Linden Research Inc
Free for Apple iPad
An interesting idea and almost a modern take on the ‘choose your own adventure’ books,Versu is an interactive storytelling app that lets a user play as different characters in a story, choosing actions to make other characters like or dislike them and progress the tale.
The first few books on offer include an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (of course) and a mystery in an abandoned manor.
The writing is witty and the interaction is interesting, but can be a little stilted, since the characters have preset responses that sometimes don’t tie with your actions perfectly.
You can gain achievements for things like estranging a relative or being a laggard in love and you can choose to return to chapters of a tale at a later date.
The Pride and Prejudice offering uses snippets of the novel and well-written dialogue options based, pretty accurately, on the characters in the story.
There’s a lot of fun to be had, making Elizabeth spill tea on Mr Collins, or really pushing the envelope by going full Collins and telling Elizabeth that, as a woman, she clearly doesn’t know what’s best for her, several times.
The resultant ‘you have irritated another character’ achievement is fun, but there does feel like a few missed opportunities in terms of ‘Pride & Prejudice: the Outtakes’, featuring a kung fu fighting Elizabeth and a film noir Kitty (“My sisters thought the culprit was a tramp but I knew Society was to blame. She’s a hard dame to please and I’d given up trying to, so I sat back with my best friend Jack, last name Daniels, and contemplated the sorry state of affairs that led us to that infamous Netherfield Ball”).
This could probably be remedied by additions to the Versu library, which will take time and perhaps an expanded writing team.
The art work there is, looks nice and the app is well laid out, but it’s a slightly drab affair and could do with a touch of colour and more images, or a spruce up of the ‘book’ effect Versu has going.
A good idea that will become great, with a little work to keep things interesting and a few more genres/stories.