against the clock to travel around the world in 80 days or less!

Tickets are limited. At each city, you can:

  • Purchase one ticket of the type available that day.
  • Get as many 4-day rail tickets or 9-day steerage steamer tickets as you wish.
  • Bribe an agent (+ £2) to buy a specific ticket.
  • Wait a day for a specific ticket.
  • Take the first available ticket (at random) for a £1 surcharge.
  • Embark for the next city.

Of course, something may go wrong as you travel! In fact, almost half the source code is around handling travel mishaps.

You can play the game on GitHub.

Illustration credits: Title card owned by BBC One et al for the Around the World in 80 Days 2021 TV series. Map from Wikipedia.