EduApp: Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be by @TinManGames

A modern, amusing and interactive take on this Shakespeare Classic

Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be




Ease of Use









  • A great resource to introduce and engage pupils into Shakespeare
  • Adventure Book choices keep reader in control


  • Only works in Portrait mode on iPad
  • A little pricey, but certainly worth the investment

We’ve been fans of adventure books for sometime, and really implore the impressive work undertaken by Australian tech company Tin Man Games in producing these engagingly interactive games which are really proven to get reluctant readers to absorb in a text, but when you think that they surely cannot improve on their work, they only go and release an adventure book that truly makes you sit back and go “Wow”!

ToBeFeatureJust to remind you; adventure books place the reader in charge of the destination of the character in the book as you need to make choices that direct you to different pages of the book – the reader is in control, and reluctant readers love this aspect of these fantastic books. Technology can be used to create such stories, with the TinManGames adventure book series proving what can be achieved.

Taking on a Shakespeare text as an adventure book is no mean feat, but Author Ryan North created his own choose-your-own-path version of Hamlet (available in paperback), which is now also available as an incredible iOS app.

Players can become three different characters from Shakespeare’s classic: Hamlet, Ophelia, or even Hamlet’s Dad, King Hamlet (Spoiler: you get ghost powers and then must investigate your own murder). Travel through time, fight pirates and sensibly bring evil King Claudius to justice in a court of law or stuff him into a cannon and fire him into a wall. It’s up to YOU!

Yorick skulls mark the choices Shakespeare took in his play which can be followed for the original story or abandoned to carve out a new adventure. View the Haml-o-meter at the end of each story to see how well you stuck to the Bard’s vision!

The original print version of To Be Or Not To Be was a huge Kickstarter success, helped by the fact that Ryan enlisted a crack team of the coolest and most attractive artists of our time, and the adventure book has been developed using Tin Man Games’ critically acclaimed Gamebook Adventures Engine. A dyslexic friendly font support has been added for readers with dyslexia.

This is a fantastic app, and one of the most modern and innovative ways we have seen anyone attempt to make Shakespeare accessible to a young audience who moan at the very mention of his name! The humour, writing style, choices and interactive element of this app is perfect in helping reluctant readers get into this Shakespeare story, hopefully setting them off in their understanding and appreciation of the bards’ work.

Explore the preview video below:

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About UKEdChat Editorial 3187 Articles
The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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