Ace it before: you land in Santorini (takes 4 hours to finish)
It’s a bit bright in Santorini. A real strain on the eyes. A real stinger for the looky-balls. Best slide that brightness down a peg or two and enter the bleak black-and-white world of Limbo. It’s an eerie puzzle platformer filled with fog, giant spiders, and violent death. Happy holidays, guy!
Ace it before: you rock up at Glastonbury (3 hours)
Rinsing your phone battery before you’ve even pegged your tent? You masochist! If you’re gonna drain all your bars on day zero of three, it may as well be on something you can boast about to your mud-eating comrades. Something like 80 Days. It re-imagines Phileas Fogg’s time-sensitive Earth trek and offers endless outcomes, meaning you’ll complete a circumnavigation once, then spend the weekend craving another shot at it through quicker routes.
Ace it before: you crawl off the Eurotunnel in Paris (2.5 hours)
There’s a thick police presence in the French capital this month for Euro 2016. So get yourself right in the mood with some legal training before you dodge flying chairs in the fan zone. The eagle-eyed sleuth work required in Her Story is just the ticket. Pore over live-action interview videos and a database of evidence as you probe a wife’s role in her husband’s disappearance.
Ace it before: you leave the train to meet your folks in Devon (3 hours)
You’re going to need more than a couple of M&S gin tins and a Yo! Sushi box to survive the 1903 train back to the Motherland, pal. You need Device 6, a multi-sensory brain-worker. Essentially an interactive mystery novel, you read its espionage-tinged narrative and solve a handful of interactive puzzles. The aim? To unravel why Anna, your protagonist, has ended up alone in a strange castle.
Ace it before: you step off the plane in Faro (2.5 hours)
This is the medicine you need to pull yourself from that cold, angry, work-stressed, cynical fug and turn you into a perma-grinning, sunbed-chilling, socks’n’sandals holiday hero. Thomas Was Alone will make you forget about the ills of the world. You bounce an endearing little rectangle and his pals through a basic 2D world, and feel unashamedly, dog-with-a-water-bottle happy about it all.
Words by Chris Sayer
An international festival of light
Dinner in a decommissioned 1967 underground carriage
Half-price brunch and a HUGE fried chicken burger