Be that as it may, what is your choice of holiday reading? Something heavy? Something light? A biography of a notable count?
Or are you far too modern to read anything at all, and prefer to take a 3DS and a wallet of games with you?
Well get this, everyone in the entire world, and their daddies: 80 Days is holiday reading, a video game, and a holiday all in one. Whaaaaa...? How is this even possible? I'll tell you how it's possible: magiii-ii-i-ic-c-c-c... co-COUGH!
80 Days is closer to a choose-your-own adventure book than the text-based adventures of yore... albeit a choose-your-own adventure book the likes of which my juvenile, Deathtrap Dungeon-loving, brain could never have conceived.
The tale it tells is a sort of steampunk-y reworking of Jules Verne's classic novel Around The World in Forty Seven (80) Days; it's all cities on legs, and giant robot birds, and tungsten widgets.
The book is narrated by Phileas Fogg's manservant Passepartout - who's essentially the player's character. You get to choose the route around the world, selecting diversions en route, and juggling your party's resources. You'll be told at times that you've affected your relationship with Fogg for better or ill, though it's hard to know whether this has any direct bearing on the journey.
What's really smart here, and lifts it above other interactive stories, is that you don't interact with a pre-determined world: you also control what Passedapoo and Fogg witness on the journey - essentially rewriting the book (from a series of multiple choice options) as you go along.
It's beautifully written tale, full of rich, evocative texture, and moments of surprising wit. The unfolding of your particular route feels entirely natural, even as you control the twists and turns. It's possible to play through the game dozens of times and never have quite the same adventure twice.
Previously, the game was available on Android and iOS, and was my required bedtime reading for a couple of weeks. In that version it was a monochrome, mostly text-based affair. This PC and Mac incarnation adds some extra colour, and reworks the interface slightly. Plus, you can now see the locations of other players on the world map - and their current mode of transport.
Apparently, there are some new story avenues and locations - though with the thousands of options available, best of luck finding them.
Overall, this is polished, wonderfully written, and utterly unlike anything else. Howeverrrr....
The disappointing truth is that while this new version of 80 Days is essentially the same game as before - with that same genius structure and lovely writing - it doesn't feel a natural fit on a Mac or PC.
It's like returning to a beloved holiday destination - a quiet, little, seaside town that you last visited six years ago - and discovering a Starbucks on every corner, and a foam disco where the teashop used to be. Actually no. It doesn't feel like that at all. But it does feel like being made to go on holiday in a garish hat.
80 Days is something that really belongs on a portable platform. Something, basically, that feels a bit more like a book. But in the unlikely event that you don't own a tablet or smartphone, this is still worth taking a trip with. Geddit? I said "taking a trip" because it's, like, a book about travelling. That's the sort of shizzle that only proper journalists do.
SUMMARY: A proper interactive story that's great in its own right - it just doesn't work quite as well on a laptop or desktop as it does on, say, an iPad.
SCORE: 80 Days out of 100 Days