Nightmare Cove is an interactive text horror game for Kindle Fire. I don’t have the right equipment to run it myself, but it looks to be illustrated, and its creator describes it as being choice-based with a “light inventory system” (which suggests something perhaps like the CYOA created with Adventure Book). There are also a couple of pre-defined characters to play with, which suggests a little less personal configuration than in the most open of the ChoiceScript games, but that the product does rely on some RPG features.
And speaking of new commercial choice-based work, the company Coliloquy is publishing a variety of interactive stories — 18 are already available on Amazon — including supernatural thrillers, mysteries, and interactive erotica where you can pick the characteristics of the hero.
There’s a long article about their work in The Atlantic. The description there focuses most on the reader-satisfaction qualities of this kind of book: Coliloquy uses analysis tools to track which choices are being selected and help authors write more of the content that readers want. I feel bit dubious when I read things like this, because I think it can lead authors down the wrong path: “everyone picked A therefore choices B and C were a waste to write” fundamentally misunderstands the way choice-based literature works. I also think reader gratification is sort of the least common denominator goal of interactive narrative, and that there are lots of choices to offer that are more interesting than letting the reader color in the eye color of the protagonist.
Still, having good stats on what readers are picking is a very interesting feature (see also Varytale) — and it’s extremely interesting to watch the expanding ecosystem of free and commercial textual games of all sorts.
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