Choose Your Own Adventure lives again… on the iPhone!
If you grew up anywhere in the 80′s to early 90′s, you’ve probably read a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. These books put the reader into the role of the protagonist in a variety of situations, from space to the undersea world to the future and beyond. They captured millions of young reader’s imaginations and made them feel as if they were part of the story. Now, as with many things from our childhood, they are back, in a number of interesting forms, most notably on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad.
If you want to re-experience the “good old days” with a bit of modern sensibility, check out the app store link (99 cents). As of this writing, for a paltry 99 cents you can not only get the classic “Return to Atlantis“, but you also get “Journey Under the Sea“! The books are very much the same as the classic books, illustrations are intact, and the full text of the story is there also. However you no longer have to sift through pages of a book possibly losing your place, now you can use that fabulous touchscreen to instantly “turn” to the page you want. It’s very novel (get it), and is great to share with children and get them into reading. I will admit though, that while the books are fun, they are definitely children’s fare. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you want to read a story with more grownup sensibilities in mind, the iDevices have you covered int hat respect too.
Enter: Choice of Games. They have a variety of interactive e-books as well, but these are for a more general audience. Children and adults alike can enjoy them, but they are decidedly for a more mature audience. In the few I’ve read/played I enjoyed Choice of the Dragon (free) and Choice of Broadsides (free) the most. You are thrust into the role a a mighty dragon or a member of the Royal Navy, respectively.
Choice of the Dragon is relatively straightforward, you go around doing dragon-y things, trying to become fear or revered throughout the land, while trying to amass a massive treasure hoard. Along the way, you might take a mate, overthrow a kingdom, or be revered as a god. Choice of Broadsides on the other hand starts you out on a sloop in the Navy as you try to work your way through the ranks and become captain of your own ship or even an admiral.
I also sampled a few of the user-contributed games as well, Paranoia (free) and What Happened Last Night (free). These games, while enjoyable are nowhere near as fun as the ones made by Choice of Games themselves. But in doing research about these “lesser” games (they aren’t bad, really) I found out the most intriguing thing about Choice of Games, you can make your own! On their website, the company gives a pretty good run down on how to create your own adventure, and even though I am not a programmer, even I could grasp the simple language. I may actually try and make one of my own, actually. Choice of Games also gives you 75% of the revenue you bring in!
I know I’ve gone on about Choice of Games quite a bit, and have kind of skimped a bit on Choose Your Own Adventure, but that is simply because at the moment, COYA is a bit under-represented. I am eagerly looking forward to more apps in that series. As for CoG, you can play all of their books on their website for free, even the ones that are paid apps on the iTunes store. I am certain you’ll have a ton of enjoyment out of these, just like I did. In fact, I think it’s about time for me to read/play Choice of the Vampire! See you!