Two Interactive Story Apps You Should Download
Interactive story apps now have a huge following in the app market. With readers hungry for more content and looking for a chance to actively participate in the narrative, many authors are using these platforms to share their fictional works. This post is going to give you the latest scoop about these apps and recommend which ones to try.
Now, let's start with the basics. What is an interactive story app? Simply put, it's like a library with books which you don't just read but control the story (well, to some extent at least, and it varies from app to app). Reader-response theorists had, since long, suggested the need for such books because as Barthes so emphatically reminded us, the author is dead. Even physical books have experimented with this style of writing, giving the reader more room for imagination and offering them the driver's seat. Julio Cortozar's Hopscotch and John Fowls's The French Lieutenant's Woman have multiple endings from which the reader is free to choose. These apps are digitalized versions of that idea.
Once you open up the app and select the story you want to read (or play?), you will be given the option to select your main character and name them. Then you are going to select their outfits and jump right into the narrative. In most of these apps, you get to choose your love interest and I must say I'm quite pleased with their lgbtq+ representation. However, there are some drawbacks which I'll explain later. The best interactive story apps, in my humble opinion, are Choices: Stories You Play and Lovestruck. Yes, their stories tend to lean more towards romance. Unfortunately, the best app with a versatile genre collection, Storyscape, was taken down by Disney (urgh). I'll quickly introduce you to these apps so you can go to your app store and download them already.
Choices: Stories You Play
First of all, let me clarify something. If you have seen one of their extremely disgusting ads and are now deciding to exit this page, then hold on a second. Their ads are very deceptive. Being part of the clickbait tribe and in order to expand their business, they have committed the sin of selling their integrity. But I assure you, their content is a hundred times better than their ads. Confession time, I first came across this app because I mistakenly clicked on an ad and curiosity compelled me to check it out (you know I'm curious, right? If not, then you should reload the page and see what's on top. Just a heads up). Okay, now that the awkward part is over, let me tell you about their stories.
So far, I've found that Choices is the only app which has books of different genres. The others are strictly romance (some quite cringey). In its glory days (around 2017), Choices produced masterpieces like The Crown and The Flame, Most Wanted and Endless Summer. These are my favorite books on the app although I began playing only last year. The Crown and The Flame is a fantasy with the leading character (Kenna) is a badass warrior queen. Most Wanted is a thriller/crime fiction where you get to play as a detective and a Marshall. Endless Summer is an amazing journey back an forth in time with a shocking discovery at the end (yes, it ends, spoiler alert!). You don't get to customize your character in the first two books, Endless Summer has a lot of options for you. It is, in fact, one of the few books that allows to play as male.
Among other favorites of mine are Perfect Match (thriller), It Lives anthology (horror) and Blades of Light and Shadow (fantasy released recently). These books have suspenseful plots and gorgeous love interests. The bad news is that they have been releasing some trashy smut books which have neither quality writing nor variations in plot. But if you are a new reader, you don't have to worry about that. Go ahead and read their best books. Some complaints with the app is its expensive diamond packs (you need diamonds for some scenes and outfits), lack of male main characters and female love interests. But trust me, they are doing better than the other apps. That does not mean, however, that they shouldn't try to improve.
So, my rant is over. Go straight to your app store and hit download.
I am recommending this app because it is to a large extent lgbt focused (can't say much for m|m but their f|f stories are great). They also have brilliant artwork which you can download. I am not a fan of the user interface but from what I've heard a lot of people enjoy it. This app is not as expensive as Choices because you have plenty of ways to earn tickets (to open new chapters) and gems.
As you might have guessed from their name, this app is exclusively romance. But the subplots have a lot going on with them, from magic to mafia. Queen of thieves and Heavenfall are two great titles with which you can start. I must admit I don't play it as often as I do Choices but it is surely worth checking out.
Other mentions: Chapters (where you can submit your own stories), Episodes (again, you can send your stories here), Duskwood (detective story app) and keep an eye out for Storyscape should it miraculously return. That's all, folks. It's time to play (read?)!