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Choose Hamlet's Own Adventure: To Be Or Not To Be

Heck yeah I'll play as Ophelia! That brook looks lush, man.

You know the problem with Shakespeare’s Hamlet? It doesn’t have any dinosaurs, for starters. Or time travel, now that I think about it. Those pirates are barely mentioned. Ophelia doesn’t kill anyone (else) either. And only one ending! To Be or Not To Be [official site] rectifies the lot.

Dinosaur Comics writer Ryan North turned Hamlet into a zany adventure-choosing game book with the help of $580,905 in Kickstarter funding in 2013, and now it’s become a virtual narrative choose ’em up you can play on your personal computer.

North’s take on the classic brought it oodles of endings and odd branches, a choice of three characters – Hamlet, Ophelia, and Hamlet Sr. – with their own abilities and paths, a whole load of all-caps, and art by a huge list of famous webcomic artists. And jokes, I guess. Lots of jokes. Actually, jokes are probably the main feature. Jokes are probably the driving force for this even existing. If he couldn’t add jokes, I bet he wouldn’t have even bothered.

What does this new digital version bring? Music, sound effects, animation, and achievements in a interactive novel sort of way, and it dresses the choose-your-own-adventure within the choose-your-own-adventure up as ye olde text adventure game too.

To Be or Not To Be is out now on Windows, Mac, and Linux for £7.99 through Humble store, which gives a DRM-free version and a Steam key, or it’s £8.99 straight from Steam.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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