Which interactive fiction novel out of Choice of Games and/or Hosted Games is the best for people who are new to the concept of interactive fiction?

I have been reading these novels for a about a year now, and I was thinking about showing some novels to my friends. The thing is, which novel is best for beginners and won’t give them the wrong impression?

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What most of us started with would be Choice of the Dragon… that’s why I’m here, don’t know about you.


Same, I think Dragon is the best bet. Psy High was also one of my earlier ones and I think is also not a bad one at all to start on

I’m with the others. I was brought here by Choice of the Dragon and then Choice of Romance . . . I think it’s properly called. Choice of Dragon is a great introduction though and pretty basic and easy to play and understand.

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I haven’t read as many as some other users, so maybe I’m not the best to say anything.
But I think I would recommend starting with the free ones, they don’t have anything to loose if they happen to dislike this kind of games.

However if they seem unsure, they should probably try Choice of Robots. It’s generally considered the best one, and it was the one that made me interested in Choice of Games in the first place.

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Choice of Robots, Heroes Rise

Well, I got pulled into it all with Heroes Rise, m’self.


What type of fiction do your friends like reading?
What type of tv shows do they like?
What is your favourite piece of interactive fiction?


I don’t think a simple game is necessary, if they’ve ever played video games before they should understand very quickly. Dragon was good for it’s time, but I wouldn’t want to introduce someone to COG with it. Choice of Robots, Infinity series, Tin Star, Zombie Exodus, etc. are all good choices that actually demonstrate the full potential of choicescript.


Choice of the Dragon is how I found CoG, but I’d say Choice of Robots would make for a good entry as well.


I’ll add my vote to either Dragon or Robots. Or Broadsides and Tin Star if your friends have an allergy to fantasy and sci-fi and aren’t allergic to those genres.


That was the first one I ever read, and it got me to continue.

Since you’re talking about them as novels, rather than as games, does this indicate that you’re thinking of introducing them from more of the storytelling vantage rather than the gaming side of things? That can make a difference. You’ll find some CoGs that tell quite the good story without offering as much leeway for interaction, and vice versa.

Choice of Dragons could be a good light introduction, but it’s not one I’d lean to as much, because while it’s fairly entertaining, I didn’t really find it leaving me wanting more. While it’s accessible, I didn’t find it had as much to sink into. But a lot depends on what your priorities are.

Hollywood Visionary was another one that really hooked me, because I found its story to be one of the more emotionally engaging ones.

I can also second Choice of Robots, which works on a rather epic scale. I could see it being intimidating for someone just starting, though.

Another suggestion would be A Wise Use of Time, which has some really nice characterization, and a particularly intriguing premise.

Midsummer Night’s Choice strikes me as quite accessible too, depending on genre taste. It’s light-hearted, and doesn’t put much pressure on the player to succeed (failing is usually more fun anyway).

And Sixth Grade Detective is quite fun if you’re looking for something rather more comic. I don’t think there’d be anything too offputting for beginners, as long as they’re interested in the genre.

(I also adore Choice of the Petal Throne, but I wouldn’t recommend it as an intro. Getting into such a complex and unfamiliar setting and interactive fiction at the same time could be a bit much unless you know they’d be into that.)

Where it comes to Hosted, the original Zombie Exodus definitely was one worth mentioning, but I think it’s also one that takes longer to get going then most. Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven is excellent, and offers an intriguing look at the possibilities, though it’s not as representative of CoG as a whole, if that’s something that you’d feel concerned about.


The one I use to introduce people new to gaming in general is Thieves’ Gambit–it’s pretty short, doesn’t have too many stats, and most importantly, has a recognizable genre for people not into F/SF.

“Oh, a heist.”


Fatehaven. Definitely Fatehaven.

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might as well just read a book in that case

Really depends on the person. Someone not into games? CoDragon. Someone already into choice heavy RPGs? Their Genre. Someone with really bad taste into first person shooters? Probably point them at something at something a little more graspable.

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It really depends on what they are into but I have personally recommended games with a lot of replay value like Life of a Wizard and Choice of Robots. You could also suggest ones that have a popular theme or genre, like zombies or superheroes.

Here’s one thing I’ve done to introduce people: on a long car ride, pick a gamebook and the passengers take turns reading it aloud. Then, everyone discusses the choices and votes/argues/pontificates on what choice to make.

Then when things go wrong, you can point out that everyone should have chosen the option you were advocating for.

You can get through a long road trip that way with minimal pain, and it’s more fun for the driver than a book-on-tape.