The Playable Stories Archive is a curated guide for teachers and researchers (primarily in literary studies) who are interested in incorporating interactive digital stories in post-secondary curricula and scholarship. In selecting which works are appropriate for the Playable Stories Archive, we are generally guided by the following criteria:
Literary aspect: Does the work provide a compelling narrative experience?
Length: Does it take roughly the same time to complete (or at least get a fairly full sense of) the work as it would to read an average novel (approximately 8-10 hours)?
Difficulty: Can it be successfully navigated by readers/players with a wide range of abilities?
Accessibility: Is it available on multiple operating systems and platforms?
Cost: Is it affordable?
Jason Boyd, General Editor and Contributing Writer
Jeremy Andriano, Contributing Writer
Kevin Ghouchandra, Contributing Writer
Works (Alphabetical by Title)
- 80 Days: A progressive steampunk adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel, with multiple routes and stories around the globe.
- Dave Morris’ Frankenstein: A dialogic retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic novel.
- DEVICE 6: A stylish retro-techno-thriller in the form of a playable novella for iOS (iPhone/iPad). Entry by Jason Boyd
- Eliza: A visual novel about AI, therapy, and Silicone Valley solutionism.
- Elsinore: Play as Ophelia in this time-looping mystery based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
- Firewatch: A mystery adventure and exploration of human relationships, set in Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming.
- Gone Home: After a stay in Europe, you arrive at your family’s new home to find the house empty. By exploring the house, you discover what has been happening with your family while you have been away.
- Her Story: Search an old database of police interviews to reassemble a women’s testimony about the murder of her husband.
- Hades: Adapted from Greek mythology, this dungeon crawler focuses on the attempts of Zagreus, son of Hades, to escape the underworld. Entry by Kevin Ghouchandra
- Long Story
- Overboard!: A 1930s murder-mystery set on a ship crossing the Atlantic–and you are the murderer.
- Oxenfree: A supernatural mystery/horror adventure involving a group on teenagers stranded overnight on a deserted island.
- Papers, Please: Face logistical, personal and ethical challenges as a border crossing agent of the totalitarian state of Arstotzka.
- The Return of the Obra Dinn: A nautical mystery set in the nineteenth century, with elements of fantasy. Entry by Jason Boyd
- Tacoma: An exploration of a space station that reveals details about the everyday lives of the crew and why they evacuated. Entry by Jason Boyd
- Walden, a game: Play as Henry David Thoreau in this open world, first-person simulation of Walden Pond.