Netflix has announced new interactive stories it’s calling “branching” narrative episodes coming to the subscription service starting today. The first of which is Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and then coming next month, July 14th is Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile. As a Netflix subscriber you get control of what happens in each of these new stories.
The new “programs” were rumored earlier this year and will definitely cater to Netflix’s younger viewers. Netflix said that kids in particular are already use to playing with their favorite characters, as well as touching and swiping on their screens. While watching these interactive books, your kids have the option of controlling the storylines in a classic choose-your-own-adventure style. At key points in the story, they get presented with a few options for directing the plot by choosing which of those events they would most like to see.
It’s important to note here that not all devices will support the new user directed content. Only certain smart TVs, some streaming media players, games consoles, and iOS devices have support for the new platform currently. The episodes won’t work through the Netflix website, Android, Chromecast, or even Apple TV (as of yet).
The interactive Puss in Book story pauses a total of 13 times to offer choices and has two different endings available. It will last 18-39 minutes depending on your child’s selections.
As kids watch the story, they’ll be presented with different choices for the characters, allowing them to shape the adventure and the action as they go. That means these same titles can be watched again and again, with different results. Before today’s launch, Netflix says it talked with parents to get feedback on the new idea. Most of the parents surveyed were encouraged by the fact that the format itself is more engaging and had their kids making some of the decisions.
“The children’s programming space was a natural place for us to start since kids are eager to ‘play’ with their favorite characters and already inclined to tap, touch and swipe at screens,” execs at Netflix said. “It’s really about finding the right stories – and storytellers – that can tell these complex narratives and bring them to life in a compelling way.”
If you’re not getting Netflix you can try it out free for 30-days and then pay as little as $10 a month for a basic subscription. For more details, upcoming titles, and more information on Netflix’s new interactive stories you can checkout today’s full press release.