Interactive Stories Debut On Netflix

Netflix has unveiled the first three shows to offer an interactive story mode. There’s bad news for Android and Apple TV users though.

Reports about the concept broke back in March when rumor had it Netflix would test the idea with a children’s show before extending it to adult stories.

The first show, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale, launches today featuring a version of the fairy tale character that’s at the very least influenced by the incarnation from Shrek. Another kids’ show, Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile, will debut on July 14 and a Stretch Armstrong show will follow next year.

For now the shows will all be straightforward “choose your own adventure” stories for children. The original reports suggested adult shows using the branching technology could be more complex, for example by telling stories out of chronological order. Netflix says it’s starting with children because they are more inclined to interacting with devices and familiar with playing with games incorporating familiar characters.

The interactive stories will work on most Smart TVs, media players, consoles and iOS devices, though they may need an app update. For now the feature isn’t available on Android, Apple TV, the Netflix website, or through Chromecasting. In these cases the show will simply play as a linear experience with pre-determined choices.