We got to decide the fate of Puss in Boots in Netflix’s first Interactive Storytelling movie, and now you can too

Netflix Singapore is really winning with localized promos for its show. The first one we saw was a tongue-in-cheek image of Yishun to promote sci-fi horror show, Stranger Things, then well-known local actress Michelle Chong was having a conversation with Crazy Eyes in Litchfield for a promo of the new season of Orange Is The New Black, and not to forget the wild boar herd sightings, which became the centerpiece of a promo for upcoming Netflix flim, Okja. Now, they've just introduced this cool new Interactive Storytelling feature.

So what’s Interactive Storytelling?

Have you read the old Choose Your Own Adventure novels, where you decide the outcome of the story with your own choices by flipping pages? Maybe you’ve scared the crap out of yourself on gamebooks like Give Yourself Goosebumps, or went on heroic adventures in the Fighting Fantasy series. Or maybe you watch Netflix shows wondering, “What if he or she did this or that instead?”

Well, Netflix is finally premiering the first of its new Interactive Storytelling movies, Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale, combining the classic choose-your-own-adventure style with the Netflix original Puss in Boots animation.

There’s a lot to love if you’ve been weaned on gamebooks. Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, Carla Engelbrecht Fisher said the new feature had gotten positive feedback (for example, parents like the fact their child has the ability to make decisions and take a seat in the director’s chair, if you will).

For now it’s only on iOS devices and smart TVs, so go borrow an iPhone or iPad from a friend, stat. Or keep reading on to see what’s new in this Interactive Storytelling feature. It’s your call once again. 

Is it really all that fun?

I got to try an early demo of Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale and it was an addictive experience.

If your inner child loves The Adventures of Puss in Boots, then you'll definitely be familiar to the characters that appear in his latest adventure, though you don’t need any prior knowledge to step right into the story. Like his friend the Golem mentions, “This story not part of standard continuity.”

Here’s what’s happening (don’t worry, no spoilers). Puss is trapped in a fairytale storybook by the mysterious Storyteller and has to make it to the end of the book, with your help.

For instance, in one chapter Puss meets the three bears from Goldilocks. In one option, they are a happy loving family. In the other, they are crazed monstrous beasts. It’s really all up to you what happens next to Puss. 

How does it all work?

Don’t worry if you get lost. Puss speaks directly to you to provide instructions on what to do. Netflix worked closely with Dreamworks to integrate instructions and break the fourth wall throughout the show. Choices made seamlessly flow the story without any hitches, thumbs up here for Netflix.

Netflix also tweaked the scrub bar. Instead of fast forwarding and rewinding like a typical show, Netflix has come up with a chapter-based scrub bar that brings you back or forward to the different points you can make choices. It’s a cinch to head back to the previous choice options and see what the other decision leads to.

What we didn’t like however was the time limit between choices. I feel it would have been better to give us unlimited time to pick between each choice, instead of having the pressure of quickly picking one.

On the other hand, it was cool to see Puss plead us to revert to the other choice when we hit a bad end. Once you reach one of the major endings, Puss recommends trying one of two choices you didn’t pick. But it’s easier to keep track of your progress using the new scrub bar.

Netflix says the story creators made every choice feel equally weighted so everyone wouldn’t choose the same path. It’s great to go back and forth to see what fate lies ahead for Puss. All in all, there are 13 choices and two endings, with the shortest path clocking 18 minutes, to the longest at about 39 minutes.

Sounds interesting, is there more?

Next up is Buddy Thunderstruck’s latest adventure The Maybe Pile, where Buddy and partner Darnell gets you to help recommend potentially awesome (but mostly terrible) ideas from a bag of ideas that they’ve been saving called The Maybe Pile. This hits Netflix July 14. Another Interactive Storytelling movie starring Stretch Armstrong, the awesomely stretchy toy will be coming next year.

Looks like Netflix has really brought something new to the table—and hopefully Android users will be able to share in fun of it all soon. I’m looking forward to more adult-oriented Interactive Storytelling dramas starring Netflix originals like Stranger Things or House of Cards.


This story originally appeared on Stuff Singapore, bringing you what's next in the world of tech and gadgets, with a twist.