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Prepare to experience the original man-on-the-run thriller in a completely new way. This is a digital adaptation of John Buchan's incredible book (inspiration to Ian Fleming's James Bond!). Be transported back to 1914 London, where Richard Hannay finds himself framed for a murder he didn't commit.
Release Date: Apr 25, 2013

Buy The 39 Steps


About the Game

Prepare to experience the original man-on-the-run thriller in a completely new way. This is a digital adaptation of John Buchan's incredible book (inspiration to Ian Fleming's James Bond!). 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 Thirty-Nine 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 5-8 hours.

PC System 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

Mac System Requirements


    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
59 of 64 people (92%) found this review helpful
175 products in account
2 reviews
4.8 hrs on record
The 39 Steps is (as most have previously stated) an interactive novel, and NOT a game. There are some elements of interactivity in the form of mouse clicks and even "drawing" patterns with the mouse from time to time, but that's about it. That said, if you know going in you're going to read and occasionally watch/listen to a story, you shouldn't be disappointed.

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the story. I would sit down and play one of the 20 or so "chapters" at a time. Having them broken down into 10-15 minute chunks like this helped and allowed me to play at my own pace. The art is very well done, though there is really no actual animation. The voice acting is well done and the ambient sounds and music are a plus.

Being that the story is set prior to WWI (and that I'm American and this is set in the U.K.), some of the dialects and terminology were a bit tricky to follow, but not so much that it detracted form the story itself. Other than that, my only real complaint is that the ending seems somewhat . . . abrupt. I certainly won't spoil anything, but I felt that another couple minutes of gametime could have wrapped it up a little better.

All-in-all, the playthrough was an enjoyable experience and I'm looking forward to The Story Mechanic's next project.

My personal rating for what it is: 7.5/10
Posted: December 14th, 2013
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23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
165 products in account
8 reviews
4.9 hrs on record
"The 39 Steps" is, down to its core, a slightly-interactive-novel. That being said - it's not "bad" by any means. For what it is, it's incredibly well done, and a means in which I would love to continue consume various forms of classical fiction.

Based on the original espionage thriller "The 39 Steps" by John Buchan, you can definitely see where modern day spy stories came from - predating popular fictional characters like James Bond by at least 30 years. This story takes place on the verge of WWI and introduces a character named Richard Hanny, a man on the run after a young American spy divulges sensitive information to him. The game is presented mostly in beautifully painted backdrops, fuzzy silhouettes and the occasional shadow puppet show (of which are quite entertaining). These backgrounds take you from inner-city London, to the moors of Scotland and back again. There isn't much gameplay to be had (to my slight disappointment), but what is present is likened to that of a game like "TRAUMA" - drawing shapes and clicking on things to carry through the cutscene-like chapters.

Simply put - the game is awesome for what it is - but it really needs a bit more interactivity. There is one part that involves the character decoding a notebook. I got really excited, thinking that I'd at least have a mini-game or a puzzle to figure out the code, but alas - the game just carries on like the book. They allow you to zoom in and out on objects you see in the environments - here I am, thinking that I'll have to do some Sherlock Holmes work and pick out clues from the zoomed-in objects, but alas - there isn't much to discover but a few timeline-appropriate advertisements and newspaper articles.

I would love to digest all sorts of fiction this way. From Sherlock Holmes to H.P. Lovecraft to Franz Kafka - I would love to have this sort of artwork and voice acting and sound effects, mood, pacing, attention to detail, and the ease of taking it in via separate chapters (just incase I need to leave and come back to it) - albeit, more interactivity would be preferred.
Posted: December 8th, 2013
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
108 products in account
13 reviews
3.3 hrs on record
The 39 Steps leads you on a journey through lush hand-painted backgrounds, moody music, and excellent voice-acting. You are Richard Hannay, a well-to-do British gent living a boring life in London in 1914.

Calling 39 Steps a game seems to be doing it a disservice, as it is more of a interactive story that just has you along for the ride. There are points in the story where you 'control' the protoganists action, but you have no real power to affect the momentum of the narrative. The story is gripping, though, and these attempts to insert a more direct hand in the game are infrequent.

I have never read the source material, so cannot say how well it holds up to the original. The 39 Steps stands well enough on its own, though.

Achievement hunters interested in 100% games will find this one easy to complete, as achievements are awarded through story progression and are impossible to miss. I'd recommend not reading the achievement list before you start the story, though, as they could spoil some future events.

So, if spy thrillers are your thing, grab up your pipe and your brandy and dive into this one.
Posted: March 4th, 2014
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
249 products in account
10 reviews
5.0 hrs on record
This is an interactive novel by John Buchan. I would describe it as a mixture of reading a book and listening to a number of conversations. There is NOT much gameplay envolved, except clicking a few items here and there, and to draw some patterns. The story is about Richard Hannay and his escape from London. Many things happens along the way, and this is where the story shines. Its a little bit hard to understand what some scottish and english people are saying due to dialects and use of old words.

If you enjoy reading books and you want a good story, without gameplay getting in your way, this is a great game. If you like other "non-games" like Dear Easter, Proteus or Gone Home this might be the right experience for you as well.

Many others will however HATE this, because they will not see it as a game. Other people in my age will also dislike this game because they thing reading is boring, and games without gameplay is a waste of time.

I really liked this visual novel and its story, and the art is absolutely fantastic. The voice acting is top-notch and also the music. The developers obviously put a lot of time and efford into this project and therefore it earns my recommendation.
Posted: March 5th, 2014
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
236 products in account
9 reviews
14.2 hrs on record
Have you ever heard of a visual novel?

It’s a genre of video games very popular in Japan, where you take the place of the protagonist of a story and from your decisions, you build your path toward different endings.

No, you won't be dating lots of girls on this game, but you'll live the story of Richard Hannay and how his boring visit to London, became something that changed his life forever.

I recommend it only to people that enjoy reading or are looking for an experience unlike most video games, because in the end, it's still a book.
Posted: December 30th, 2013
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