Playable Stories Archive

Introduction

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?

Contributors

Jason Boyd, General Editor and Contributing Writer

Jeremy Andriano, Contributing Writer

Kevin Ghouchandra, Contributing Writer

Entry Template

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).
  • 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:
  • Her Story
  • Hades: Adapted from Greek mythology, this dungeon crawler focuses on the attempts of Zagreus, son of Hades, to escape the underworld.
  • 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.
  • Tacoma: An exploration of a space station that reveals details about the everyday lives of the crew and why they evacuated.
  • Walden, a game: Play as Henry David Thoreau in this open world, first-person simulation of Walden Pond.