Top 20 Popular Interactive Movie Games

Interactive cinema games haven’t been around for a long time, and they don’t have a solidly formed framework. Movie games are video games that develop according to a complex scenario and include entire blocks of videos with animated or live footage. Today, famous actors participate in such projects, and players have a large number of options for actions that affect the development of the plot of the picture. Depending on the gamer’s decisions, events can develop in completely different ways: the fates of the characters can change in the course of the action, and confrontations can end differently. Let’s take a closer look at this genre.

How Movies Are Brought to the World of Games

Interactive cinema can be different: it can use both three-dimensional scenery and characters, as well as filming with live actors. As you progress, the player influences the course of the story with their choices. To put it simply, it’s like a movie whose script is non-linear, and the endings can differ from playthrough to playthrough. Games of the genre are characterized by simplified gameplay: the gameplay is reduced to moving, communicating, finding objects, or solving simple puzzles. And, of course, making decisions that affect the scenario.

How Player Preferences Affect the Course of the Story

Each game in the interactive movie genre confronts the gamer with the need to make decisions. Often, this has to be done at important moments in the story. In some games of the genre, the course of the plot is also influenced by the relationships between the characters, which are formed on the basis of their communication or actions – the hero who holds a grudge can set up the protagonist at a difficult moment, even if the gamer did everything right before.

Popular Interactive Games

Heavy Rain

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4
Release year: 2010

The cult project of the Quantic Dream studio not only brought it worldwide recognition but also popularized games in the style of interactive cinema. Heavy Rain is an action-packed thriller in which an unknown maniac kidnaps a child and forces his father to go through inhuman trials to save him. You have to play four different characters, and everyone looks at what is happening from their position. The twist is that the maniac is one of them. Despite the project’s release date, we won’t say who exactly because the gamer’s attempts to find out on his own during the passage have become one of the main features of Heavy Rain.

Beyond: Two Souls

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4
Release year: 2012

This is another must-see project of the Quantic Dream Studio, which is definitely recommended to anyone interested in interactive movie games. In terms of genre, Beyond: Two Souls is located somewhere between mysticism and family drama. In addition, the key roles were played by famous Hollywood actors: the main character, Jodie Holmes, was shown on the screen by Ellen Page (now Elliot Page), and the audience’s favorite, Willem Dafoe, plays her adoptive father, Nathan Dawkins.

Jody is accompanied everywhere by a paranormal entity that she calls Aiden. The disembodied creature both helps her in difficult situations and harms her. Because of him, Jodie became an outsider in society, and she had a difficult childhood. The events of Beyond: Two Souls are retold inconsistently: episodes from different periods of Jodie’s life are shown, for which the authors were criticized at the game’s release. Subsequently, a linear walkthrough mode was introduced, in which you can watch the scenario from start to finish without losing the thread of events.

Detroit: Become Human

Platforms: PC, PS4
Release year: 2018

Quantic Dream’s latest interactive movie game raises the stakes to the limit. The authors tried to create as many situations as possible in which the player makes decisions that have consequences. Because of this, the title can be replayed many times with different outcomes. In addition, it is possible to follow the results of various elections on YouTube.

At the center of the plot is the rise of machines: in the near future, androids will faithfully and obediently serve humanity until the software fails. For some reason, the machines gain human feelings, as well as their own will, and eventually stop listening to orders. The gamer will control three different androids, each of which has another social status. The fugitive cleaning lady Kara, the leader of the Omnic Rebellion Marcus, and the cold-blooded detective Connor each three pursue their own goals, and which ones are up to the player to decide.

Until Dawn

Platform: PS4
Release year: 2015

This game is also deservedly included in the top of interactive cinema. While Quantic Dream creates big-budget blockbusters, Supermassive Games has chosen the niche of intimate but blood-curdling horror films. Until Dawn is her first and most successful shot, it’s an homage to the popular teen slasher genre. A group of young people find themselves in a struggle for survival and confront threats, whether they are violent maniacs, supernatural creatures, or monsters of unknown origin.

The plot of the game is non-linear, and whether it will end with a tragedy or a happy ending depends only on the user and his actions. It is worth mentioning that heroes can become victims of external threats and conflicts in the team. A Sim may hold a grudge against another, and at a key moment, this will have unexpected consequences.

Man of Medan

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2019

After the hit Until Dawn, Supermassive Games switched to a series of small standalone stories under the general name The Dark Pictures. The format is reminiscent of Tales from the Crypt: without huge budgets, without much scope in terms of scenery or plot twists and turns, these are still well-tailored games.

In Man of Medan, a group of friends take a boat out to sea but are caught in a storm and end up on the Man of Medan. It’s home to modern-day pirates looking for some treasure, and it’s a hell of a mess! It appears that the ancient ship from World War II is haunted. As in Until Dawn, the player’s actions and decisions will determine who survives this terrible night and who will remain forever on the cursed vessel. By the way, the plot is based on the urban legend of the Ourang Medan ship: a ship that allegedly disappeared in the waters of the East Indies, on which the dead bodies of crew members were found, whose faces were distorted by grimaces of horror.

Little Hope

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2020

In the second game in the series, The Dark Pictures, the authors updated the horror subgenre. Little Hope instills fear with a dense and dense atmosphere that hides something scary. After an accident, a group of bus passengers finds themselves in the American countryside, shrouded in thick fog.

Something incomprehensible happens here: the heroes experience strange visions in which they find themselves in another time and become participants in the execution of supposed adepts of magic. It is impossible to guess the essence of what is happening almost until the very end because the game scenario has an unexpected plot twist in store for users. Interactive cinema on PC is an extremely unpredictable genre!

House of Ashes

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release year: 2021

The third game in the series, The Dark Pictures, is once again experimenting with the subgenre: pure-blooded horror has been replaced by action horror, something like the second part of James Cameron’s Alien. The script follows a group of U.S. military personnel who are searching for Saddam Hussein’s cache of weapons of mass destruction. However, they discover something completely different: upon arrival in the village, a group of five people falls into an ancient temple of the Akkadian civilization, where monsters of unknown origin live. There, they also find the remains of an old expedition that discovered the temple half a century ago but never left the place.

House of Ashes differs from other games in the series in its camera: instead of fixed viewing angles, a full-fledged third-person action camera with free movement is used. The essence of the fun, however, remains the same: you need to stay alive, and the scenario will be influenced not only by the direct actions of the player but also by the relationships between the characters that develop as a result of the choice of lines and actions.

The Devil in Me

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release year: 2022

The fourth and final game in The Dark Pictures series was released at the time of publication. Once again, Supermassive Games is experimenting with the format: this installment is close to the Saw film franchise. A group of documentary filmmakers enter a replica of the hotel where the serial killer operated to film an episode of their show. Who would have guessed that the place had really turned into a death trap? The maniac placed a variety of dangerous traps throughout the room.

The authors have also diversified the gameplay: if earlier in their games you had to explore and collect items mainly, then here there is a full-fledged inventory and puzzles, and the possibilities of movement have been replenished with running, jumping, and climbing. Of course, The Devil in Me, in the best traditions of the series, has a number of plot forks, as well as momentary effects from the decisions made. Who will survive this time will become clear in the course of the game.

The Quarry

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release year: 2022

This game is positioned as a spiritual successor to Until Dawn. Unlike the Tales from the Crypt franchise, this installment is much more strictly adhering to traditional horror tropes. In terms of genre, we are again facing a teenage slasher, and its authors were largely inspired by Friday the 13th, The Hills Have Eyes, and other cult films. A group of teenagers find themselves in an abandoned children’s camp, where some unknown but extremely cruel creature operates. Finding out what’s going on here and trying to keep the heroes from dying is a task for the player. One of the leading roles was played by Ted Raimi, a famous Hollywood actor, and brother of Evil Dead and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi.

Life is Strange

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Release year: 2015

A game that brought fame to the French studio and publishing house Dontnod — so much so that the trail of this success keeps it afloat to this day. This is an homage to the movie “The Butterfly Effect,” and the main idea is the manipulation of time in order to change the course of events.

The main character, Max Caulfield, moved to the city where she spent her childhood to enter Blackwell Academy. After witnessing the murder of a close friend, she suddenly discovers her gift of time travel. Max rescues his girlfriend, and then together, they try to solve the mysterious disappearance of an academy student. Of course, the heroine will often have to use her superpower, and the consequences of these interventions in the very core of the space-time continuum will certainly come. Thanks to its originality, Life is Strange deserves to be included in the list of the best games in the genre of “interactive cinema”.

The Walking Dead

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Release years: 2012−2018

A whole series of games based on one of the most famous series of the twenty-first century, divided into four seasons: from beginning to end, it is a cohesive and consistent story. At the same time, the plot of the series is completely independent. In the first season, convicted teacher Lee Everett takes custody of a girl, Clementine, who has been left without parents. In the following seasons, Clementine becomes the protagonist, growing up from part to part, and in the final season, she takes custody of an orphan child.

The Walking Dead is a heart-wrenching drama filled with many emotionally challenging scenes. It shows that in such conditions, the main monster is not a carnivorous walking corpse but a human. Of course, the decisions made by the player will significantly affect the course of the story and will affect the behavior of the characters. In general, the plot will develop more or less linearly, differing only in details.

The Wolf Among Us

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS
Release year: 2013

A live-action adaptation of Bill Willingham’s Fables graphic novel universe, in which characters from fairy tales and folklore live among humans, hiding their magical nature. Alas, they have a hard time in this world: mythical creatures live at the very bottom of society, doing menial work and living in squalid conditions.

The protagonist of The Wolf Among Us is Bigby Wolf, a werewolf and the sheriff of Fabletown, who makes sure that all magical creatures strictly observe secrecy and rules of behavior in human society. It’s a famously twisted detective story in which a maniac kills the inhabitants of Fabletown one by one — and he does it right under Bigby’s nose. He, in turn, tries not only to find the killer but also to understand his motives. The decisions made by the gamer will affect not only the relationship with the characters but also the development of various story branches.

Batman: The Telltale Series

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS
Release year: 2016

One of DC’s most famous heroes got his interactive movie, which was created by the authors of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, who wrote the original script for the title. In it, Batman will face a whole conclave of supervillains and will be torn between two images, which is reflected in the gameplay.

The gamer will control both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, the hero will not only have to fight the bad guys but also pick at the shadowy side of the city’s political life. As for the cast, the main characters were played by real video game stars: Batman was voiced by Troy Baker, and Laura Bailey said Catwoman.

Blacksad: Under the Skin

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2019

This is a game adaptation of the cult comic book series about the world of anthropomorphic animals and John Blacksad, a gorgeous cat and no less luxurious detective. The quality of Blacksad: Under the Skin is not inferior to Telltale’s projects. Blacksade will have to investigate a suspicious suicide, which, of course, is not a suicide at all. With his feline intuition, John senses that this matter is much more complicated than it seems at first glance.

According to the canons of the genre, the player will repeatedly have to follow the wrong trail, and the decisions he makes will not only affect the development of a number of storylines but also give the character a certain moral character. A detective can be both an impartial and honest guardian of the law and a dirty cop for whom personal gain always comes first.

Late Shift

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2017

It’s literally a game like a movie — it’s an FMV format with pre-shot scenes. However, their order and final editing are determined by the player’s decisions: Netflix did something similar in one of the episodes of Black Mirror. The protagonist of Late Shift is a student who works part-time in a parking lot and gets involved in a criminal story during one of the shifts. With 180 different choices and seven different endings, the game reveals not only the fate of the hero but also the outcome of his relationship with a cute criminal.


Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, iOS
Release year: 2022

Another FMV project is called Arthouse. Immortem’s narrative is non-linear — the player watches a series of seemingly incoherent scenes, which are only later “glued” together into a single narrative canvas. Actress Marissa Marcel starred in three films of different eras, but none of them were released, and then the star disappeared somewhere.

Archival materials fall into the hands of the player: filmed scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, script runs, and so on. Surely, they will be able to shed light on the reason for what happened, which is so unusual that it is absolutely impossible to guess about it in advance. In addition, the game has an additional layer of storytelling, which cannot be told – this is a critical spoiler. Let’s put it this way: the developers said that this game is haunted…

Not for Broadcast

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Release year: 2019

Interactive computer games can be different, and this is just such an example. The player will have to take a seat in the control room of the TV channel’s studio, on which various shows are broadcast. It will censor the materials on the live broadcast, from “squeaking” obscenities and adding multiple sound effects to the live broadcast to much more subtle manipulations. The goal is to retain the audience, run the ad blocks properly, and get a good salary. The events take place in an authoritarian dystopia, and Not for Broadcast has a very obvious political message, and the ending of the plot directly depends on the effectiveness of actions.

Road 96

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2021

Interactive cinema with partial procedural generation: Simply put, each playthrough will be unique because the events in the course of the story are very different. The plot is about the escape of young people from a totalitarian country. You won’t be able to leave it just like that. On the way to the border, the heroes will meet various extravagant characters and find themselves in very strange situations – for example, they will take part in a robbery.

As Dusk Falls

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Release year: 2022

A domestic drama with an unusual narrative format: technically, it can and should be classified as an interactive movie, but there is no cinema here, only freeze-motion frames and sound effects. However, such savings on visual means do not interfere with the perception of what is happening, and thus, it was possible to devote more time to the script and various versions of the events taking place. Development was led by Caroline Marshall, who previously worked as the designer of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, previously mentioned in this compilation.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
Release year: 2023

Perhaps the most unusual member of this selection: not an interactive movie, but a real interactive musical. It tells about characters from Greek myths who live among people and express their thoughts and emotions through songs. The authors mainly focused on the audio component. The key scenes are revealed in the songs, the mood and visuals of which strongly depend on the decisions made by the player. So this game should definitely be on the list of “interactive movies on PC.”

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