I had a small surprise waiting in my inbox the other day. I was invited to get a pre-launch look at what was described as an "interactive audiobook" app. This got my attention as I'd never heard of such a thing, so I signed up and downloaded Evidence 111.
The audiobook installs as an app for your phone or tablet (Apple and Android) and functions much like the old "choose your own adventure" type books I used to read when I was a kid. Unlike those which were geared towards children, Evidence 111 is a detective thriller, which gave me genuine chills at a couple of points.
It starts with Chief Inspector Alice Wells getting a phone call from someone blackmailing her into delivering a piece of evidence to them, or they will release some details of her past that she'd much rather remain buried.
Following the blackmailer's instructions, Alice arrives at the Harbor Watch Inn - an old hotel located on Cork Island. It is here where the rest of the story takes place. With a cast of intriguing characters, all seemingly weird or untrustworthy - it's difficult to know which decisions to make.
Technically a game, but describing it as such feels disingenuous. The controls are super-easy to learn and have been built with accessibility in mind. Choices you need to make are as easy as a right or left swipe, occasionally right, left, or down if there are three choices. After a couple of times looking at the screen, it became second nature for me to swipe correctly without checking.
You "play" as Alice. One thing I'll note is that it takes a little getting used to the stream-of-consciousness style of storytelling. Since we're playing as Alice, we don't get internal monologue or other descriptions beyond what she tells us, so any key information is relayed in this manner.
The developers of this app have pulled together an all-star cast for the narration of this story. Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Rosamund Pike (The Wheel of Time, I Care a Lot, Gone Girl), Zoe Robins (The Shannara Chronicles, The Wheel of Time), and Mike Bodie (Spectral, Love, Death & Robots), among others, make this a full-cast experience
I've played the story through to one conclusion so far, and I'll be returning to it again to see if I can get a different outcome. According to the information that I was sent, there are ten possible endings for Alice, so I'd be interested to see how my choices change the direction. I freely admit that I made some questionable choices along the way, which is all I will say since the rest would be spoilers.
I was provided with a free preview version of the game for the purpose of this review. I have not let this gift affect nor influence my opinions of this app.