Netflix continues to add new games to its streaming library, as the next step in a strategy it has been pursuing since 2017, when it first began experimenting with interactive specials.
The streaming service’s interactive content, which consists of hybrid movie and gaming experiences based on well-known properties, allows users to engage in the story they’re watching. They’re proto-games in the manner of Choose Your Own Adventure.
The company’s ambitions clearly expanded to adult viewers with the release of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in 2018 and You vs. Wild in 2019. The company’s initial interactive titles were tailored for kids, but with the release of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in 2018 and You vs. Wild in 2019, the company’s ambitions clearly expanded to adult viewers.
The majority of Netflix’s interactive specials take place in existing series’ universes, while Bandersnatch stands on its own because Black Mirror is an anthology program, and the You vs. Wild franchise is basically Bear Grylls hamming it up in nature.
Each of these shows allows viewers to direct the course of events. But how entertaining are these specials? What is the level of interactivity? Do our decisions have any impact?
We’ve updated our look back at all of the streaming site’s interactive specials with the release of the service’s newest interactives, Battle Kitty and Trivia Quest.
Our continuous rankings take into account how much fun each interactive is, the kind of tales it tells, and whether or not the viewer’s decisions have any impact on the story.
Adult-oriented interactive specials
“In 1984, a young programmer begins to doubt reality as he turns a dark fantasy story into a video game.” Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018) – “An enthralling story with numerous endings.”
Unbreakable “It’s an interactive Kimmy special!” says the description of Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend (2020). Kimmy is planning her wedding, but first, she must prevent the Reverend’s nefarious scheme. It’s up to you to decide what she should do next.”
“Can The New Day escape the surprises in The Undertaker’s creepy mansion?” says the description of Escape The Undertaker (2021). In this interactive WWE-themed show, it’s up to you to decide their fate.”
“Do you wish to relax, meditate, or sleep deeply?” says Headspace: Unwind Your Mind (2021). With this Headspace interactive special, you may tailor the experience to your mood or thinking.”
Trivia Quest (2022) – “Quiz yourself across increasing degrees of difficulty in an interactive trivia series covering history, art, science, pop culture, and more.”
Cat Burglar (2022) –”Answer properly to help Rowdy the Cat avoid Peanut the Security Pup and steal some treasured artworks in this edgy, over-the-top, interactive trivia toon.”
Specials for the kids that are interactive
“Take command of an adventure set in the Minecraft universe in Minecraft Story Mode,” according to the game’s description. The fate of the planet hangs in the balance, and your choices will mold the narrative, so select wisely!”
“After sliding into a magical storybook, Puss in Boots must battle, dance, and romance his way through outrageous escapades as he hunts for an escape,” says the description of Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale (2017).
The Maybe Pile of Buddy Thunderstruck (2017) “Champion truck-racing dog Buddy and his closest friend, ferret mechanic Darnell, paw through the “maybe pile” and test out a number of wild maneuvers,” according to the description.
“Villains are rampaging across Charter City, and the Flex Fighters — Jake, Ricardo, and Nathan — need your aid to stop the madness,” says the description of Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout (2018).
“In this interactive series, you’ll make important decisions to help Bear Grylls live, prosper, and complete tasks in the hardest places on Earth,” according to the description.
Epic Choice-o-Rama with Captain Underpants (2020) – “In this interactive program, Harold and George will rely on your decision-making abilities to prevent Krupp from destroying their cherished treehouse.”
“You lead the action in this interactive adventure, helping Carmen save Ivy and Zack when V.I.L.E. arrests them during a robbery in Shanghai.” Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal (2020)
Ride Along Adventure: Spirit Riding Free (2020) “Join Lucky and her pals on an interactive journey to save Maricela’s beloved mare from greedy horse thieves who’ve kidnapped her with a wild herd,” says the description.
“Think you’ve got what it takes to be the boss?” says The Boss Baby: Get That Baby! (2020). This interactive program puts your abilities to the test and pairs you with one of Baby Corporation’s 16 roles.”
“After an aircraft catastrophe leaves Bear with amnesia, he must make decisions to save the missing pilot and live in this high-stakes interactive adventure.” You vs. Wild: Out Cold (2021)
“Join Johnny and Dukey on an epic interactive adventure to locate the ideal meatloaf — and spare themselves from eating Dad’s awful “trash loaf” for supper,” says the description of Johnny Test’s Ultimate Meatloaf Quest (2021).
Happy Apocalypse to You (2021) – Description: “Assist Jack and his monster-fighting pals in making decisions that will keep them alive — and have some fun — in this interactive “Last Kids on Earth” adventure!”
Animals on the Loose is a film that pits you against the wild (2021) “When wild animals flee from a sanctuary, Bear Grylls — and you — must track them down and safeguard their safe haven.” “An interactive special,” says the producer.
“Kitty and Orc battle with monsters, defeat opponents — and require your support to travel through Battle Island and become champion in this interactive adventure!” says the description of Battle Kitty (2022).