Print may be dying, but that doesn’t mean that it’s single greatest contribution can’t make the leap to digital with these Choose Your Own Adventure books on iBooks. True to their 1980s roots, these stories are still presented as books with links to other pages at critical decision points. However, there have been a few upgrades — such as a map to help guide your way.
Though CYOA books have been available digitally for some time, the iBooks versions go the extra mile. Like other iBooks, they have the book-like design and page-turning animations. In CYOA fashion, readers are presented with “decisions” at certain points in the narrative. By tapping a link at the bottom of the page, readers can move the story in a particular direction.
Interestingly, the links between pages appear optional — just like in the dead-pulp versions, you can read straight through or cheat by flipping around to a storyline that you like. The publisher has also included a map of the story’s branching threads. Unfortunately unaccessible in the sample version of the book, the CYOA website presents this as an example.
Fortunately, the map appears to not give away much details, but instead provide an easier way to backtrack through the story tree.
Unfortunately, these books appear to have been rewritten from their original texts, so don’t expect the exact same experience you had back in the day. Also, the art has been completely revised which is a big of a shame since the outlandish covers were, for me, the best part.
If you’re looking to have this classic literary magic on your Apple iOS device, the iBooks versions will cost you about $5.99 apiece. Personally, I’m hoping that we see an adaptation of the legendary CYOA Inside UFO 54-40, which subversively turned the entire genre on its head. Until then, the limited iBooks selection will have to do.