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The Thirty Nine Steps






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The Thirty Nine Steps





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.

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Game description

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.

Game info
  • 76

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  • Rating
The Story Mechanics
Friday, March 15, 2013
Customer notes
Minimum Requirements


  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 2GHz Processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9 512MB card
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB HD space
  • Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection


  • OS: OSX
  • Processor: 2.2GHz dual core processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GPU 128MB+
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB HD space
  • Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection
Recommended Requirements

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User score

Overall score based on 11 reviews Leave a review

Reviews for The Thirty Nine Steps

An excellent interactive novel

This game has made me very keen to read the book of the same name. The story is very interesting and engaging by itself. However, the makers have done an excellent job of drawing you in even more with the interactive elements. Little things like having various articles in the newspaper that you can read make quite a difference. The various styles of art during some of the story-telling parts was also an excellent touch. To top it off, the music complements the game very well. With all the over-the-top action and special effects in games and movies these days, it's great to see that nothing can really substitute for great story-telling and quality presentation through simple elements. If there is a negative, it would only be that it isn't longer (something that can't really be helped when adapting an existing story).

An excellent adaptation of the book

An interactive novel adapted from the book The 39 Steps. There are no choices or alternate paths to be found here, no romantic interests, and no stats to raise, what The 39 Steps does is an excellent job telling the story of the book. The painted art style and music used are enjoyable to look at and listen to and fit very well with the story being told. The voice acting is excellent and the music and sound effects over the voiceless text perfectly set the tone of the story. You are able to interact by clicking on things around the environment, either to advance to story or to find things like newspaper clippings, photographs, or items that can be read or looked at in order to learn more about the world at the time when the story was was taking place or about the backstory of characters. The game also has you perform actions like making a circular motion with the mouse when you perform certain actions like turning a doorknob. The 39 Steps is a very well done adaptation of the book and would be great for both fans of the book and for those who have never read it.

Interesting take on a book-like experience

I've been in a search of different "games", and so, this one intrigued me, specially since it didn't even advertise itself as a game, despite being release on Steam. So... if not a game, what is it? A "Digital Adaptation" is what it calls itself. It's essencially an adaptation of a book into a more visual format, with a little more interactivity. I've got to say, I'd rather read a book most of the time, than "playing" one, unless there's something to take from it that I wouldn't from a book. Well, in regards to that, this is a much shorter form of a book, focusing on the essential only, and at the same time, giving some additional insight into the story's time and world through journals and such, for those interested... and, again, not a game. I usually play games for more interactivity than this has given me, at specially choice and consequence, which is something that I can't really get from a book, and which this still doesn't provide. So, all things considered, I don't think it surpasses a book for those who tolerate/like reading. BUT, it was still really well done (for what it was), and I'd say it was a totally positive experience, with lots of potential for the future. The story was really interesting (although the pacing was too slow, at times), and the whole art design helped a great deal, it was highly stylised, in a good way. For the developing team: I'd love to see this done with a "Choose your adventure" type of book, I think that would be the format where it would shine! Maybe do some research into old Text VideoGames and try to adapt them as well. Who knows? But experimenting is the way to go, and, for the first "Digital Adaptation", I think it was pretty good. I'll follow you closely and see what else you can provide. Oh, and also, a little bit more exploration, maybe with Diary Pages or Audio Logs spread throughout the places one can explore to provide more information about the story and the era it's set in. Bottom-line: Not a game, still not quite as content-full as a book, but a nice experience overall, with fitting Music and Art Style. I'm interested to see where it goes! If you think you'll take some enjoyment out of something like this, go ahead and buy it, it's pretty good!

A good story, well told.

This is a very nicely done adaptation of John Buchan's novel. It kept me wanting more the whole way through, in much the same way any good book will. The voice work and music are both excellent and the pacing and interactive elements completely fit the style of the game. The visuals are also very good, especially the fantastic animated scenes. The game is not without a couple of slightly rough edges, though. The audio can cut out noticeably abruptly at times and the quality of the background art is occasionally lacking a little, but neither take away from a very entertaining few hours.

An Excellent Story Experiance

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.

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