– by Joseph Jammer Medina

A few months back, we reported on Netflix experimenting with the idea of creating “choose your own adventure” series. This is definitely a cool idea, and a way that Netflix is continue to innovate beyond what standard networks have to offer. Up until this point, the closest thing we’ve had has been in the form of YouTube videos that lead to other YouTube videos using annotations. Another close parallel can be the Telltale Games like The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us.

At the time, it was rumored that the streaming service was experimenting, and to be honest, I didn’t think we’d see anything for at least another year. it turns out they were a bit farther along than I first realized, and today they released their first “choose your own adventure” for kids. The title in question comes from the Dreamworks property, Puss in Boots, and, it’s called Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale.

From the sound of the title, you can assume that this is a story aimed towards kids. and you wouldn’t be wrong. But that doesn’t keep it from being a bit of a novel idea for a network. The story starts out with Puss in Boots fighting off a trio of foes, and after beating them, he finds a storybook about him. He opens it up, only to get sucked in. The narrator proceeds to boss him around, and it’s up to the viewers to choose his path.

As with the “choose your own adventure” novels, you have an equal chance of choosing the wrong path, and this prompts a do-over from the narrator, who sends you back to the option where things went wrong. For those wondering how it works in terms of the timeline on your device, here’s a snapshot below of how the options pop up on an iPhone when you tap the screen.

As you can see, instead of a standard timeline (which gives us an idea of how much longer there is of the program), we have the sets of options given. Here’s how the options break down according to Netflix for Puss in Boots as well as the upcoming Buddy Thunderstruck (the latter of which is set to hit next month). Click either to enlarge.

As of right now, this is only available for certain devices, like smart TVs, iPhones, or Roku — there is currently no way to select the options on your browser, Apple TV, Android, or Chromecast. We’re sure those will be coming soon.

The end product here is quaint enough. Nothing to write home about, but still pretty fun, and an extra way for kids to interact, as they’re already so inundated with more interactive media.

“Kids are already talking to the screen,” Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, Netflix’s director of product innovation, told The Verge. “They’re touching every screen. They think everything is interactive.”

This is a good start. Now, allwe can do is wait for the more adult-centric horror themed ones to hit.

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SOURCE: The Verge

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.