New Netflix Shows Are Like 'Choose Your Own Adventure'

Interactive shows are here
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2017 7:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – Netflix is introducing something that will likely appeal to fans of "Choose Your Own Adventure" books—interactive TV shows. So far, the shows are for kids (Puss in Boots and Buddy Thunderstruck will both feature interactive episodes this year; Stretch Armstrong is getting one next year, per Polygon), but if they prove to be a hit with subscribers, Netflix says it could expand the interactive format to its more popular series—or create a series in which every episode is interactive. The interactive episodes will also only be available, to start, on certain devices including game consoles, iOS devices, Roku devices, and some modern smart TVs. They won't yet be available on Android devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, or the web.

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"Kids are already talking to the screen," Netflix’s director of product innovation explains to the Verge. "They’re touching every screen. They think everything is interactive." The device controller will be used to make a series of choices (13 in Puss, eight in Buddy), although if too much time passes, Netflix will make the choice automatically. The shortest path through the choices is 12 minutes; the longest in Puss is 39 minutes. In Buddy, there's an "infinitely looping narrative" created by one of the choices. Kids can go back and rewatch the episodes to make different choices and ultimately experience all the possible endings. The interactive Puss episode launched Wednesday; the Buddy episode is out July 14, per Digital Trends. (Netflix subscribers are angry about this show's cancellation.)

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