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YouTube Launches a Bandersnatch-Style Interactive Film

YouTube has launched its first interactive film. It’s called A Heist With Markiplier, and, as the title suggests, it stars popular YouTuber Markiplier. Interactive films have been a thing on YouTube for many years, but this is the first professional production.

From Bandersnatch to Markiplier

Interactive films, which let you choose the course of the story, are coming of age. And it’s all thanks to Netflix, which had a big hit with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (everything you need to know about Bandersnatch). And there are more shows to come.

However, Netflix isn’t the only company producing interactive films, with YouTube known to be developing several ideas in the genre. And the first off the rank is A Heist With Markiplier, which is being released under the YouTube Originals banner.

How to Watch A Heist With Markiplier

A Heist With Markiplier comprises of 61 seperate videos, and there are 31 possible endings. You work your way through the videos, making choices at the end of each one, putting you in control of the story. And the replay value is high for completists.

As you can see from the trailer, A Heist With Markiplier shows what happens when you and Markiplier embark on a heist. So far, so self explanatory. However, based on the trailer, things quickly go awry, and veer off in directions you won’t be expecting.

This isn’t the first interactive film Markiplier has made. He previously produced A Date With Markiplier, which is entertaining but not quite as refined as A Heist. Still, if you like this particular YouTuber’s sense of humor it’s well worth a watch.

YouTube Originals Are Free for Everyone

A Heist With Markiplier is available from October 30th, 2019. Thankfully, as all new YouTube Originals are now free to watch

You Can Soon Watch YouTube Originals for Free

You Can Soon Watch YouTube Originals for Free

YouTube Originals will soon be free for anyone to watch. You’ll just have to sit through some ads, naturally.
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, A Heist will be available for everyone to watch. And if it’s even half as good as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch it’ll be worth the wait.

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6 Great Interactive Fiction Games to Play Online Right Now

While there have been many advances in technology and gaming, some people still appreciate the old-school challenges such as text-based games. These interactive fiction games still exist, and there are plenty of ways to play them online.

Whether you are a current fan of the genre or simply intrigued by it, here are the best interactive story games you can play online today.

Interactive Fiction Games to Play Online

Text adventures, online stories, or whatever you call them, interactive fiction games are plentiful online. But what are the best?

We have compiled a list of what we consider to be the best interactive fiction games…

  1. The Hobbit
  2. Photopia
  3. Lost Pig
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  5. Whom the Telling Changed
  6. For a Change

Let’s look at each game in turn, then find out where you can find more games once you’ve completed them.

Interactive fiction version of The Hobbit

Perhaps the most famous text adventure of all time, The Hobbit is based on the legendary book.

However, it is not necessary to read JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings prequel to complete the game. Instead, simply embrace those staples of the text adventure: look, examine, and use. It shouldn’t take long before you’re guiding Bilbo Baggins on his way, collecting keys and a certain ring, and outwitting spiders and a dragon on your way to discovering lost treasure.

2. Photopia by Adam Cadre

Less a game than a story, Photopia is considered by many to be the most influential piece of interactive fiction in the post-Infocom era.

It has quite a unique opening. One moment you’re waking up in the car from a night of partying as your friend speeds down the road. The next, you are suddenly a girl, the first on the red planet.

Going any further into the plot will give too much away, which is what makes this such an intriguing game. Photopia really is beautiful, although there has always been controversy surrounding it, so decide for yourself.

To start playing Photopia or just look at more game details, you can head to the Interactive Fiction Database site.

Lost Pig is an unusual text-based game

Pig lost! Boss say that it Grunk fault. Say Grunk forget about closing gate. Maybe boss right. Grunk not remember forgetting, but maybe Grunk just forget. Boss say Grunk go find pig, bring it back. Him say, if Grunk not bring back pig, not bring back Grunk either. Grunk like working at pig farm, so now Grunk need find pig.

So begins this less-than-epic quest, in which our hero attempts to find a pig.

No, really: that’s the plot. And it is amazing.

This short game’s narrative voice is deceptively simple and will have you laughing more and more as you play. It also features some pretty good adventure-game-style puzzles, but don’t give up too quickly. You should be able to solve them easily, making this a great game for beginners.

You can find more information about Lost Pig (and Place Under Ground) on the game’s website or start playing it on the Interactive Fiction Database.

Play Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as an online text adventure

As the story begins bulldozers are waiting to reduce your house to rubble to make way for a motorway bypass. Playing as Arthur Dent, your rather strange friend Ford Prefect then drops by with bad news. Earth is about to be demolished to make way for an interstellar bypass!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is available across multiple mediums

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Changing Stories Across Mediums

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Changing Stories Across Mediums

Mediums have different strengths and weaknesses, and adapting a text from one to another sometimes calls for substantial changes. No one understood this better than legendary science fiction author Douglas Adams.
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. So whether you have heard the radio series, read the book, or watched the movie, don’t miss H2G2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a remarkable interactive fiction game that you’ll remember for a long time.

And, if you are familiar with the story already, you will be in for some twists and turns in this online adaptation of the tale.

The real charm of this game is its narrative voice—the text was written by Douglas Adams himself. This game is not easy and includes no hint system. But, devotees of Adams’ work should struggle through—it’s worth it just for the laughs.

The heat of the fire and the glow in the storyteller’s eyes made the past present, and the path to the future clear. The power in the telling was immense, subtle, divine. What man would dare subvert it?

As your village in ancient Mesopotamia decides whether to go to war the legendary story of Gilgamesh is told. Your role is to, by asking the right questions, manipulate public opinion toward fighting or not fighting.

This game is great if you have a working knowledge of the Gilgamesh epic (read it free here) and even better for repeat playing, as there are multiple possible endings.

Review more information about Whom The Telling Changed or begin the game on the Interactive Fiction Database site.

Play the online story game For a Change

The sun has gone. It must be brought. You have a rock.

If you think that reads more like poetry than it does a game you’re probably right. This is a game as well as a poem, and a good one at that.

A surrealistic adventure featuring an invented vocabulary provides an experience no other medium possibly could and makes a strong case for the continued existence of text games. Prepare to really use your imagination, envision what is taking place, and then check this one out.

Interactive Fiction Game Resources

The example games above are just the tip of the iceberg of what online story games are available. If you want to explore further, check out these libraries of text-based games.

1. Infocom Games

If you are wondering where Zork is, the answer is that it is hard to say. Technically, Activision owns the rights to the Zork trilogy and the rest of the (amazing) Infocom library, which fueled the 80s text game craze.

You’ll find the Zork games (and others) on this Infocom games archive site. Note that you will need to install a browser applet to play them in your browser. As such, you may prefer to find these games in other locations, some of which are listed below.

2. Playfic

For discovery of new games and even for those interested in creating their own, Playfic is a great resource. This online community site lets you write, share, and play games created by others. You can check out the newest, most popular, or featured challenges.

3. Text Adventures

Play online text adventures

Text Adventures is another community of interactive fiction game creators and players. And, it also happens to boast Zork I. Check out the featured games or select a category like puzzle or fantasy.

4. The Interactive Fiction Database

The Interactive Fiction Database serves as an online catalog of the many free games available, including those mentioned here. You will also find downloading instructions for any interactive fiction game there.

This is worth doing as playing in the browser can be frustrating at times, with a lot of scrolling required.

5. My Abandonware

The Hobbit is a story game you can play online

Games that have been abandoned by developers and publishers can be found online, available to play legally. These can often be played in your web browser. With so many classic text adventures across many home computer platforms during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, you’ll find a wealth of options at My Abandonware.

For example, an older version of The Hobbit was released in 1983, and while it looks a little dated it still plays well. Play it at My Abandonware as a live DOSBox session in your browser.

Play the Best Interactive Fiction Games Online

This is just a small number of the interactive fiction games you can play online. Searching the interactive fiction libraries, you’ll find text games that you’ll remember for years to come. For the best results, download the games where possible to play without the limitations of a browser.

Do you want to enjoy more games from the past? Check out how to play retro games on any platform with DOSBox

How to Play Retro Games on Any Platform With DOSBox

How to Play Retro Games on Any Platform With DOSBox

Want to play retro PC games on your computer, phone, or game console? Here’s everything you need to know to get started with DOSBox, including the best games to emulate!
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How to Disable Interactive Pop-Up Ads on Your Roku TV

A TV with a Roku logo on it.

Roku TVs are now displaying pop-up advertisements over commercials on live TV. Whether you’re watching cable TV or free OTA channels via an antenna, you’ll see an occasional Roku advertisement above a commercial. Here’s how to disable them.

These ads were first spotted by Cord Cutters News. An advertisement promoting “Ghost Town” on the Roku Channel, a program sponsored by GEICO, appeared over a GEICO commercial while watching live TV. The ads appear to be part of the Roku OS 9.2 update.

The good news is that these only appear during commercial breaks. If an advertiser has partnered with Roku, that advertiser can display an interactive pop-up advertisement over the normal commercial. These ads will only appear when commercials are already playing on your  TV.

A GEICO advertisement displayed over a commercial on live TV on a Roku TV.
Cord Cutters News

If you don’t want to see these advertisements, you can disable them. To do so, head to Settings > Privacy > Smart TV Experience and disable the “Use info from TV inputs” feature on your Roku TV.

This will also disable suggestions like “More Ways to Watch,” which uses Automated Content Recognition (ACR) to analyze what you’re watching and recommend additional episodes of the show on streaming services as well as similar shows and movies you may be interested in watching.

Disabling the "Use info from TV inputs" advertising feature on a TCL Roku TV.

These advertisements are only available on Roku TVs at the moment. If you have a TCL Roku TV or a Roku TV made by another manufacturer, this affects you.

If you just have a standard Roku stick or streaming box, you won’t see these ads or the option to disable the “Use info from TV inputs” feature.

RELATED: The Smart TV Crapware Era Has Already Begun

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Planning a Fall Color Tour? Time It Perfectly with This Interactive Map – LifeSavvy

The Fall Foliage Prediction Map for October 19, 2019, at

If you’re a huge fan of fall colors like we are, you definitely want to catch them at the right time. This interactive map ensures you’ll visit your favorite forest when its colors are at their most breathtaking.

The most glorious days of fall color—known as “peak color”—are when the highest number of trees are changing their foliage from shades of green to a rich autumnal palette. The timing of peak color shifts from year to year. One year, it might be the first week of October, but the next, peak color might not appear until the week of Halloween.

So, what can you do to make sure you don’t miss it? When you try to look up random color predictions online, you usually just find outdated information (the color prediction for Colorado in 2017 won’t be much help). Instead, use the Fall Foliage Prediction Map at Not only is it super easy to use (just move the slider under the map to the date you plan to travel), but it’s based on new data and prediction models that are updated every year. This maximizes your chance to catch and enjoy peak color wherever you happen to be.

For example, if you plan to hit up the M-22—the state highway in northern Michigan voted the most scenic fall route in the U.S.—the Fall Foliage Prediction Map says you should make your trip around October 12 this year.

If you’re interested in catching the show around Gatlinburg Tennessee, though, you’ll want to hold off until around November 9, after the cool winter weather has crept farther south.

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The Best Interactive Cat Toys – Review Geek

A cute cat preparing to pounce on its prey.

Cats are natural predators, and they need to experience the challenges of hunting every day. If you’re ready to give your cat its instinct-fulfilling playtime, all you need is a few interactive toys.

What’s Wrong With Non-Interactive Toys?

There’s nothing wrong with “non-interactive” toys. If your cat manages to get a ton of exercise from stuffed mice and plastic balls, that’s fine.

The thing is, interactive toys are built to trigger your cat’s predatory senses. They make weird noises, they hide behind obstacles, and they can break free from death at a moment’s notice. Interactive toys feel like prey to your cat, and they’ll drive him absolutely bonkers.

Here’s what you can expect from any of these interactive toys:

  • Your Cat Will Pant: The best play sessions will end with your cat panting like a dog. We’re not joking. It’s hilarious to see in person, and your cat loves it too.
  • You’ll Be Best Friends: Cats aren’t stupid. When you’re involved with their playtime, they understand that you’re giving them the ability to have fun. It’s like playing games with a kid; your cat will like you more for it.
  • Kitty Won’t Get Into Trouble: You can’t deny an animal its natural instinct. It will always find an outlet somewhere. If you don’t play with your cat, it may choose to unroll your toilet paper for fun. Or it may pee on your bed for attention.

Interactive cat toys are great for exercising and building a relationship with your cat. So, let’s get right into it. Here are the best interactive toys for your best feline friend.

The Budget Pick: Cat Dancer 101

The Cat Dancer wire toy.
Cat Dancer

The Cat Dancer is just a wire and some cardboard. You wiggle it around, hide it behind obstacles, and run it along surfaces (cats love it on top of furniture). It’s super cheap, super simple, and your cat will go crazy for it.

Yes, this sounds silly. But in our experience, every cat loves the Cat Dancer. Even if it sounds like something your cat wouldn’t like, it’s worth trying out for under $5.

The Premium Pick: Petronics Mousr

The Petronics Mousr remote control mouse toy.

The Petronics Mousr is an interesting little toy. It looks like an RC car because, well, that’s basically what it is. You can manually control it from your phone and laugh as your cat goes into an absolute frenzy. Or, you can set it to one of several automatic play modes, which are updated continuously by the Petronics developers.

As you’d expect, the Mousr works on all floor surfaces, including carpet. It has an interchangeable tail, it can correct itself when its upside down, and it can play dead (or struggle) when it’s caught. The Mousr is also relatively easy to take apart and clean in case it gets tangled up in some hair or yarn.

The Must-Have Toy: Da Bird

The Da Bird feather string toy.

Like the Cat Dancer, Da Bird is a super simple toy that cats can’t get enough of. It’s just a rod, a string, and a plastic bird. As you wave the bird in the air, it twirls and makes a flapping or fluttering sound. That’s all there is to it, and cats go crazy for it.

Cats can ruin Da Bird after just a few weeks of play, but hey, that’s a sign that your cat is having fun. Plus, “bird refills” are so cheap that the price of buying a bird refill every few months is mostly negligible.

For Sheet-Scratchers: Petlinks Motion Mat

The Petlinks electronic motion mat. It's a mat with a motor underneath. The motor rotates a feather.

If your cat likes to pounce on your bedsheets every time you move your feet, you should consider grabbing the Petlinks Motion Mat. This interactive toy is just a plastic mat and a motorized feather. The motor causes the feathers to spin around the inside of the mat like a trapped bird, and cats simply can’t resist it.

Just as a disclaimer, the motors on spinning toys can burn out if your cat is a bit too grabby. If yours is the type to hold onto things and never let them go, you may want to consider a different interactive toy. (That said, this toy isn’t too expensive. It may be worth your cash even if your cat is dangerously grabby).

For Foodie Cats: Cat Amazing Treat Maze

The Cat Amazing treat maze.
Cat Amazing

Whether your cat is a lazy foodie or a hair-brained genius, it’s sure to love the Cat Amazing Treat Maze. This interactive toy is exactly what it looks like—a cardboard treat maze. But it comes with a twist; there are three “levels” of puzzle-solving difficulty. Throw a treat into one of the treat maze’s levels, and watch as your cat puts its mind to work.

Along with being a great interactive toy, this treat maze can serve as an excellent weight-loss supplement for tubby cats. Essentially, you can use the Amazing Treat Maze as a supplemental food bowl. Put a small portion of food in the regular bowl, and get your cat to work for the extra food that it wants.

For Busy Cat Owners: Petcube Smart Camera

The Petcube smart camera.

Ever wonder what your cat’s doing when you’re at work? Well, they’re probably just sitting around. If you want to take advantage of that open time (and tucker your cat out before you get home), consider grabbing the Petcube Smart Camera.

The Petcube Smart Camera has more features than you’d expect. At a basic level, it’s a Wi-Fi-connected camera that lets you watch, record, and talk to your pets. But it also has a built-in laser (that’s safe for pets), so you can remotely play with your cat while you’re at work. Or you can set the laser to its automatic option when you’re too busy to play.

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