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Review: 80 Days - A Real World Adventure (Underbelly Festival Southbank)

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

80 Days - A Real World Adventure is a thrilling immersive theatre game that has you sweating through the streets of London.

Both Nathan and myself went along to this immersive adventure around Covent Garden, and we had a blast. We decided that we'd write the review together as we enjoyed it so much. So, here goes!

80 Days - A Real World Adventure is a new immersive theatre show from Fire Hazard Games, and what an adventure it is. Going around the world in 80 days (or more if you’re on a team with us) was a real treat.

Firetrap games provide a fun and well marshalled interactive game across London, you find your host above the box office at the Underbelly on the Southbank and he sets you off on the journey of a lifetime. The game is fairly simple, you are given a map (although you are thankfully allowed the aid of google maps too) and attempt to drum up enough (virtual) money to buy (virtual) equipment needed to get you round the world in 80 days (or less). The equipment and the money are all on your phone, put together on a handy website that, minus a few glitches, works rather smoothly. Also on your device are the map references for a number of clues that you must hunt down and answer to fill up your wallets. Common questions are things like what did the owners of this pub do for a living before it became said pub; the answer to which will likely be on a sign somewhere on the front.

Armed with nothing but a paper map, a smartphone and a bucket full of eagerness, we rushed to the first location in Embankment Gardens in a race to beat the other teams competing. We felt confident that we had the upper hand, this was going to be easy. The Crumb would be heralded as champions, we didn’t need the 80 days, hell just book us on an overnight train. Alas our confidence was misplaced, each clue had us wandering the back alleys of Covent Garden like two lost Duke of Edinburgh students with a broken compass. This only added to our fun and we didn't stop laughing the whole time. From being accosted by a very French clairvoyant who read our future, to conversing with the bumbling Botanist in Embankment gardens, the quest had us beaming from start to finish.

It is a race against time, as well as the other teams, and it is very active. Items start to sell out as the other groups tick things off their shopping list; it is vital to spend your money wisely in order to aid your final journey. We did not. You are advised before arriving to travel light, and quite right too, we were both puffed out having trekked round for the 80 minutes you are delegated to buy your much needed equipment.

Despite our apparent eagerness we came up quite short in the final part of the journey, where you work out how many days it took you to get round the world. We found ourselves battling off the suns deadly rays with a teaspoon as we didn’t bother to buy any suitable protection, which cost us a week. But despite our foolishness, the experience was a real joy. Fire Hazard have created a thrilling, frantic and fun experience, albeit quite tiring. We think it’s safe to say that Fire Hazard are the most enjoyable personal trainers we think we’ll ever have.

80 Days: A Real World Adventure is on at Underbelly Festival until 29th September, tickets are available here -

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