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.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (349 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 25, 2013

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About This 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.

System Requirements

Mac OS X


    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Enjoyed it a lot!

The 39 Steps is an animated, illustrated espionage-novel with sounds, music and linear narration - and without any real choices for the "player" during the whole story. So don't expect a full pc game, but instead anticipate a classic digital novel adaption, which totally knows how to entertain the audience.
You'll find yourself in an authentic England of 1914 and you'll be able to enjoy wonderfully painted illustrations.
All actions one is able to do are: examining various objects, clicking at things, or moving the cursor from time to time into specified directions to simulate actions, like for example running away, shaving, building explosive devices, opening doors, etc. And it works - and raises the level of immersion during the narration.

It looks great, the atmosphere feels great and the narration has a fluent feeling to it. Plus it's easy to get the 100%-achievements just along the way.
Altogether its an exciting, enthralling Spy Fiction Story with a lot of moments of suspense! Couldn't have asked for more.

I recommend it for relaxed autumn evenings, when reading is just the perfect thing to do.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
This game is pretty good. Visual novel really did a good job to portray Richard Hannay's character in this game. Expect nail biting scenes as the main character tries to escape from a crime he didn't commit. Witness the escalating tension between French and German as he discovered the truth that must be silenced immediately while Richard Hannay tries to outwit his pursuers in an adventure packed game.

The art style is kinda good (mostly at the beautiful landscapes). The voice acting was pretty normal. A video rarely comes but that is certainly acceptable because what's important is the immersion to the story wherein the subtitles and acting did a good job.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
The most important thing is that this is a "visual novel", not your typical game or graphic adventure.

Once you realize that, it's a very good adaptation. If you have not read the book, here you have the chance to do so, with sometimes more information about the historical context, etc.

The level of interaction is minimal, you just click to make the text go on, open doors and some actions, but it is enough because the main objective is that you read the novel.

As a visual novel, recommended.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
This is actually a really rather excellent little experience. It's everything you might hope it would be, from the limited description as an "interactive book". It's an atmospheric, detailed, and ultimately engaging way to enjoy a classic novel. I'm still early on in the story, but I'm already sold. It really is rather excellent.

The developers have done a great job, and you'll really enjoy devling into 1914 London. Quite frankly I hope they do some more books in the future.

It's true that you don't actually "do" all that much, but you honestly don't notice. The way you engage with the game world to reveal the story feels pretty organic. It's a bit like GONE HOME, but more honest and enjoyable.

One tip: You can pretty the left mouse button to progress if the "rotate the mouse" doesn't work for you (as it didn't work for me).

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
This is NOT a game, but an experiment to digitally adapt a classical book. It is a new form of entertainment.

I bought it out of curiosity when it was on sale. I haven't read the book myself in real life, but I know someone who has and she has practically told me every explicit detail of the book itself. This digital adaption remains true to the original work, while the movies are notorious for taking liberties in every kind of direction.

Each backdrop is a hand painted background. This makes me wonder how long this actual production took to make? Also when you see the list of people's names in the credits at the end, your jaw will drop with the sheer army of people needed in creating it. This therefore makes me question, especially in this day and age, if this style of entertainment and the amount of money which is needed to create and publish it, will honestly be wasted when trying to sell it to the gaming community at large?

The interaction which is needed to propel the story forward is negligible and while the story has it's moments of suspense here and there, there are still large blocks of moments where nothing much is really happening. The digital adaption will largely play out as an audio book decorated with backdrops, however there are also significant parts which require you, yourself to read or click to skip it entirely. The option to have it all acted out for you is simply not there, which since it most of the time plays out like a movie, I was disappointed that it did not do this all the time.

Most gamers today are conditioned to want constant visual stimuli at high octane speeds, to be entertained every millisecond. This type of production does not do that. Having said that, I still enjoyed it myself as something different. Though they have given birth to a new form of entertainment, this concept while it is still in it's infancy stages it does have a lot of room to grow and mature and it will be interesting to see how this concept flourishes. Might be a worth a look if your into classical literature. Definitely a wait for a sale.

On a sidenote apparently 1914 welsh/cornwall/English was as jibberish as Klingon. Have a google translator on standby...
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
The 39 Steps, based on novel of the same name in 1915, is simply a digital adaption of the written form. This is not a game. There are several interactive elements (e.g. using mouse to make specific gestures, looking for hotspots within rooms) but those elements are just to provide some layer of interactivity.

The real schtick here is the superb voice acting, hand-drawn backgrounds/props, sound effects, and music. In the traditional sense, this would be classified as an adventure game. But there are no personal/story choices to be made as there is only one path, and that path is the novel.

Alfred Hitchcock created a movie, which I have not seen, based on the novel, and other similarly themed movies like North by Northwest, which I have seen and do like. If you like spy/deception stories like these movies, there is no reason why you wouldn't like this digital novel.

I would love to see more adaptations like this; simple and easy experience to relax without dealing with the craziness of modern gaming. It takes audio books to entirely new level. Also imagine doing this format with branching storylines.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
Perhaps a visual novel is not my cup of tea as I find The 39 Steps rather boring. I'm a bookworm but I disliked how I can't bookmark the game progress at will, so have to re-watch cutscenes that can't be skipped. To avoid that, I finished one chapter at a time, often falling asleep or wishing I was playing other games in the process.

On a positive note, the art is gorgeous and the voice acting is good. The gameplay itself was quite dull though.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
The Thirty-Nine Steps was first released in 1915. The book. Not the video game. A great pre-World War spy story by John Buchan and now you can have it in your Steam Library.

I would have never thought that I'd be enjoying a digital book adaptation as I enjoyed "playing" through this one. One must know that it's not a game in classic terms rather a story you follow. And it's such a great story it kept me up till 1:00 AM yesterday (or rather, today).

The music and the pictures are superb, with great voice acting. It is absolutely recommended for everyone who loves espionage thrillers or Agatha Christie's Poirot.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
first of all, i found this "game" to be quite entertaining and fun to play through, and here is why.
the art style was quite fitting and i think they managed to make art that fit with the story quite nicely.
i think they did a real good job when it came to making the setting, story, and ect fit together seamlessly. i must also say that the voice acting was quite good. in my opinion they nailed that part completely, which is quite important since that is probably the most important part of the whole game, in my opinion at least.

overall i would say this is a good visual novel if you like any kind of cinematic point and click game that mostly consists of you having to read and follow the story as it develops.

but i would wait on a sale before purchasing it though.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
This is not a game, just a story based on the book by John Buchan. I bought it cheap and i personally enjoyed it. Only recommended for people who would also read the book.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Really excellent book with an interesting story, game well executed, well done to the people behind this project. It's simple, yet different, a bit slow, but not boring, it's just a good old read through the day, and it's a really good one.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Simple video narrative with some click and point to keep you somewhat involved. It was a nice story to experience.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
It's a well made game for what it is, just really didn't grab my attention though.
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7.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
This is not a graphic adventure (point and click), but rather a graphic novel. There is no inventory, there is no dialogue with multiple choices, there is no puzzle to solve. The only thing you get to do is clicking with the mouse here and there (sometimes) and clicking to go from one line of the dialogue to the other.

It is a very nice story, I have never read the book but I enjoyed. I am not really expert in this kind of games - books but i found this one very well made (sounds, visual art and I think the dialogues were recorded with bineaureal techniques) and the story was entertaining. 80/100
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4.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
Steam has a LOT of games on it. It also has a lot of things you could call toys; they're not really for winning, they're for playing with and exploring.

This is neither. For the most part, you will click through text sections and sit through dramatised dialogue sequences accompanied by rather good digital art setting the mood for each scene, with appropriate music playing in the background. Occasionally you'll wield the mouse in something that would be a Quick Time Event if there were penalties for failure and if you were against the clock.

Quite simply, this is a dramatisation of the book which proceeds at your speed and intermittently does interesting things in how it breaks the text down. If you're interested in the book, this is arguably one of the better ways to read it. As a warning regarding the book's contents, like many of its era it contains substantial racism.
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4.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
This is not really a game but more of a interactive story and if you look at it as such, it's a really good one to be honest. Granted, at the first chapter I found myseklf thinking, what the hell is this, but I stuck with it and by the time the sixth chapter rolled around I was quite immersed in the story. This is quite fitting for a slow sunday afternoon and is certainly worth the time and effort.
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0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
An animated book, with parts of it done by decent voice acting and reading. The story can feel a bit slow paced, but overall is done in an interesting fasion.

Surprisingly nvidia 3d vision works pretty well for this game, making and other features pop out.
Again this is an animated book, rather than a game, there really isnt anything to "play" here.
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5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
This game is okay, i think. It's a pretty well made classic digital novel adaptation. I liked atmosphere and art design. Plus it's easy 100% achievements. If u like point & click games and visual novels, then The 39 Steps is a game u must buy.
Overall Rating: 7.0/10.0
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36 of 40 people (90%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
One thing that I love about video games is how they can take a story I've already heard several ways, and turn it into an entirely new experience that's just as engaging as if I was hearing it for the first time. The 39 Steps by The Story Mechanics is the first in what they call "digital adaptations", which fall somewhere between a visual novel and a radio show. The idea if simple, but the execution highly stylized and the pacing tightly wound to make what could have been a dry collection of text a surprisingly compelling and intense narrative piece.

I shouldn't have to tell you what The 39 Steps is about (as I imagine most should be familiar with the classic novel and numerous film adaptions and spin-offs), but as a refresher it follows Scottish man Richard Hannay, recently retired and now lost in a series of humdrum days and occurrences. All of this changes when a stranger barges into his life and revels a German plot that if carried out could throw the world into a war the likes of which it had yet seen. Shortly thereafter the man, now revealed to a spy known as Scudder, is found dead in Hannay's apartment, leaving him the only one alive with the knowledge of what is soon to unfold, and the only person who could possibly prevent it.

While the narrative of The 39 Steps is as intriguing and thrilling as ever, it's the way that it's told in this instance that makes it worth revisiting (or checking out for the first time) as opposed to numerous other formats you could choose. The Story Mechanics haven't settled for a simple text format in retelling Josh Buschan's tale, instead using a collection of visual tricks and clever insertion of backstory to create an brilliant interactive story that far exceeds the simplistic adaptations that have been experimented with in the past. Fantastic use of camera angles, deliberate placement of text to draw your eye toward parts of the watercolor backgrounds, and excellent voice acting from all parties make it incredibly easy to get swept away in the plot even during the slower, some may even call mundane, moments.

The only real instances where The 39 Steps falls a tad flat are the awkwardly implemented gestures that sometimes accompany moments like opening doors or reading letters. They were obviously intended to make the game feel more like, well, a game, but they're shoehorned in in such a way that feels tacked on an unnecessary. Thankfully they're infrequent enough that they never amount to more than a bit of a bother nor take but a few seconds to complete.

Though some might scoff at the emphasis on exposition and almost complete lack of traditional gameplay, those that can appreciate The 39 Steps for the bit of interactive fiction it is will be rewarded with an exciting and wonderfully paced tale of spies, murder, and more than a few close shaves. Having no real idea what to expect, I was very pleasantly surprised with the end result of The Story Mechanics's first attempt at a "digital adaptation", and it has gotten my mind spinning thinking of so many other books I'd love to see turned into future games. Hopefully this is only the first to come.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Alright, just played through The 39 Steps today. Took about 4 hours all told to complete, although there was probably an hour of idle time mixed in there. Anyway, I thought it was pretty stellar. A digital adaptation of a book. They say it was the inspiration for Ian Fleming style of writing, I think it bore a lot of similarities to Hitchcock's North by Northwest (and it turns out Hitchcok did in fact do a film adaptation of 39 Steps earlier in his career) as well. A very good and interesting story set in the early 1900's. Although there aren't branching paths, I thought the game till did an excellent job of immersing you into the story completely. Sort of non traditional from a point and click perspective due to a little twist in manipulating some object. The artwork was very nice, mostly done in watercolors and more traditional painting styles as well, with some silent film style cutscenes mixed in. Definitely recommend playing this one.
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