Apps Like Episode


#1

I’m not sure if this goes in Fan Community or not because it’s more about Episode’s rival apps, but also how they are relative to Episode so…

Anyways, as some people might have noticed, there are a lot of apps that are interactive visual storytelling based, which seem to rival Episode’s format. Not all of them are necessarily “ripoffs”. Choices was based off of Surviving High School & Cause of Death (made by the same people), which came out long before Episode. One can even argue features such as Episode’s Spotlight was based on the games’ format. And in addition, visual novel games have existed for a long time. But Episode’s (and Choices) surging popularity ignited the trend of visual/interactive storytelling, more so making apps containing a catalogue of interactive stories.

Choices
Launched August 2016 by Pixelberry
Spotlight Style

My Story: Choose Your Own Path
Launched January 2017 by Nanobit
Cinematic Style

Chapters: Interactive Stories
Launched October 2017 by Crazy Maple Studios
Spotlight Style

What’s Your Story
Launched January 2018 by Ludia
Cinematic Style

My Shelf
Launched February 2018 by NTT Solmare
Spotlight Style

Moments: Choose Your Story
Launched April 2018 by Stardust Works
Most similar to Visual Novel Style, though characters always have animations

I was going to write observations of all the apps, but halfway through I realized I didn’t want to sift through all of them as most of them aren’t appealing to me.

Which app do you like the most and why? Do you think the user-creation aspect of Episode has worked as an asset or a hindrance? You can argue both ways (i.e. more content? but also more questionable quality.) I ask this because of this excerpt from pocketgamer.biz on the What’s Your Story app:

“We’re not doing user generated content,” Thabet says, in reference to Episodes’ more platform-focused approach. “We believe our quality will drive value.”

Leave any and all thoughts below.

Also, can we talk about how the app layouts all look copy & pasted lol? Who decided this was the standard? (Whats Your Story also follows this format, though I can’t open it right now.)

Do you know of any other apps that weren’t listed? Apps that only consist of one story or are typical Japanese visual novels don’t count!


#2

Haha the other day I downloaded all the apps just to check them out.

Choices: I’ve been reading this one since it was first released. It’s easily my favourite out of all the apps and I personally think it has the best quality story-wise. The lack of animations don’t bother me. The graphics are nice. The gem choices DO seem to impact the stories though, which is irritating at times.

What’s Your Story: I actually don’t mind this one! The graphics took a little getting used to at first but it’s growing on me. I tried an episode of Charmed and I liked it. I will probably continue.

Chapters: This app seems the trashiest of all of them (That story in your screenshot “At Any Price” is about a girl selling her virginity to the highest bidder) however, on my device it came up as 17+ (I use the Australian app store). Some of the stories (not romance) seemed okay, but I haven’t actually read any yet.

My Shelf: Some of the stories seem somewhat interesting. I checked out the first episode of a couple. They were okay. I didn’t feel that the quality was the best (both storyline and graphics wise), but I also didn’t hate them. I might check out some of their other stories to see if there’s something that I like.

Moments: This one didn’t last long on my device at all. None of the stories seemed appealing to me and I wasn’t a fan of the graphics. It also seemed like another app which may need to change their 12+ rating.

My Story: I know I checked this one out but it’s not memorable at all. I’ll have to take another look lol.

Which app do you like the most and why? Do you think the user-creation aspect of Episode has worked as an asset or a hindrance? You can argue both ways (i.e. more content? but also more questionable quality.) I ask this because of this excerpt from pocketgamer.biz on the What’s Your Story app:

Episode and Choices are easily my top two. I like Episode because of the writer’s portal and the graphics. I like that anyone can write a story for everyone to read. I really like the style of the characters and all the potential there is to almost create a movie with the directing.
I like Choices for the story quality. They have a range of stories from all genres and while not all of them are my thing, I think they’re all done well. The gem choices bother me more in Choices than Episode though.
What’s Your Story would be my number three but then the rest would all be clumped together lol.

I really like the user-creation aspect of Episode. I think it’s one of their biggest positives at the moment and one of the main things that sets them apart from the competition (along with the graphics). I honestly think a lot of readers actually prefer the user-created quality than the featured stories on Episode. Sometimes you do need to look quite hard to find something that you like, but having user-created stories really does mean that there’s something for practically everyone. It’s also enjoyable as a writer to create content for Episode.

In regards to the quote, I think that actually applies really well to Choices. They don’t have a writer’s portal, but their content is really good.


#3

I had no idea all of these apps existed! I need to check them, and maybe I’ll write some stories using their platforms,


#4

None of them have writer’s portals (at least not yet) but you can submit your ideas to a couple of them (like Chapters and My Shelf).


#5

Ohh I see. I wish there was an app just like Episode that had a writer’s portals.


#6

I’m so obviously biased, but Choices and Episode are my top two, with Choices ranking above Episode, probably. I can’t speak extensively about the others on the list - some I’m just trying for the first time ever, but here goes!

First, Choices. And here is where the bias kicks in: I absolutely adore the Pixelberry writers. From SHS, and CoD, to HSS, and HU:RS, and now to Choices, their works incorporates what Episode’s so obviously lacks: consistent writing, diversity, LGBT+ representation, etc. PB has so obviously messed up in the past (when Choices was still fairly new), and when called out on it, they admitted their mistake and changed from it, rather than hand out excuses. I think you’ve caught me at such a time, because they’re due to release a space adventure story and that’s all I can think about. (If you’re in the neighborhood for first reads, I would offer up Bloodbound or Endless Summer.) Beware the diamond choices though. If you’ve got some to spend, great! The diamond choices add so much to the story. If you’re broke, you’re going to a) be ridiculed (it’s subtle but you won’t miss it) b) bypass bonus scenes or c) miss out on relationship points or d) likely all of the above!

Episode: if you’ve read some of my posts you could probably guess my thoughts on this app. I love the Writer Portal and the community (the forums, anyway), but things like the featured stories and the lack of clear guidelines (or following them), leaves a lot to be desired. Gem choices are pretty garbage, if I’m being honest. No real impact to the story because they’re like, what, 85% clothing and add all but a few lines? The real gems are those user stories that hook you right away, yet they are the ones that don’t receive the recognition.

My Story: okay, so. This one is a constant come and go for me. AKA whenever extreme boredom hits. The art’s not so great? Which means the characters look a combination of funky/creepy. That aside, the actually writing isn’t the worst, isn’t the best. It’s all kind of predictable. Diamond choices as well, do not change much of the story. I’d bought a few of them and gained a line or two at most. The one feature I love a lot though, is where you’re able to speed up ticket replenish times by watching an ad. And there’s no limit to how many you can watch. Would be great if other apps implemented this, I imagine they’d get quite the ad revenue anyway.

Chapters. I think I’m too broke for this one. That you start out with absolutely zero diamonds is just depressing. I think I was looking forward to this one when it first came out, too. Briefly: this is as if Wattpad were an interactive visual story app. Writing/grammar is pretty solid, from what I can see, and the story selection is pretty interesting, though I haven’t tried out any aside from the Rake/Recluse one, which I quit right after it prompts me to pay to read my dead father’s journal or whatever.

What’s Your Story? I tried this one out when it first came out (the Divergent one?) and the writing was all over the place. Maybe it was just me or something but it was kinda hard to follow, and I got fed up with the writing/grammar mistakes, so it’s a no from me.

My Shelf. First time trying this, so I probably won’t have much to say. Trying out Untold Darkness, I found the conversations to be really stilted? It didn’t really flow for me. I do like the stories under fantasy though. But I’m always a sucker for fantasy!

And lastly, Moments. The art is different, but it’s not a bad difference. What I don’t like is the fact that the stories are pretty much snooze fests, but +5 points for attempting diversity/LGBT+ representation?

If I had to rank them, in order of great to garbage:

Choices
Episode
Chapters
My Shelf
My Story
Moments
What’s Your Story?


#7

Choices is SO GOOD. I’ve been playing since launch, and while all the games aren’t perfect, a lot of them are pretty awesome.

I’m also just gonna recommend Choice Of Games, if you’re more interested in interactive fiction in general than you are pretty graphics. It’s all text-based, but often super awesome - the Heroes Rise trilogy is straight up one of the best games I’ve ever played and best stories I’ve ever read.


#8

I play both Choices and Episode and I loooove choices, the story are different and they only use icons for the characters allowing us to focus more on the plot. Episode started to do that, when they first released the Baby Project but people (myself included) stop reading it right away, because I didn’t like it that way on episode. I mean episode was pretty unique to me because we were able to have the entire body, and Choices is also unique to me but I think that mixing both like copying one another wasn’t not a great idea. Dunno if you get what I mean.


#9

Choices is by far the best one with its story quality, gorgeous graphics, and interesting choices. I’ve been playing it since its release and I’m honestly not bothered so much by the diamonds; I’m glad that you have to use many diamonds for any scenes that could be inappropriate for younger readers since it gives them much less access to them. I won’t elaborate too much on this but I absolutely recommend it for anyone who wants to read guaranteed great stories.

I really want to create my own “choose your story” app now :smile:


#10

I agree with you! Choices is my favorite. Their mysteries and fantasies are just the best!! It can be a little corny at times, but it’s a wholesome kind of corny and not so much trashy. :relaxed:

I love that I can write and do some light coding here. From a writer’s standpoint, I’m so happy it exists.

What’s Your Story’s style is actually based off of Glu Games (Stardom: Hollywood & Kim Kardashian: Hollywood), which you can really see. The style just bothers me because it reminded me right off the bat of the Glu Game ones and in general the game is bit too void of anything for me.


#11

I mostly agree with your list! Choices (Endless Summer is :heart:) and Episode are my top two, and WYS, for the great selling point it has, is just a no from me. I don’t really like Chapters all that much. Like you said, the stories are basically the most stereotypical Wattpad stories (some are actually adapted from Wattpad! They’re following Episode’s footsteps lol) which aren’t up my alley.


#12

Episode actually released Spotlight a loooong time ago. The difference was that instead of using the current avatar characters, they were pre-drawn images, so you had a limited number of characters to work with with only so many expressions (think the way Choices is now). Then they opened it up so you could submit your own images, but people were submitting inappropriate things and it was harder to moderate at the time on top of cover art submissions, so they took it down. The way it works now is so much better.


#13

Moved to General Chat. :wink:


#14

Choices is by far the best. All the other apps are doo-doo. lol


#15

Choices and Episode are the only two that I play. The stories on Choices are very high-quality, and I love the aesthetic of it as well. I have a slight preference towards Episode only because of the community aspect (ability to write my own stories, reading user-generated content, the forums, instagram, etc).