The Best Interactive Fiction Games on Android

Reading is fun, and fundamental!

Interactive fiction and mobile devices go hand-in-hand, and as a result, there are tons of gamebook-style games out there for Android. If you're having trouble choosing which ones to check out, here's a list of 9 of the best choices.

01
of 09

Ryan North's to Be or Not to Be

Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be
Tin Man Games

What We Like

  • Lots of humor and fun.

  • Full-screen collectible artwork by well known web-comic artists.

  • Substantial replay value.

What We Don't Like

  • Author is somewhat intrusive.

  • Learning how to best deal with branches in the story is tedious at first.

Shakespeare wrote a lot of great plays, but there's a reason almost every school kid looks at his name with dread. Luckily, Ryan North and Tin Man Games have come to the rescue with this hilarious take on one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. With multiple playable characters, a ton of endings to find, and artwork from a variety of artists, including Kate Beaton, the Bard's never been so much fun or funny.

02
of 09

80 Days

80 Days
inkle Studios

What We Like

  • Effective, atmospherics graphics.

  • Charming and unpredictable storyline.

  • Plenty of replay possibilities.

What We Don't Like

  • Inventory system is a hassle.

  • Can't return to places previously visited.

  • Works better on mobiles than on PCs.

Have you ever wanted to live in a Jules Verne novel? Well, now you can. Sort of. 80 Days puts you in the shoes of Phineas Fogg's loyal valet, Passepartout, as the two set out to try to circumnavigate the globe within 80 Days. You'll be in charge of the budget, planning the itinerary, and keeping Fogg out of trouble. There are many different routes to take, but some of the most interesting ones might not be the most efficient, so choose wisely. The 80-day limit gives this gamebook a little of a score-chaser feel, and as you would expect from inkle, it's absolutely gorgeous to look at, too.

03
of 09

Sorcery!

Sorcery android app from inkle studios
inkle Studios

What We Like

  • The story is powerfully written.

  • Great sound and music.

  • Interesting combat system.

What We Don't Like

  • Too many spells to learn.

  • The story is incomplete and continues in subsequent releases of the game.

In a lot of ways, inkle's adaptations of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! changed expectations for gamebooks. Instead of simply trying to recreate the book precisely, Sorcery! does things a physical book couldn't. You move your character around on a living map, choose letters out of the sky to compose spells, and engage in battles that require you to pay careful attention to your opponent to make the correct counter-attack. Since the Sorcery! series tells one big story, it's best to start with the first book and work your way through, but all of them are quite good.

04
of 09

Gamebook Adventures 12: Asuria Awakens

Asuria Awakens
Tin Man Games

What We Like

  • Engrossing narrative and captivating illustrations.

  • Casual mode for novice players that includes the ability to heal.

  • Interesting storyline that is part swashbuckle and part horror.

What We Don't Like

  • The strong plot overwhelms the characters.

  • Some elements that are necessary to win are easily missed.

As more pure gamebook experiences go, you can't do much better than the most recent release in Tin Man's long-running Gamebook Adventures series, Asuria Awakens. It's long, nicely paced, and packed with action, interesting characters, and lots of surprises, and while it can be a little difficult in places, it's reasonably fair relative to other traditional gamebooks. This is definitely the pick of the litter when it comes to Tin Man's fantasy-themed works.

05
of 09

Choice of Robots

Choice of Robots
Choice of Games

What We Like

  • Solid writing combines with player imagination to create an unforgetable experience.

  • Huge amount of content.

  • Plenty of replay value.

What We Don't Like

  • No images.

  • Interface is uninteresting and takes some getting used to.

  • Endings seem contrived and sudden.

The adventures that Choice of Games puts out might not have much to offer in terms of presentation, but they have some of the best writing and most interesting branching narratives around. Choice of Robots is perhaps the most the interesting of the lot, giving the player a great deal of influence on the direction of the story while also staying true to this genre of fiction by presenting lots of interesting philosophical ideas to chew on. 

06
of 09

Heavy Metal Thunder

Heavy Metal Thunder
Cubus Games

What We Like

  • Enjoyable adventure game for fans of pulp sci-fi.

  • Well-written action scenes.

  • Imaginative storytelling.

What We Don't Like

  • Mostly text with occasional graphics.

  • Writing quality is uneven.

  • Dice-rolling mechanic means bad luck can ruin your game.

Heavy Metal Thunder is like a no-nonsense, hardcore action movie in text form. It might not be the most well-written gamebook and it can certainly be crass at times, but if you've never imagined a book could be big, loud, punch-to-the-face fun, you'll want to check this one out. If you enjoy it, there's also a direct sequel you can try. Heavy Metal Thunder is one of those gamebooks that is pretty hard to solve on your first try, but it's really enjoyable to test out all of the options available to you, so taking an extra run or two is actually a pleasure.

07
of 09

A Study in Steampunk: Choice by Gaslight

A Study in Steampunk
Hosted Games

What We Like

  • Fantastic storytelling immerses play in Steampunk world.

  • Well-written main characters.

  • Lots of replay value.

What We Don't Like

  • Must play as a man (straight, gay, or bisexual).

  • Game is text based without graphics.

Take the stories of Sherlock Holmes and filter them through a steampunk setting and you get one of the most interesting adventures Hosted Games has released to date. You play the role of a Watson-like character who serves as a secret agent in the fictional country of Mercia. The country lies on the brink of war, and it's up to you and your partner to figure out how to prevent that. Or perhaps you'd prefer to fan the flames to your own ends? Exceptionally well-written and packed with interesting choices, A Study in Steampunk is a must for any fan of detective stories that likes a good text-based game

08
of 09

Trial of the Clone

Trial of the Clone
Tin Man Games

What We Like

  • Comedy angle and the ability to cheat make this game fun.

  • The optional read-aloud version is voiced by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Will Wheaton.

  • The game isn't difficult.

What We Don't Like

  • The story contains occasional swearing and mentions of the clone's unsuccessful sex life. Overall, the humor is crude.

  • It's not much fun playing a protagonist that is dumb as a rock.

Written by Zach Weinersmith, the creator of the comic strip Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Trial of the Clone is the hilarious sci-fi tale of a clone out to seek a greater destiny. Sweetening the pot a little, actor Wil Wheaton lends his voice to the game, and it's all done up in Tin Man's excellent Gamebook Adventures engine, with all the bells and whistles that come with that. There aren't a lot of gamebooks that go for a pure comedy angle, something that helps Trial of the Clone stand out from the pack.

09
of 09

Hakuoki

Hakuoki
Gloczus

What We Like

  • Exceptional artwork and immersive storyline.

  • Perfect for anime fans.

  • Lots of replay value.

What We Don't Like

  • Fee for each episode.

  • Violence may not be suitable for some players.

  • Must play as a woman.

If you're interested in something a little different, you might want to try out Hakuoki. This is a visual novel from Japan that tells the story of a secret group of samurai who hunt demons by night. You don't play as one of the samurai, however. Instead, you play as a young woman who is taken into their fold. You'll have to earn their trust by making good decisions, and depending on how you choose, you might even end up with a little romance in your story. With gorgeous art and lots of replay value thanks to different storylines for each romantic partner, Hakuoki is worth the extra cost it charges over the other titles on this list.