A friend asked me what I was playing on my phone.
I said, "A choose-your-own-adventure about the Cuban Missile Crisis. You get to play Kennedy."
How often do you get to say that?
Of all the games that people asked me to check out when I threw out my open invite to try out people's games, Cuba's Days was the most interesting to me.
(Digression: when critics talk about games - even if they like them - it seems they are compelled to mention a game's flaws. I know I have that tic. I just wrote a paragraph about the common problems of this sort of game. It's like if we admit we like something that isn't perfect our credibility will be shot, and we need to throw it these caveats. Well I'm resisting the urge.)
Both Echo Bazaar and this seem to indicate that there's a little life in the old choose-your-own-narrative genre yet. One of the things Cuba's Days does is break down the story into several different sub-stories: you can choose a good result on one sub-story and screw up another and get a middling final result. Which helps mitigate the 2^n problem of choose-the-narrative games - (for every step in the fiction the number of endings doubles)
There's also something appealing about the historical aspect - the Cuban missile crisis is something I know just a thing or two about - I saw Thirteen Days over twenty years ago - so part of the game was remembering what Kennedy did, and when I didn't remember using common sense. Compare and contrast with a typical CYOA book, where the action you take would typically have a completely random consequence.
For everyone else who suggested games, I checked all of them out. If you want to hear my thoughts drop me a line.
And ... I need more iOS games to try. If you've made an iOS game, tell me about it.