Developer: Penguin Group
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Choose Your Own Adventure stories were quite the hit while I was growing up, and that spirit seems to be making a comeback in recent times thanks to mobile gaming. The latest entry to that stable is Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville Files; a brief yet interesting foray into the town of Cainsville. It works partly as an interesting tale in its own right, and partly as a form of advertising for Kelley Armstrong’s forthcoming novel, Omens.

Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville Files follows the tale of Jenn McCoy, a struggling private investigator, as she uncovers some very dark secrets while seeking out her missing high-school sweetheart. There’s a pulp fiction style tone to proceedings, although one that never quite gets going as much as I hoped it would. Still, it’s a pretty fun ride even if it will only take around an hour or so to complete.

cainsvillefiles3cainsvillefiles5Throughout the tale, Jenn is presented with a series of options relating to which direction she wants to take next. As is the way with such titles, there are plenty of gruesome and not so great endings, and only one “happy” ending. It’s fun to figure out which route to take, but Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville Files keeps it light by always making it simple to backtrack and pursue a different path.

It’s all relatively simple stuff but the attractive visuals and style make it easy to remain interested. By the time I reached the end I was quite interested in reading more which is surely the entire point of such an app. Also, while Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville Files isn’t especially long, it is interesting to restart and pursue some different paths to see how things change, even if they aren’t quite as deep resolutions as one would hope.

For those keen on experiencing storytelling a little differently, Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville Files is a pleasant, if all too brief, delight.

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