Netflix launches choose your own adventure programmes for young viewers

Children looking at the Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile story on a device.
Children looking at the Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile story on a device.

Young Netflix users will be able to choose their own adventures and make decisions for their favourite characters with a new interactive storytelling feature launching on the streaming service.

Children will be able to choose where to take the story next as they make key choices in a string of shows released over the next year.

Box art for the new Puss in Book adventure

Box art for the new Puss in Book adventure

The first, Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale, is a standalone episode of current Netflix show The Adventures Of Puss In Boots and allows the viewer to choose what Puss should do and how the story will unfold.

It sees the Shrek character sucked into a magical book of fairytales and try to make it to the end of all the stories to escape.

At one point Puss in Boots finds himself in the story of Goldilocks with the Three Bears staring at him.

The viewer is asked to make a choice of whether the bears are friends or foes.

The 13 different choices throughout the episode lead to two different conclusions to the show, which is aimed at children between four and six.

The shortest path through the story makes an 18 minute-long episode, while the longest route through the options creates a 39 minute-long experience.

The next show, Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile will see champion truck-racing dog buddy and his pal Darnell test out ideas as the viewer tells them which one to try next. The eight different choices lead to four different possible endings.

The episode will be aimed at children between six and 11.

Another show, Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout, is currently in the works.

Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, director of product innovation at Netflix, told the Press Association: "This project has taken two-and-a-half years, it's been a long time coming and it's all about how to make the members' experience better.

"Kids think everything is there to be interacted with so we took all those things and it was this great a-ha moment - we can put kids into the directors' seat and let them control the story."

She added: "We have tested with kids as young as four but they often had younger siblings there and they all understand touch screens and they love that they get to choose and pick."

Asked if this technology would be applied to shows for adults, Engelbrecht Fisher said: "We have built the tools to be able to offer this to our creators, who have stories to tell. It's all about the stories."

Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale is available on Netflix now.

Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile will be available on July 14 while Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout will launch next year.