In terms of quality and quantity, there aren’t many publishers on iOS serving their niche quite so well as Choice of Games does. For years, the company has been delivering an unbelievable variety of gamebooks from a wide array of authors through its Choice of Games and Hosted Games labels. These games aren’t just fun to play, but are also often excellent stories all on their own. The presentation of these games is as spartan as it comes, but if we ever get to a point where carefully composed prose and the human brain aren’t enough to stoke the fires of imagination all by themselves, then I want off this planet.
The thing is, Choice of Games has put out a lot of releases between those two labels. A lot. We’ve seen other prolific iOS publishers moving towards hub apps recently, with Tin Man Games introducing their Fighting Fantasy Classics (Free) app and Kairosoft releasing their subscription-based Kairo Land (Free). Choice of Games is now doing the same, with Choice of Games (Free) and Hosted Games (Free) serving as hubs from which a variety of books can be purchased and played.
In fact, these two apps are the only way you’re going to be able to get new ChoiceScript games from now on. In an FAQ on its website, Choice of Games explains that Apple has deemed their frequent releases to be too similar to one another. It seems that Apple considers these games to be spam as a result, which is (in my opinion) infuriatingly absurd. While one must certainly concede that all of the releases involve English text spread across virtual pages of a book, they’re no more similar to each other than, say, A Song of Ice and Fire is to Huckleberry Finn. But it’s Apple’s garden, so whatever. Luckily, Choice of Games is still able to deliver their games through hub apps, so that’s what they’ll be doing.
The apps are a little bare-bones right now, likely due to the fact that this wasn’t exactly Plan A for the publisher. In the future, Choice of Games is looking into adding a variety of features to the apps, including searching and sorting by a number of categories, transferring purchases of separate apps, and making the hub itself look a little prettier. For now, it’s just the way iOS users will have to go to get at the same releases that are coming out on other platforms without any additional hassle.
And hey, let’s try to see the bright side of things. A hub filled with gamebooks occupies less of your folder space than 50 separate ones, and it’ll be easier for Choice of Games to update the whole line if they need to. It’s just frustrating that this happened not as a result of a decision made by a publisher, but rather by Apple deciding perfectly good games are spam while letting a constant flow of garbage through just because of a little visual razzle-dazzle. Anyway, go check out these new omnibus/hub apps. If you haven’t played Choice of the Robots, which is available in the Choice of Games app, that’s a good place to start.