The Thirty Nine Steps

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Third party DRM: Steam

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John Buchan’s incredible espionage thriller is set to be our debut – and the first ever – digital adaptation: a new form of entertainment for interactive platforms, and created by The Story Mechanics. Whether you know The Thirty Nine Steps inside out, or have never heard of Richard Hannay, this is the classic story as it has never been told before.

Prepare to experience the original man-on-the-run thriller in a completely new way. Be transported back to 1914 London, where Richard Hannay finds himself framed for a murder he didn't commit. Now he must escape the Capital and stay alive long enough to solve the riddle of The 39 Steps. There are secrets to be discovered, locations to be explored and - above all - an incredible tale to be told in this ground-breaking interactive novel.

Key Features:

  • A new form of entertainment, merging the worlds of literature, gaming and film into one visually stunning storyline.

  • Faithfully constructed using the original - and best-selling - John Buchan text, first published in 1915.

  • Hundreds of hand-painted digital environments, and authentic materials from 1910s Britain.

  • 8 different storytelling mechanics, 25 collectible items and 16 awards to be unlocked.

  • An original soundtrack by Si Begg and theatrical voice performances, including Ian Hanmore, - Greg Hemphill and Benny Young

  • Created in Unity4, with a playtime of 6-8 hours.

Customer reviews


An Excellent Story Experiance

bwrussell | Aug. 22, 2014 | See all bwrussell's reviews »

If you're looking to take control of an action spy and punch your way to glory, turn back, but if you want to experience an excellent man-on-the-run thriller in a more compact and interactive manner than it's original form then you've found your game. Lets be clear right from the start, this is a faithful adaption of a book, you can't change the outcome, you don't become the main character, and there are no headshot bonuses. So what do you get?

First off each scene is depicted in a beautiful hand-painted style. Given that you lose most of the scene description when you adapt in this manner it's very important that the artwork properly conveys each scene, and they really hit the nail on the head. You get voice acting on at least half of the text, most of the conversations or internal monologues, as well as atmospheric sound effects to add depth to scenes without voice acting. Generally the voices are unique and well done but the "heavy breathing while a character runs" was a little off-putting, at least for me. The final piece to the adaptation is the interactivity. Mostly you simply control the pace of the story but scattered through out are more interactive moments. Completing actions by drawing simple gestures with the mouse and selecting various objects of interest out of a scene make up the most of the interaction. While simple, these moments are well placed and definitely help with immersion. The later also lead to how most of the backstory is delivered. When you pick the objects out of the scene it brings up context and filler for the story often accompanied by historical photographs or newspaper clippings that add depth to the world.

As someone who has not read the original text I felt like I got the whole story and it was much smaller time-sink. The balance between reading, listening, and interacting is precise and kept me interested and engaged.


Well-executed adaptation

Elfangorax | June 29, 2014 | See all Elfangorax's reviews »

The digital interactive novel is still a medium in its infancy, piggybacking on the video game as its nearest cousin in the entertainment industry. The Thirty Nine Steps shows that there is great potential for the medium to spread its wing and achieve legitimacy as a distinct form of entertainment.

The presentation of the events in this piece is simply stunning; everything from the artwork to the music to the way the text appears on-screen is always true to the tone of the moment.

The story itself is rather good, too. Many of the characters are absolute delights to see interacting, and the voice work for them is really top notch.

As long as you go into this expecting not a game, but a dynamic and mildly interactive retelling of a classic story, I am sure you will be pleased to play/read/watch it. (Incidentally, we really need a new verb for this.)


For the fans only?

Furrek | June 18, 2014 | See all Furrek's reviews »

I'm not the fan of the book and to be honest, I never heard of it. Same goes about John Buchan. Maybe it's because there is only one book translated to language in my country. So anyway, I just give it a try and played the game. For sure I can say that art is nice - perfect fitting for this kind of story. And about story... it's decent. Maybe I did expect a bit more from a interactive novel / visual novel. There is no way to interact with story, you also have only one ending. I know, it's adaptation of something really old, but games like that nowadays are much more complex. They are longer and offer you much more. Sadly, most time playing, or rather reading this game, I was just bored. I do enjoy this kind of games, but looks like this one didn't fitted in my type.


Great interactive book

NikorasuSan | March 6, 2014 | See all NikorasuSan's reviews »

As the title of this review sums up, The 39 Steps isn't much of a game as it is an interactive book. Even then, I feel that description falls short of its goals and accomplishments, for it is not an entirely passive experience.

The gameplay is quite simple. There's not much to do, other than spinning the mouse to make the story move forward, and some minigames that you can't really fail. Still, the plot is quite good, and the "game" does a good job at delivering. This is coming from someone whose first experience with the story was through this adaptation, as I have not read the original book.

Going back to the plot, as I said, it's good. What you'd expect from any other suspense novel out there. I won't spoil the details, but let's say that it's about the main character in the novel getting involved in the middle of an international conspiracy. Quite intriguing, isn't it? I'll let you to find the rest by "playing" this game.


Awesome Adaptation

YYS1995 | Sept. 11, 2013 | See all YYS1995's reviews »

I've read the book, so when I learnt that there was a game adaptation of the book, I jumped to the chance and got it. The game guides you, in an interactive manner through the story. You get chances to immerse yourself in the story, through beautifully crafted interactive features. The producers really gave attention to tiny details, to bring out the story. They did justice to the book. There are simply actions to complete . but NO difficult puzzles to complete. You play as a reader, not as a character. Imagine the book turning into an interactive movie. With you in control, to go through it at your own pace. The subtitles and voice overs given are great!. Awesome game, for lovers of the book and those that want to get to know the book. 8/10