Last night I went to the premiere for an iPhone app/movie/game/thing called Bank Run - basically a Choose Your Own Adventure novel in movie form that you play on your iPhone. Here's the trailer:


Bank Run's developers, Portland ad agency SilkTricky, described it last night as an "enteractive" app (a buzzword for interactive entertainment) with "playable moments." (Wow, that was a really annoying sentence to write.) Those playable moments are in the form of, like, pressing the left and right arrows to run, or hitting a button at the right time to shoot a dude in the head. There is also a side-scroller section and an over-the-shoulder shooter bit (remember the bonus levels in the arcade game Sunset Riders? It's like that). The first half is going up on the web in the next couple of days with the hopes that you'll get hooked into the story enough to pay to download the second.

It's hard to really judge how fun it is since I was watching it being played, not doing it myself, but here's how it looked. Videogames are already getting pretty cinematic, but that doesn't make them fun to watch; you have to be hooked by the gameplay first. The gameplay here looked too easy, and the story, acting, etc. doesn't buoy itself, so... fail? Not necessarily. The people who made this app/game/whatever obviously had loads of fun doing it and that's really infectious. Shooting a movie with one storyline is costly and involved enough without a bunch of different storylines branching off and the ways that SilkTricky succeeded is really exciting (the action really is fun to watch). I don't know if I'd pay to download Bank Run, but I will be watching SilkTricky. If their next project builds on the promise of this one, it could be some next-level shit.