Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure

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Deathtrap Dungeon

Gamebooks. Does anybody still use those? I expect so because the Fighting Fantasy series is still going strong. Originally published in 1982 by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, Fighting Fantasy was a groundbreaking achievement that is still going strong. Scholastic UK is currently publishing the books, including Ian Livingstone’s new book, Assassin’s of Allansia, which was published back in September. Deathtrap Dungeon is one of the most successful and popular entries of the series. Mark Ripley and Matt Spall founded Branching Narratives back in 2019 where they chose to focus on the niche genre of interactive video.

Interactive Video

What in tarnation is interactive video? Well, let me explain. Interactive video is where the “player,” and I use that term loosely, watches a movie and makes choices at certain points. YouTube occasionally does this by linking videos to annotations within the video. Black Mirror did its own interactive video on Netflix, which remains unique. Branching Narratives is using that same format for Deathtrap Dungeon while maintaining the spirit of the original book.

Why is Deathtrap Dungeon Special?

Interactive video, for me, has always been a lackluster experience. I’d rather play a game where I feel like I’m in control instead of like an audience member calling out choices on “Who’s Line is it Anyway?”. However, Deathtrap Dungeon is being designed to feel more like a game. They plan on having a narrator speak directly to the player. The narrator is also Eddie Marsan, which is also a huge plus. While Deathtrap Dungeon shows more promise than others in its genre, it is the future of Branching Narratives that interests me the most. Founders Ripley and Spalls are looking at a field much broader than video games: Education. Using their interactive video style, the pair plan to revolutionize the genre and use their skills to make training videos for areas like the medical field.

Deathtrap Dungeon Due Date

Deathtrap Dungeon is scheduled for a release sometime during winter of this year. The game will debut on Mac and PC first. Android and iOS will follow soon after. In the meantime, read the original¬†gamebook if you haven’t and better prepare yourself for the trials ahead.


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