Choose Your Own Adventure books go digital

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The Independent Culture

Edward Packard, a creator and principal author of the classic Choose Your Own Adventure book series, has collaborated on a set of applications that will bring the interactive books into the digital age, announced Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing on July 26. The first in the "U-Ventures" series, Return to the Cave of Time, is now available on iTunes for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

Simon & Schuster partnered with Packard and software developer Expanded Book/Expanded Apps on the applications, of which three are so far planned. The second story, Through the Black Hole, will be out by the end of the summer, while a third, The Forbidden Castle, is due for release in the fall.

"Readers of the original Choose Your Own Adventure books had to turn to a particular page to make a choice," said Packard. "In U-Ventures apps, they tap the screen. Plot progression is seamless. Our developer, Expanded Apps, added sound, light, and other special effects, even music and alien voices, and I introduced a lot more variations and endings and special situations: for example, where what happens depends on whether the reader remembers a secret word."

The Choose Your Own Adventure children's gamebooks were first published by Bantam Books from 1979 through 1998 and are now being re-published by Chooseco. Each story is written from a second-person point of view, with the reader assuming the role of protagonist and making choices that change the book's outcome.

Between 1979 and 1998, more than 180 Choose Your Own Adventure titles were published. Sales topped 250 million copies, and those books have been translated into 38 languages.

Return to the Cave of Time is selling for $3.99 on iTunes.