I’ve spent too much of my downtime playing interactive story-telling games on my phone. I’ve gone through tons of apps, but a few special games stood out. Whether the app is a library of interactive books or a complete story in itself, these games are addictive. I can spend hours just following the narrative. They are all free to download, but if you get sucked into the stories like I did, you’ll likely end up spending money to play more chapters.
Whenever I hear people talk about story-telling games, Episode is always mentioned. And for good reason! Episode has over 150,000 interactive stories with customizable avatars and love interests. My only gripe is the outfit choices in many stories, as they look like a child chose them.
Episode is free to download, but in-app purchases are available to get more diamonds for better outfits or story choices. My favorite games are the Pretty Little Liars series, the Demi Lovato stories, and Catfish. There are also user-created stories you can play through.
Life Is Strange
This game is available on other platforms like PlayStation4 and Steam, but I first found it on the App Store. You get the first chapter free when you download it, and each additional chapter costs a small price. However, it’s much cheaper to purchase all the chapters at once for $8.99.
Life Is Strange follows Max Caulfield, a college senior who can rewind time. With her newfound ability and best friend, Chloe Price, she investigates the disappearance of Rachel Amber. Arcadia Bay’s secrets come to light as she continues searching, and Max must prevent tragedies from happening.
As the app’s name suggests, Lovestruck is romance, romance, romance. Every single story has different love interests and storylines that you can choose to pursue. The only downside is your avatar isn’t customizable, but some stories at least allow you to change your name.
My favorite stories so far are “The Boss” in Gangsters in Love, “The Bounty Hunter” in Starship Promise, and “The Engineer” in Castaway! Each story has multiple “seasons” that you can play through. Most of the stories are in the fantasy or sci-fi genres, but there are a few contemporary romances as well.
Journeys: Interactive Series
I’ve heard mixed reviews about this app, but I’ve enjoyed the few stories I’ve played through so far. The age rating is 17 and up, but the stories are categorized by how “spicy” they are. All of Journey‘s content was written by television writers, and a new episode is released every week. When you first get the app, you only have five stories to choose from, but more are available after playing six chapters.
Out of the stories I’ve played, my favorites are Recipe of Love and Don’t Forget About Me. Recipe of Love puts you in the shoes of an aspiring chef in New York. In Don’t Forget About Me, your boyfriend disappears right before you get married, but your new boss’s boyfriend looks just like him. So far, these two have been relatively “clean” in the romance department.
Batman – The Telltale Series
Out of all the Telltale games, Batman has to be my favorite. You play as Batman as he watches over Gotham, and every choice you make affects the story. It’s pretty dark, like some of Batman’s comic runs, but it’s enjoyable to play.
There are several endings that you could get depending on your choices, so play through a few times. The first episode is free, but the remaining four episodes are available for $4.99 each or $14.99 in a bundle. Catwoman, Detective Gordon, and many villains make appearances. You’ll even get the chance to drive the Batmobile!
This is the latest story-telling app I’ve stumbled across, but it’s piqued my interest already. There are customizable avatars and outfits (most of which are actually cute) and tons of stories to choose from.
My favorites are The Sea’s Lost Daughter, Haunted Love, Murder at Snowy Lake, and Merlin: Love and Destiny. Haunted Love makes you a ghost hunter in a forbidden romance with a ghost, while Murder at Snowy Lake is a murder mystery with romance thrown in. The Sea’s Lost Daughter is a mermaid tale, and Merlin: Love and Destiny transports you to Camelot.
I absolutely love the art style in Stories; something about it is just lovely to look at. Every story has customizable avatars and outfits, and your character’s personality develops through the story. The age rating is 12 and up, but there are some “adult” stories available.
In addition to full stories, they also offer “dates” with some characters. I haven’t tried those yet, but they look intriguing. My favorite stories so far are Curse of Sullenwood (a mystery) and Beneath Cursed Sails.
Erica – Interactive Thriller
This game has a similar vibe to Until Dawn. Erica also reminds me of that Black Mirror interactive episode years ago. In it, you play as Erica, a girl who faces her past to uncover the truth about her present. The first part of the game is free, but the entire game is only $2.99.
You’ll be on the edge of your seat every second of the game. Each choice you make affects the next option and the outcome of the game. You’ll also fall in love with the live-action gameplay that makes you feel as if you’re really there. The game is also available on PlayStation4.
On the app store, Chapters calls themselves “the largest interactive game.” While I haven’t counted the stories, they have tons to choose from. Every story has avatars you can customize. Many of the “books” are 17+, but there are a few that aren’t as “spicy.”
My favorites so far are Burn for Me (urban fantasy), Mean Girls, Elite, and Isn’t She Lovely (fake dating trope). In Mean Girls, the burn book is back with a vengeance in a new generation of students. Elite is based directly on the show. There are also some stories based on popular novels like Crave.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
This is by far my favorite Harry Potter game. Hogwarts Mystery lets you play through your seven years at Hogwarts at the same time as Ron’s older brother Charlie Weasley. You’ll get to interact with beloved characters from the books and others created just for the game. Trust me, you’ll love all of the new students!
The game’s main storyline is solving the mystery of the Cursed Vaults to find your brother. There are also side quests that include quidditch and becoming a prefect. Throughout the year, there are timed side quests as well. My favorite involved becoming an Animagus.
Pixelberry Studios has made amazing games for years, and Choices is no exception. The stories are relatively clean despite the 17+ ratings on some of them. Each book has customizable avatars, outfits, and several love interests. All of the books are written by the app’s creators, and most are parts of a series. You’ll also love the beautiful scenic photos featured in most stories.
I’ve played almost all of the stories in the app–I like it that much! My favorites are the standalone story Blades of Light and Shadow, the three-book series Endless Summer, and the standalone Most Wanted. Endless Summer and Most Wanted are mysteries, while Blades of Light and Shadow is inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. If you’re more into contemporary romance, start with the duology LoveHacks.
Like Erica, this game reminds me of Until Dawn in that each choice affects the next option, the characters, and the final outcome. You can come across several endings and even more mysteries to solve. The whole game is $4.99, but you can play the first part for free.
This paranormal adventure puts you in Alex’s shoes. Along with their friends, she accidentally opens a rift to the spirit world and has to solve mysteries to make it off a spooky island. The animation and art style are unique compared to the other games on this list.