Top 10 Choose Your Own Adventure Books to Buy Online 2019

Top 10 Choose Your Own Adventure Books to Buy Online 2019

Choose your own adventure books (CYOAB) might seem like a relic of the 80s and 90s, but they’re definitely still around and better than ever.

We’ve scoured the internet and pored through reviews to come up with a few of the best CYOABs out there–for kids and adults. While books are subjective by nature, we’ve found that a good CYOAB is written in your favorite genre, has a good balance between story length and number of endings, and, for convenience, comes in an eBook format.

Table of Contents

Top 5 Best Choose Your Own Adventure Books for Adults

CYOABs may seem like they’re mostly for children, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

1. Heart of Ice (Critical IF Gamebooks)

Heart of Ice (Critical IF gamebooks)

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Price: $9.26 ($0.99 for eBook)

Best for Satisfying, Conclusive Endings

This CYOAB takes place in a dystopian world 200 years in the future and follows nine heroes determined to win the Heart of Volent and gain the ability to alter reality.

Each story and ending is beautifully fleshed out, completely logical, and never leaves you feeling cheated. This book isn’t just a choose your own adventure, it’s a novel that just happens to have multiple endings.

Genre Sci-fi, adventure
Number of Endings
Clickable eBook Yes

2. Pathogens: An Interactive Zombie Survival Gamebook

Pathogens: An Interactive Zombie Survival Gamebook

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Price: $14.95 ($3.99 for eBook)

Read as a Range of Different Characters

This CYOAB has you step into the shoes of one of six characters and make choices for them that will lead you to one of 100 different outcomes where (hopefully) you survive the zombie apocalypse.

Despite the wide range of possibilities, this book still manages to incorporate compelling storytelling and world building and weaves the characters’ arcs together to make you want to go back and see how every person gets through.

Genre Adventure
Number of Endings 100
Clickable eBook Yes

3. Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure

Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure

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Price: $12.98 ($11.99 for eBook)

Best for Pragmatic Romance Fans

Did Romeo and Juliet ever frustrate you with their strings of bad decisions? Well, now you can make it right. This CYOAB allows you to take the star-crossed lovers down some pretty improbable paths and offers some serious laughs along the way.

Aside from the stories, this book also features illustrations from 80 different artists to help highlight the various endings. However, do note that each individual storyline is fairly short, though that just gives you more time to explore the rest.

Genre Romance, comedy
Number of Endings 100+
Clickable eBook Yes

4. What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower: Being An Adventure Of Your Own Choosing

What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower: Being An Adventure Of Your Own Choosing

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Price: $4.99 for eBook

For Those Who Want to Read Every Single Possibility

In this CYOAB, you explore a steampunk version of Victorian London seemingly without a central plot–that is, until you go back, work out new endings, and find threads of connection throughout.

This book is highly detailed with characters that you’ll get to know like old friends. Although some choices will bring you to sudden endings, this book will make you want to go back and keep learning more about its world.

Genre Steampunk
Number of Endings
Clickable eBook Yes

5. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

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Price: $13.21 ($2.99 for eBook)

Best Wildly Unexpected CYOAB

For those looking for something a little less traditional, it’s hard to get any weirder than a non-fiction autobiography, CYOAB-style. Then again, it is Neil Patrick Harris (actor, comedian, TV host, and all-around Cool Dude, for those not in the know).

Because it’s an autobiography, there are only so many twists and turns the story can take, leading you ultimately to just one ending. However, depending on your choices, you may (or may not) get to a few secret chapters.

Genre Autobiography
Number of Endings 1
Clickable eBook Yes

Top 5 Best Choose Your Own Adventure Books for Kids

The interactive nature of a game with the imagination of a book–what kid wouldn’t love a CYOAB?

1. Plants vs. Zombies: Plant Your Path Junior Novel

Plants vs. Zombies: Plant Your Path Junior Novel

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Price: $5.89 ($4.99 for eBook)

Best for Reluctant Readers

Based on the Plants vs. Zombies video game, this CYOAB lets you decide how you’re going to escape the zombies by learning about different plants and making tactical decisions.

Aimed at kids ages 6-10, this book is a great way to get kids who might be a little too screen-focused more interested in reading. It has just a few storylines, which makes it easier to go back and figure out where you went wrong.

Genre Adventure
Number of Endings 27
Clickable eBook Yes

2. Treasures of the Forgotten City (Ultimate Ending)

Treasures of the Forgotten City (Ultimate Ending)

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Price: $8.99 ($0.99 for eBook)

Best Traditional Adventure

This CYOAB has you searching for the lost city of Atraharsis, fighting through traps, storms, and riddles to get there and find the hidden treasure your uncle wrote about in his journal.

While this book has one “ultimate ending,” it’s engaging enough that even if you find it early on, you’ll keep going back to see what happens in the other storylines.

Genre Action, adventure
Number of Endings 26
Clickable eBook Yes

3. Touch the Sun (Freedom Finders)

Touch the Sun (Freedom Finders)

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Price: $10.68 ($8.99 for eBook)

Best for Older Kids Learning About the World

In this CYOAB, you play the role of a Somalian boy escaping civil war for freedom in Australia. Your journey takes you across a dessert, in the underdecks of a boat, and constantly in the way of danger.

This book is aimed at older children (10-14) and touch on some pretty heavy issues that aren’t suitable for younger kids but make for fantastic learning and discussion points for those who are ready.

Genre Adventure
Number of Endings
Clickable eBook Yes

4. Dino Lab

Dino Lab (Choose Your Own Adventure - Dragonlarks)

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Price: $7.26

Best for Early Elementary Readers

In this book, you’ve accidentally brought dinosaurs back from extinction and now need to round them up before they get into too much trouble.

This book is aimed at younger readers ages 6-8 and features easily digestible storylines and  un-scary endings that make it great for practically any child.

Genre Adventure
Number of Endings
Clickable eBook No

5. Through the Forest

Through the Forest

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Price: $13.56

Best for Young Children and Beginning Readers

This delightful CYOAB has you wandering through the forest with your guide, Mother Forest. Together you meet animals, encounter insects, and learn about nature.

This book is aimed at young children ages 4-7 and makes for a great bedtime story. It’s a fantastic way to introduce kids to the animals you’d find in a forest as well as get them interested in reading.

Genre Adventure, learning
Number of Endings
Clickable eBook No

How to Choose a Choose Your Own Adventure Book – Buying Guide

Just so you get an idea of what’s out there.

Not Just Mystery and Adventure–Any Genre Can Be a CYOAB

Not Just Mystery and Suspense--Any Genre Can Be a CYOAB

Naturally, mystery and adventure make for some of the best choose your own adventure style books, and previously, these genres have dominated the format. After all, classic CYOABs are just RPGs on paper–“You’ve escaped from the dark wizard’s dungeon and come to a room leading off into two halls…” type of stuff. These provide a healthy dose of nostalgia.

However, basically any book that could have a different ending can be turned into a CYOAB. Just imagine the possibilities when it comes to romance, for example. Didn’t like who the protagonist ended up with? Just try a different ending.

In fact, the ability to spin the plot in so many directions opens up the possibility for some serious genre-crossing that a book with just one plot path could never even hope to achieve. So, feel free to search for one in your favorite genre–you’re sure to find at least a few.

More Endings Mean More Entertainment but Shorter Stories

More Endings Mean More Entertainment but Shorter Stories

A huge part of the fun of CYOABs is being able to go back, make different choices, and see all your potential outcomes. Some books have just four or five different endings, while others have upwards of 100. For those looking to extend the fun for as long as possible, look for books with more endings.

It should be noted, however, that the more endings there are, the more abbreviated the storylines are likely to be as there’s less physical space for fleshed out details.

A Clickable eBook Version Makes Skipping Around a Breeze

A Clickable eBook Version Makes Skipping Around a Breeze

Some people may enjoy the actual flipping around for the next parts, but for those who just want to get on with it already, an ebook version might be better.

Ebooks often let you simply click a link to skip to another page, so you to take the magician’s advice with the tap of the finger rather than having to thumb through several pages, potentially spoiling another ending for you.

Looking for More Ways the Whittle the Time Away?

Looking for More Ways the Whittle the Time Away?

Who says toys are only for kids? Below, we’ve researched some other fun activities that will keep you occupied, be you 7 or 77.

Summary

Despite the rise of other interactive forms of media, choose your own adventure books have more of a platform than ever, and the large variety of options means that there’s at least a few out there for everyone.

By Jacqueline Oshiro

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