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 (795 reviews) - 77% of the 795 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 25, 2013

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December 15, 2015

Steam Trading Cards Now Available!

We are pleased to announce that The 39 Steps now features Steam Trading Cards. The set brings 5 cards, 3 backgrounds, and 5 emoticons. We hope you enjoy them. Thanks for your continued support.

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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
47 of 51 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
“I believe everything out of the common. The only thing to distrust is the normal.” ― John Buchan, The 39 Steps

The Thirty-Nine Steps is originally an adventure novel and an ancestor of the spy thriller genre, written by the Scottish author John Buchan in 1915 - the first year of the World War I. It has long been reinterpreted into various other media - including Alfred Hitchcock's famous 1935 silver screen interpretation. But it is the first time we see Buchan's famous action-hero, Richard Hannay in a video game, thanks to Story Mechanics' initiative with a project of reinterpreting literature as narrative video games.

Here at the start of his adventures, Richard Hannay is a wealthy and able English gentleman with considerable social standing. He was raised in South Africa, became a successful mining engineer and took part in the Matabele Wars. He also served as an intelligence officer during the Boer War. He is realistic, self-sufficient with a diverse set of skills and means. Just before the events of the game, Hannay returns to London, only to find the routine life of a Londoner to be devastatingly boring. Just as he was about to give up on the capital, he is visited by one of his neighbors at his apartment in London. The neighbor reveals himself to be Franklin P. Scudder, a freelance spy and asks Hannay's help with a dangerous political plot. Finding himself in a web of lies and intrigue, Hannay quickly becomes the target of a manhunt, and starts his escape towards the Highlands of Scotland. Will he ever be able to clean his name and prevent a dangerous plot that would spell doom for all Europe?

The 39 Steps is a retelling of the original novel without nearly any content cut down. The atmosphere is a wondrous success weaved out of water color environments, characters displayed as foggy silhouettes and tales that belong to characters reenacted by shadowy silent motion pictures. The display is wholly elegant and thrilling, appropriate for the tone of the narration. Voice acting is marvelous - with nuances, accents and even vocal exclamations. For the part of the presentation, you are in for a feast.

As for the gameplay, on the other hand, the same cannot be said. Yes, the game is basically a visual novel but the player's participation in the narration is close to non-existent. The game could even be categorized as non-interactive considering all you actually do is some clicking to do to reveal environmental details or some mouse movements to draw certain shapes for Hannay to interact with things now and then. There is nothing you actually do, decide or participate in. You click and watch as the story unravels. On that part, one could actually prefer reading the novel rather than playing the game, but the amount of labor put into display is certainly admirable.

For the last verdict, I'll bite and recommend The 39 Steps, considering newer generations prefer watching the story through a screen rather than actually reading it. You just have to know what you are getting yourselves into before buying it. The 39 Steps is not a game; it is a beautifully arranged digital story book, and one that I can safely recommend if you are unfamiliar with the novel and/or bear no intention of reading it.

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
Personal Rating: Had a really great experience playing it.
Classic Rating: ★★★★✬

The 39 Steps is a digital/visual adaptation of an adventure/crime novel by
John Buchan: .

✓ Excellent story and narration.
✓ Excellent voice acting (even though I'm not a native English speaker, I had a couple of good laughs listening to some Scottish side-character).
✓ Very well curated artworks and visual effects (transitions and animations).
✓ Very particular playing style, common to Visual Novels but original nonetheless.

✘ A couple of times subtitles were missing.
✘ Sometimes I had difficulties understanding words and phrases too: I know, this is my fault, not the game's one but it can be a good enough topic for non-English people to think about before buying.

Would you like to read a book while listening to characters voices, ambient sounds and background music? Would it be even better if you were able to watch it like a movie and enjoy like you were its protagonist?

If the answer to those questions is "yes", than you'll understand why "The 39 Steps" is a must to play game.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2015
The 39 Steps is a famous adventure thriller novel by John Buchan that released in 1915. This novel had several movie adaptation, and the first movie adaptation directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935. And this game is a digital adaptation of John Buchan's novel, it is different to compared to another Visual Novel games. This game is not like that.

I like The Story Mechanics treatment about this game, they presentation of this game made me feel that I watch a thriller movie than playing a game. The storytelling is masterpiece. The soundtrack is very good, it blend with the atmosphere of the scene and sometimes made me nervous about the next scene. The voice acting is superb, especially english gaelic accent of the scotslands peoples.

Well, this digital adaptation is an alternative way to read a famous literature, I'll hope The Story Mechanics made another adaptation of famous literature by famous writer. And I'm highly recommended this game to anyone interested in good storytelling games.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2015
Edit: I had to cut down my review a bit because it seems Steam is experiencing a bug.

As someone who hadn't previously read the book or seen the play/movie, I have to say this definitely made me want to read/watch.

It started off pretty slow, (again I'm sure someone will pick up this game having no prior knowledge of this story) I had a problem where whenever I would alternate to a different window to do something, even when pausing the game, it would not let me continue, instead it would restart the chapter I was currently on, which can get annoying as I'm a very easily distracted person. Nonetheless, solving that would just mean putting your undivided attention into the game, at least until the end of that chapter (which is a good thing as this is more of an interactive story rather than a game, you wouldn't want to miss precious plot)

Anyway, the water colour landscape art is absolutely stunning, and added suspense in a way that really made you listen to what was being said and at times forced you to visualize the situation yourself, with the help of some awesome first person narration. I bought this game a while back on a third person game bundle site for a few bucks at most. Would I spend $15 on this game? No. But I am broke so I'm speaking from the stance of an empty walleted person.

All in all this game is relaxing, suspenseful, and to a degree educational. I'd recommend this game to those who want something that they can casually unwind to, without much effort on their part.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2015
If you don’t mind a game with almost no gameplay elements and you are looking for something diferent to relax in the cold winter, 39 Steps might be the game you are looking for. Sit back, get warm and grab a cup of tea or coffee because you will only need to move your mouse every now and then. You play as Richard Hannay, a man from London during 1914 with a boring life whose fate changed after a certain event. Now, he’s being chased by a crime he didn’t commit. And that’s when the story gets interesting.

The game reads like a book, and you won’t have any choices to make like, say, a Telltale game. You just explore your surroundings, read some descriptions, and move on with the story. The game does not lie about this, their premise is really honest and you should know what you are getting into, you will be reading a digital book with some clicks here and there. As the story goes, tension will go up as things may get troublesome in the road making Hannay finding different means to get what he want weather by escaping, stealing or using his wits and words with strangers. The visuals of the game are calm with vibrant colors. They are hand painted with minor movements like the wind and it will remind you of some old point & click adventure games. During your play through you will also find some collectibles by explorations. These are very hard to miss, especially if you are playing the game carefully and take your time to look at the scenario before being done with it.

After 4 hours I finished the game and I do not find any reason to play it again. It’s a different experience and it was something I rather enjoyed. The final chapters make the conclusion satisfying and I was engaged in the game from start to finish. When I finished a chapter I just had to go to the next one as I was too curious to know what was going to happen or how Hanney is going to find a solution for his current problem. Because there’s almost no gameplay mechanics involved this games ended being quite relaxing. You can be very tired after a long day at work sipping your hot beverage while playing 39 Steps and it’s going to be a nice experience.
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