This page is meant to provide more information about Choices. Ranging from tropes used in books and some facts about them, to some interesting facts about the app itself and its community, this page will provide you with everything you need to know about Choices and more. If you are looking for interesting details, you can find them here.
NOTE: All of the information that is gathered in this page is from TVTropes' page on Choices and its content. If you want to check more, please follow this link to the original source.
Book Facts & Tropes
This section is dedicated to the popular tropes the writers use in the books. In addition, you can find some facts related to the universe of a series/book or the characters.
- Regardless of players' opinions, it's the most popular and profitable Choices story to date (even overall from Pixelberry Studios' projects). The Freshman alone has 4 books, 3 premium specials (a date with either Chris, Kaitlyn or James), 2 Halloween specials, and 1 Valentine special. It gets to the point that it has sequels titled The Sophomore, The Junior, and The Senior.
- When The Junior was first released, there was a Book 1 next to it, implying that it was intended to span more than one book. However, fan backlash over its quality prompted the developers to wrap everything up into one book.
- In October 2017, James's portrait was changed. Fans were not pleased. Many who had been dating him wanted to break up with him and even complained that Pixelberry should refund any diamonds that were spent on him.
- Even Your Character gets this. While she's intended for fans to "self-insert" themselves into the story, the ones who treat her as her own character consider her a "Black Hole Sue" because the story always paints her as a nosy Control Freak obsessed with having a boyfriend/girlfriend, always meddling in her friends' problems, and she's never wrong in the conflicts. On the other hand, other fans love her because she is always a Nice Girl who tries to help her friends with their problems.
- Many find Kaitlyn a great option for the romantic interest while others feel she is better suited to simply being MC's BFF. Others find her too toxic to be either one, considering her to be an annoying selfish girl who doesn't think about consequences. In Book 3, she also gained more haters during her arc, painting her as a Creator's Pet when the story makes MC and their suitemates help her save her grades without another option. It doesn't help that she has committed several misdemeanors throughout the series such as underage drinking, breaking and entering, trespassing, an attempt at slander, vandalism, and fleeing the scene, yet got away with them.
- After Kaitlyn's attitude in Book 3 turned off many readers, a good portion of her fans began shipping MC and Becca as soon as the latter became available as a Love Interest.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits Trope:
- We have the Average Girl (Emily/MC), the Lovable Jock (Chris), the Party Girl (Kaitlyn), the Overemotional Artist (Abbie), the Asian and Nerdy guy (Tyler) and the Gay Best Friend (Zack). Later, the Non-Idle Rich Writer (James) and The Bad Boy with a Heart (Zig) join the cast.
- In The Sophomore, the new house halds Author Avatar Emily/MC, Lovable Jock Student Council President Chris, Punk Lipstick Lesbian Kaitlyn, Quirky Camp Gay Friend Zack, and later Fallen Princess Diva Becca.
A Broken Base:
- The change in the score system from Prestige and Power score in Books 1 and 2 to Legend score in Book 3 is either seen as a chance for more viewpoint characters to contribute meaningfully to the story and more streamlined gameplay or a needless change that reduces replayability. Fans of Dom are particularly displeased since the new score system is more influenced by Kenna's actions than his compared to the first two books, and vice versa.
- Since Dom was hinted to be bisexual and that he would have a male love interest, some fans are fine with Jackson's promotion to love interest status because it was unexpected and provides more characterization for Jackson, and others not so much because of the lack of build up and previous interactions between them. And also there's a portion of fans (mostly female) who think that Dom should be strictly straight.
- Despite being a major fan favorite in the fandom, Most Wanted is stated to be the least financially successful out of the three initial books.
- The book is a spiritual sequel to Cause of Death, another game developed by Pixelberry when they used to work under EA Mobile and published on iOS.
- The story has been in development hell for over 4 years since its release back in 2016. The writers promised a sequel that yet has to see the light of day. This garnered the attention of the fans who still until now voice their concern and anger every possible time. It got to the point that many players weren't surprised when the announcement came that Book 2 was canceled.
- Sam/Dave is the most popular couple among the fanbase despite the fact that Sam has 4 romantic options in the game.
- While The Freshman is considered to be "Pixelberry having a stubble over their last products", Most Wanted and The Crown & the Flame are the books that proved to the audience that the company can write a novel that isn't focused on romance and has solid ongoing plots.
- Decoy Protagonist Trope: One of these is at the start of the game just to teach new players the app's gameplay mechanics. An update allows you to choose who the unlucky character is (unlucky because whoever you choose dies while the other survives).
- In-Universe, Reza is a moderator on a forum for The Crown & the Flame.
- Early on, "Rise of the Maskmaker," a fictional movie about the events that took place in the first volume of Cause of Death, and "San Trobida", a fictional location appearing in Cause of Death, are mentioned.
A Broken Base:
- There is a large group of players who have become increasingly frustrated with Pixelberry's excuses to not work on a sequel, believing that they are owed a second book after more than two years have passed. There is another group who believes that the story wasn't that good to begin with, believe it was a poor move to reveal one of the main villains (John Tull) in the very first chapter and make it obvious he was a bad guy, and have stated they will be fine if the story never returns.
- Many fans complained that the showdown against Rourke in Book 3 Chapter 11 is anticlimatic despite the very high threat Rourke poses. Especially since he had the Omega Mech, which he could've used on the Catalysts except Estela.
- While Most Wanted is still on hiatus and The Crown & the Flame ended, many Choices fans consider it to be one of the best non-romance books the app currently has.
- Action Survivors Trope: Most of the group has been involved in first-hand action through the forest, cave, against wild prehistoric creatures, and even to an active volcano. Book 2 includes them having to fight an elite black-ops paramilitary unit.
- While you can gain points with characters across chapters, certain chapters, especially with premium choices, are geared towards gaining points with specific characters. For example, Chapter 7 gets you points with Craig and Zahra and Chapter 9 has a big chance to get points with Estela.
- Book 2 has these in the catalyst idols that correspond to each of the party.
- Same goes for Book 3 with the Embers of Hope.
- The central theme of the story: What is most important: the past, the present, or the future? Several choices allude to this theme, culminating in the ending choice, in which you can choose to rewrite the past (Rourke's ending), live the rest of your days in the moment (Endless ending), or make your friends' futures happen (Vaanu's ending).
- Book 3 is considered by many to be a low point in the series. Major complaints include the uneven pacing of the storyline, the introduction of unnecessary plot threads that were either dropped or quickly wrapped up with very little payoff, and the anticlimactic showdown against Rourke.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits Trope:
- We have The Audience Surrogate (The Main Character/You), the Token Best Friend (Diego), the Lovable Jock (Sean), the Dumb Jock/Jerk Jock (Craig), the Deadpan Snarky Military Brat (Jake), the Nice Ill Girl (Quinn), the Alpha Bitch (Michelle), The Big Fun (Raj), the Meganekko (Grace), the Insufferable Genius Snob (Aleister), the Delinquent (Zahra), the Genki Girl (Lila) and the Mysterious Woman (Estela). Chapter 6 implies in a stack of profiles that they were gathered to the island on purpose.
- Grace is the daughter of Blaire Hall from Rules of Engagement.
- Jake is the brother of Rebecca McKenzie from Most Wanted.
- The Adventurer's Gear you can buy in Book 1 Chapter 11 has different looks depending on gender. The male version is based on Nathan Drake's outfit while the female version is based on Lara Croft's.
- In Book 2, one of the outfits on sale for Taylor is a t-shirt with the Hartfeld University lettering.
- Book 2 also comes with a tank top (for males)/t-shirt (for females) with the words Kenna & Dom & Val & Raydan.
- The end of Book 3 Chapter 3 sees the return of Cetus. Varyyn has “got a bad feeling about this”, which is a reference to Star Wars.
- Jake: Funny, handsome and a dream of a guy, while others consider him an overrated smartass who can't keep a stable opinion.
- Sean: "Lovable Jock" and a perfect and noble guy or a "Glory Hound" with a Hero complex.
- Quinn: Either a sweet "Genki Girl" who is always supportive and optimistic, or a "Damsel Scrappy" who has contributed little to the group and only provides fanservice.
- Estela: Awesome "Action Girl" with a sympathetic backstory or a "Wangsty" jerk whose "I Work Alone" philosophy brings more harm than good to the group. The fact that she is significantly out of focus compared to the other love interests and the game's emphasis on "The Power of Friendship" comes to a screeching halt during her "A Day in the Limelight" episode doesn't help the matter.
- Michelle: Is she a clingy "Alpha Bitch" or a more in depth smart girl who is too ambitious for her own good?
- Aleister: His actions in Book 2, Chapter 14 have divided the fandom: some fans support Aleister's decision to betray you, stating he's looking at the bigger picture, while other fans are as furious with him as the rest of the group, stating the crimes he's committed are unjustifiable, and since he was the most intelligent, he should've known his father was manipulating him.
- Most of the players who found out about Craig and Zahra's past are hoping they will get back together. They can be together in premium scenes.
- After Diego hints that he is interested in one of the guys from the group, many fans started to either ship him with Raj or Craig. The fanbase migrated after Varyyn was introduced.
Harsher in Hindsight:
- Quinn's perkiness comes to a new light after she reveals that her childhood illness is back and is killing her slowly. No wonder why the poor girl is trying to grab every moment. Book 2 expands on how her illness not only affected her health, but also her parents' relationship.
- Craig comes as a selfish dumb guy who wants to party forever in an abandoned island, but later becomes sadder after Craig admits twice that he doesn't think he has a future waiting for him outside of the island and being a football player and Sean's best friend is the only thing he has.
- This is even harsher when it was revealed that the outside world has been destroyed, meaning that he really has no future waiting for him, though this can be played straight or averted depending on the ending chosen in Book 3.
- Aleister's bitterness and extensive knowledge of Rourke's empire after he reveals that Rourke is his father and he has been trying desperately to get his approval. He becomes so jaded that now he absolutely despises his father so much, to the point he decided to risk his life getting to the island just to tell him how much he resents him. Much later, in an attempt to save Grace’s life and extend the olive branch with his father, has to betray the group, despite how much he is regretting it. Despite all this, Rourke never considered him once, and even reveals that Aleister is really a clone of him, a failed experiment that will always pale in comparison to his real biological daughter Estela.
- A retroactive example with Rules of Engagement: Blaire Hall has an argument with her daughter over the phone before Grace boards the plane to La Huerta. The discussion becomes even sadder when one stops to think that there's little chance they get to see each other again after that.
- Treating Michelle badly and possibly hooking up with Sean becomes harsh once Book 2 reveals that Michelle never cheated on Sean and was set up by her sorority out of spite, which explains Michelle's initial defensive attitude around Sean. Treating her nicely might be the first decent treatment she ever got since the breakup. Her relationship with Sean also becomes heartbreaking because Sean never gave her the opportunity to explain herself before dumping her on the spot, despite having being together for two years. Fortunately, Book 2 Chapter 12 gives Taylor the opportunity to encourage Michelle to tell the truth about what happened, allowing both of them to move on.
- Estela cheering Lila up in Book 2 Chapter 8 goes south as soon as we learn two chapters later that Lila was the one who killed Estela's mother to protect Rourke's secret plan.
- In Book 1 Chapter 11, Craig made a passing comment on how the gang might have to repopulate La Huerta. Everyone else dismissed it as silly, but by Book 2 Chapter 14, it lost its humor when it's revealed that the outside world has been destroyed by volcanic eruptions bringing the world back to the Hadean Eon, leaving them to be the last humans on Earth.
- An early suggestion that Rourke might be involved in cloning (in reference to the sabertooth tiger) becomes this when it's revealed in Book 3 that Rourke has already cloned himself, the result of which was Aleister.
Makes Sense in Hindsight:
- Aleister's birthday is August 19th, which in many parts of the world would be written as 19-08, which is a significant number for his father. Then we learn that Aleister is a clone, which means everything related to his conception was meticulously planned. What are the odds that Rourke intentionally set it up for Aleister to be born on that date?
- The Catalyst Idol for the main character represents Andromeda, the only human among the other animal-constellations. It looks like a person in chains; without any determinable gender. This is logical seen the game does not care whether you chose to be male or female. It is also retrieved by diving into the water after it falls from the Cetus' esca. The original Andromeda myth had her chained to a rock at sea to lure the Cetus out.
- In retrospect, the scene from the past in MC's Idol vision can be read as Diego talking to himself, since Taylor doesn't exist yet. Along the same lines, the reason Diego's Idol vision doesn't have a past is because MC's absence would be notable.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Most of Sean's storyline and character interaction is hidden behind Premium Choices, making the interaction with him much more shallow than the other Love Interests. Book 3 has the most blatant examples of this: He is the same person he was at the start of the series, is the only Love Interest whose secret wasn’t incorporated into the main plot and is the only character still struggling with the issues he came to the island with in his Ember of Hope.
- The Oryctoraptor, Guardian of the Deep, only appears in one chapter and has almost zero storyline/backstory compared to the other Island Guardians.
- Adaptation Expansion: The Choices version of High School Story provides the last names of all the characters, including the characters from the original game, and introduces Caleb as Ezra's younger brother, and Myra as Nishan’s cousin, despite never being mentioned in the original game.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The original MC transfers into the school as a sophomore but quickly gains a large circle of friends. The Class Act MC enters the school as a freshman with a few established connections but is more shy and awkward.
- Hero of Another Story: Characters from the original game (such as Julian, Mia, Autumn, Wes, Ezra, Nishan, Payton, Sakura, and Koh) don't get the focus that they did in the original game. Instead the plot revolves around MC and his/her new friends.
- Several players stopped pursuing Ajay after the events of Class Act, Book 1, Chapter 12, when he failed to stand up for MC amidst false accusations that he/she was responsible for the original MC's injury.
- Book 3 is considered by many as a low point in the series. Major complaints include excessive focus on prom, melodramatic behavior of the characters, and lack of a centralized plot.
- Class Act Book 2 is also widely disliked for the school election drama, which many find boring, as well as the lack of focus on anything related to the theatre.
Demoted to Extras:
- All of the characters from the original trilogy have their roles reduced in Class Act. MC and Sydney become supporting characters, while the other characters, including all the love interests, are relegated to occasional cameos. The seniors (Julian, Wes, Autumn, etc.), who had graduated, don't appear at all except in premium scenes. MC and the love interests become more prominent in Book 3 when they all take part in the production of The Tempest but their roles remain secondary.
- Danielle plays a major role in Book 1 of Class Act but has only a couple of brief appearances in Book 2, and her only appearances in Book 3 are two very quick cameos.
- Amber and her boyfriend Lorenzo have major roles in Books 1 and 2 of Class Act, but in Book 3, Lorenzo has only a couple of brief appearances while Amber is completely absent until prom.
- In Book 2 when MC becomes official with someone, if you try to use the nickname Boy Scout or Princess, the game tells you this isn't Endless Summer. If you try to nickname Michael "Boy Scout", he says, "No way are you calling me something that stupid."
- In Class Act Book 1, if you choose to play Corporation at the cast party, you get to choose the name of your company. If you choose "Pixelberry", you get an achievement called "Nice Name", with the caption "I see what you did there."
- One of the original male MC's starting outfits has the default names of most main characters from other earlier Choices stories.
- Some of the games featured in the story are inspired by real life games: Lookout is inspired by Overwatch, Legends of Clancraft is inspired by League of Legends and World of Warcraft, and The Limbs is inspired by The Sims.
- The title of Book 1, Chapter 11, "Berry's Seven", is a reference to Ocean's Eleven.
- If you choose the Happily Ever After theme for Homecoming, Emma will say she feels like a princess. Luis will ask if she means Kenna from The Crown & the Flame, but she's thinking more about “that girl who became princess of Cordonia”, a nod to the MC of The Royal Romance.
- The achievement for taking Dad's flashback episode in Book 3, Chapter 3 is “How I Met Emma's Mother”, which is a reference to the TV series How I Met Your Mother.
- Class Act Book 1, Chapter 2 has a premium scene of Rory offering Bailey a ride home from school. One of the options for names to give it is “Ember of the Road," a reference to Rules of Engagement's Ember of the Sea.
- In Class Act Book 1, Chapter 4, a premium scene has MC and Skye setting up Amber's stuffed dolls like a scene from the Cordonian court. Also in the same chapter, the achievement for taking the premium scene with Rory is "A Galaxy Far, Far Away."
- In Class Act Book 1, Chapter 7, the theater kids are playing “Would You Rather?” MC has the option of asking if Erin would rather date Matt Rodriguez or Victoria Fontaine.
- In Class Act Book 2, Chapter 14, if you take the premium choice to play laser tag, you're placed in a virtual reality environment using the backgrounds from Across The Void, with everyone's avatar being a character from that novel.
- MC can choose between Rana, Gemma, and the Hostile Celd.
- Casey is Octan.
- Male Rory is Prince Barlow. Female Rory is Adara.
- Ajay is Corvus.
- Skye is Artemis.
- Erin is Janis.
- In Class Act Book 3, Chapter 9, if you take the premium option to go to the beach, Rory begins singing "Under the Sea" after being swallowed by a wave.
- Class Act Book 3, Chapter 12 is titled "The Heist, London", which is a reference to The Heist: Monaco.
- The achievement for recovering the prop staff is called "Ocean's Five".
- Even the original MC has become this. Some people liked him/her all the way through for his/her charisma, friendliness towards others, and standing up for the right thing. These are the main reasons why supporters believe he/she should have remained the protagonist instead of creating a new one for Class Act. Others argue that he/she stopped being likable after Book 2 and that his/her character got downgraded from someone who exposed the principal as a criminal to someone who let bullies walk all over him/her and acted melodramatic at times. Another group disliked the Gary Stu / Mary Sue personality: the exorbitant amount friends, being described as the most popular person in school, always fixing everyone's lives and excelling in all clubs.
- Emma: Fans either love her as the Girl Next Door love interest, only want her as the best friend, or consider her bland, weak and pointless in the story, since the only contribution she gives to the group is being The Heart.
- Caleb: Some fans love him for being a good person and a sensitive guy, while others consider him a bland rehash of Sean from Endless Summer. They also feel he enables Brian's bad behavior by doing little to stand up to him.
- Aiden: Some find him a boring "Insufferable Genius" while others love him for being the most artistic and intellectual of the love interests.
- Michael: Some players view him as a "Jerk with a Heart of Gold" who had a difficult high school experience prior to transferring to Berry and someone who cares about his friends and school, while others view him as a poor rehash of Wes Porter and a stereotypical "bad boy" with a heart of gold.
- Principal Hughs: She’s either seen as a nice lady who serves as a good source of comic relief, even if she is a bit ditzy (like rollerskating in the hallways or treating high school students like kindergarten children), or a Womanchild completely unfit for a position of leadership. The base was divided between keeping her as comic relief as a premium choice, or replace her with Principal Rivera, who is seen either as more competent, or too flat and uninteresting.
- Rory: To some, he/she is a confident and nice person. To others, he/she gives the impression of being a popular yet boring Gary Stu/Mary Sue with a lot of character shilling and a fanclub; they find him/her bland in comparison to Ajay and Skye.
- Ajay: On one hand, there are players who like him for his wit, sarcasm, sass, and dedication to the theater. On the other hand, there are players who dislike him for being an "Insufferable Genius" who exaggerates his role as student director. The comparisons with Aiden, Terrence, and Thomas Hunt are polarizing as well, with people liking or hating him because of this. In Book 1 Chapter 12, he rubbed players the wrong way when he considered the possibility of MC sabotaging the original MC while officially declaring himself to be impartial, giving the impression that he believed it was true. Exacerbating matters is that after the truth is revealed, he tells MC that he's glad he/she was innocent, but never actually apologizes, prompting some players not to pick the premium option to give him a "Thank You" card.
- Skye: While there are many players who find her aloof personality mysterious and appealing, there are also players who are initially put off by this because they assume she represents the negative stereotype that goths are loners who hate everything and everyone. Other fans feel her characterization is inconsistent from the first two chapters, since she starts off as alone and a deadpan snarker yet later, she becomes the "apathetic friend" who sits with the rest of the drama club despite being a "loner". In Book 2, her attitude toward the elections has also split people. While some find her determination to stay out of the drama an admirable and justifiable decision given the potentially destructive effect it could have on the friend group, others feel her apathy doesn't help, not to mention her original intention was to vote for Morgan (a major Scrappy) before the latter dropped out of the race. In Chapter 11, she won back of a lot of fans when she forced Rory and Twin to put aside their differences and team up to beat Lorenzo.
- Twin became divisive only two chapters into the story, and has remained so throughout the series. Some consider him/her adorable and funny for all the sibling teasing, and female Twin is admired for having been "out of the closet at six years of age". On the other hand, some find him/her annoying and self-absorbed, focusing on his/her own issues instead of helping MC when he/she needs it. He/she also gained both supporters and detractors in Book 2, Chapter 1 by deciding to enter the election for class president. Some appreciate that they are trying to make a difference in the school and believe that the story will give his/her character more depth, while others deride him/her for the awkward position the decision puts MC in, given that Rory is also running, and campaigning for strengthening the school sports program despite sports already being the most heavily supported of the school's programs.
A Broken Base:
- Reactions from fans vary regarding Dad and Julia (Emma's mom). Regular readers ship them together, while some MC/Emma shippers consider it weird. The indifferent portion of the fandom only has an issue with having no option to not help Emma ship them.
- When Class Act was announced, a big debate ensued over whether or not the series needed to be rebooted. Some fans were upset by the news that the story would focus on a new main cast altogether and demote the original main cast and love interests to side characters. Other fans welcomed the change by stating that Book 3 of the series was inferior to the previous two installments and that all of the characters, even their love interests, seemed overly dramatic and unlikable.
- Players are split on what Pixelberry should do with HSS after Class Act ends. Some believe that they should go back to the original cast given that some love interests like Maria and Aiden are seniors at this point, and they've grown attached to the characters. Some believe Pixelberry shouldn't give in to the demands of people who prefer the original trilogy, given that they view the people who demand the original cast be brought back as entitled. Some believe that this matter is ultimately for Pixelberry to decide. Others believe that the series should just end.
- The decision of whether to forgive Danielle in Book 1 of Class Act splits a lot of people. Many people appreciate that she is genuinely regretful of her actions and shows a sincere desire to become a better person, such as persuading Amber to send a ten thousand dollar check for the play. However, many feel she doesn't deserve forgiveness since the only thing she expresses regret over is potentially ruining the play just because it concerns Rory's mother; she never expresses remorse for breaking Jordan's leg or harassing Bailey.
- The introduction of Graham as Clint's love interest. Some people consider it a No Yay when it's implied that Clint has feelings for Graham because of the latter's scrappy status in Book 1. Others agree that Clint having a new boyfriend is a way to make him grow out of being Rory's groupie, or to give him a taste of how it feels to be stalked if Graham turns out to be crazy too. When Book 2 ended, a number of fans indicated that while they have no problem with the couple themselves, they resent the fact that the two can be brought together without diamonds (which is possible if the player takes advantage of all the free opportunities to encourage their relationship) while Erin and Twin cannot.
- People are split on who to support in the Student President elections. Some people support Twin in favor of MC’s family while others support Rory for a variety of reasons, such as Rory being their love interest, feeling the arts are under-appreciated in high schools, finding Twin annoying, or feeling that Rory is simply the most dedicated to the position and has the clearest plan for making the school better. A few people have voiced their support for Myra and felt disappointed that she drops out no matter what. Almost no one has voiced support for Lorenzo or Morgan due to the former’s dumb jock persona and the latter’s scrappy status.
Some Anvils Need to be Dropped:
- In Book 3, contrasting the romantic public promposals, Myra gets harassed by Brian for months until she bluntly rejects him. Fans felt necessary to address the topic of harassment through Brian, who kept trying to pursue and guilt her into accepting his advances, later placing the blame on her and even attempting to attack her physically after she didn’t oblige.
- Class Act features a subplot that revolves around Skye being verbally and emotionally abused by her parents. Several players have applauded this storyline for showing potential younger Choices fans that they could have a friend who is being abused in their home and how to look for signs of it.
- Book 2 of Class Act shows Ajay struggling with his parents' divorce after their constant arguments, which players generally accept as a necessity to show how arguing couples and divorces put huge mental strains on children. The scene where Ajay visits a support group for children of divorced parents is applauded for showing teens that there are resources to help them deal with parental divorce.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Despite having a very minor role, Coach Andrew Isa is a pretty worthless character, since he is incompetent at his job and doesn't do anything relevant in the story. The fact that he's also revealed to have a fake identity along with his sister is seen as a wasted opportunity to have him do something interesting during the climax, or even have him show his true colors instead of having his background exposed in Isa's emails. Instead, he has weak motivations (he only blackmailed Isa to join the charade at school just because he wanted to be a sports coach, despite knowing nothing about the job) and doesn't provide any type of challenge during the climax.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- Several players feel that Class Act should have been set in Hearst instead of Berry. The main reasoning is that the nice Hearst students would feel inspired to overthrow Principal Warren for fostering a toxic environment rife with bullying after hearing of Principal Isa's overthrow. It also helps that Max and Kara have graduated, Zoe has turned over a new leaf, and Brian was put in his place by Zoe. Moreover, doing so would make Skye's story darker but more compelling.
- Several fans are furious that some of the theatre kids in Class Act (Trevor, Clint, Natalie, and Ajay) never officially apologized to MC for incorrectly accusing him/her of sabotaging the original MC's theatre audition.
- In this series, anyone from the main cast (characters with a nerve meter) can die. This can occur in ILITW, Chapter 15, and in ILB, the friend with the lowest nerve level is killed if the group nerve level is below threshold.
- This series is noted to be bloodier and gorier than most other series, complete with cruel and unusual deaths, and the main objective in the story is to survive with the most friends. This can be accomplished by choosing the correct answers to boost each character's nerve score.
- No Canon for the Wicked: Averted. Although you can carry over your results from ILITW to ILB, starting with the default setting gives you the worst case scenario, with everyone except Noah dead. This leads to a nerve drop for Tom in ILB, so it is better to play ILITW and aim for the best ending as it gives Tom the biggest nerve boost.
- Ascended Extra: Tom, a secondary or tertiary character in ILITW, is promoted to one of main cast in ILB.
- Story Branch Favoritism: The game clearly favors choosing Noah be the new Redfield, as it requires Noah's nerve level to be high, and in ILB, Tom gets a nerve boost (approximately 19 points) if the MC survives, otherwise his nerve drops (approximately 8 points).
- Evil-Detecting Dog: In ILITW, Hilda is able to sense supernatural entities and reacts violently towards Mr Red's presence. The MC can also adopt an evil-detecting cat.
- Black Guy Dies First: Downplayed. In ILITW, Chapter 15, Ava is Redfield/Jane's first target and so she is possibly the first to die out of the gang.
- Harsher in Hindsight: During an argument, Mrs. Marshall tells Noah that she wishes he had died instead of Jane. This stings a lot more if Noah becomes the new monster.
- Nice Job Breaking it, Hero!: In ILB, just when it appears the MC has successfully talked down Josephine, he/she lets it slip that Marie (Jospehine's daughter) is dead, igniting the roaring rampage of revenge that drives the last few chapters.
- Downer Endings: You don't want too many people to die in ILITW, or else the memorial will be very somber. You especially don't want the MC to die in ILB, otherwise you will be treated to a truly heartbreaking scene where Elliot tries to call MC and asks his/her friends about him/her, not to mention sending the MC several panicked texts, but the MC never responds.
- ILB also features a Downer Beginning, with the MC and Elliot coming home to find their parents murdered.
- Both Westchester and Pine Springs have dark secrets. While Westchester has a history with cults, witch trials, massacres and unexplained coma cases, Pine Springs has the Lake Ghost.
- Lily: On one hand, there are people who praise PB for adding more diverse body representation through her (and Raj from Endless Summer), adoring her for having common sense when it comes to Redfield, and admiring her speculation on Redfield’s involvement in Ava’s telekinesis. On the other hand, there are people put off by her refusal to sense something off with Britney suddenly acting nice to her. It also doesn’t help that she called Ava out for nearly killing Jocelyn with her telekinesis while overlooking the fact that Jocelyn started the whole fight first.
- Noah: His actions in ILITW, Chapter 14 have divided the fandom: while some defended him for his desperation to seek closure with Jane, others were angry with him for his selfish and toxic attitude towards his old friends, especially when it is revealed that Jane was Redfield all along.
- Imogen: On one hand, many players consider her one of the most resilient characters of the story as she actively helps others to safety as much as she can, and her empathy is seen as necessary to help her friends move onward with their goals. On the other hand, some players think she overreacted to MC's suspicion about her parents being up to no good despite MC not giving her solid evidence to back up his/her claims.
- Parker: Some players think he's an endearing love interest and like that he investigates the truth after years of police inaction, averting the "Police are Useless" trope. Others think he's a boring character whose involvement in the gang is superfluous because he barely interacts with other members except Danni and MC, and acts like he doesn't enjoy their company. His views on Chief Kelley have also divided people. One side sympathizes with him because it’s hard to admit that someone you look up to could be a bad guy. The other side dislikes that he refuses to look at the evidence that obviously proves that Kelley is a criminal. The developers seem to anticipate his polarized status since he is the only person that will leave the group if he fails his nerve check and has a rather convoluted condition for returning.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Players have commented that Britney could have been an example of bullies being a part of a cycle of abuse as former victims of bullying themselves. This is evidenced by Stacy showing the MC a yearbook photo of Britney in pigtails and braces, which should've been used to indicate that she was bullied for her appearance until she changed her appearance. Players are also disappointed that Britney didn't comment on her past, but said that Lily's nice while she herself isn't instead. This infers the former saying that it's hard for her to be nice, which players find overdone among many redemption arcs PB uses.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- The ending where you sacrifice yourself to become Redfield lacks a lot of reactions from the other characters (with only the mossy creature, a Premium character, and Tom and Connor having any significant interaction) compared to the decision to let Noah take over. Story branch favoritism is in full effect here. The benefits of following this path are not apparent until late in the sequel.
- Despite Elliot having a relationship with MC prior arriving to Pine Springs (as opposed to the four Love Interests), their relationship is well-liked by the fandom. Fans are happy that Elliot has no nerve score or personal trial and only has one premium scene.
Finally, given the content warnings at the beginning of each book... you have been warned.
- Steve/Nadia is considered the one true pairing for PM fans.
- Evil Knockoffs: Harley is this to Hayden, Dames is this to Damien, and Keegan is supposed to be this to the MC, but you can turn him/her over to your side by listening to his/her side of the story and making the right choices.
- Genre Shift: What starts as a slightly futuristic romance morphs into a Endless Summer type drama with robots, dangerous companies, and showdowns.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Eros's matches are pretty indistinguishable from humans on the outside, and even possess human thoughts and emotions. Their one flaw is that they can't draw emotions from abstract things such as art.
- Androids are People Too: A recurring theme of the series, where the matches exhibit human traits like emotions and free will while remaining robots in nature.
- The match personality quiz Eros gives players in Chapter 1 is loosely based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
- Alana is the biggest one. Her fans think that she is a fun and helpful wildcard while her detractors absolutely hate how she bragged about breaking Damien's heart. The fact that she betrayed the group by turning them over to Eros and returns to rescue only Damien breaks the base even further with some people remaining sympathetic to her, some jumping from love to hate and others hating her even more.
- Nadia: She is either cute, sweet, and funny, or overly obnoxious and dramatic.
- Sloane: Her fans like her for her adorkable personality, intelligence, understanding of social anxiety, and determination to do as much as possible despite her limitations. They also express their disappointment that her storyline and potential for character development are severely sidelined by PB's bias against female love interests by having other characters steal her limelight. Her detractors think she's a "Ditzy Genius" who's naïve to danger and that her social anxiety isn't portrayed realistically.
- Damien: His fans view him as a cautious friend/love interest who has your best interests at heart, while his detractors view him as an over-the-top cynic who looks for the bad in every situation and can only have fun if there's alcohol involved. It doesn't help that he treated Hayden and Steve rather poorly throughout the first half of the story and never properly apologized to them even after knowing that they're good all along.
- Harley: There are some players who like him/her for openly flirting with MC while other players despise him/her for being a psychotic criminal who gleefully acts on Eros' behalf. When Cecile alters his/her programming, essentially killing him/her, players are split between being furious at Cecile or rejoicing that Harley is gone.
A Broken Base:
- The reveal that Damien was swapped with Dames during the escape from Eros is highly controversial in the fandom. Some are relieved that the person they interacted with and potentially chose to romance for the majority of the first book is the "real" Damien while others highly derided this twist for turning a premium choice to have sex with Damien into a bed trick (along the writers' callous treatment of the situation). Others bemoan the wasted potential of having Damien to be a robot the entire time.
- The formula for Book 2. Much of Book 2 revolves around the protagonists plotting a move against Eros, only to be captured or humiliated. Some argue that this makes the plot boring and formulaic, as well as making the protagonists look weak. Others argue that it portrays Eros as competent villains who always find a way to stay one step ahead.
- People are split as to whether or not PB made the right decision in ending the story after two books. One group believes that there's more of the story to tell given that Book 2 ends with Khaan and Sloane turning Eros in a different direction and Keegan (MC's robot duplicate) leading a group called "The Unity of Liberated Matches". Another group believes that the story had a satisfying conclusion and that any unanswered questions are left up to player interpretation, and some point out that the story was beginning to get repetitive and that the writers were wise to end it when they did.
Fan Preferred Couples:
- Outside of the three main love interests, fans also ship MC with Alana and Cecile. However, both of these ships' popularity took a huge hit with Alana's betrayal, though it fired up again with her reappearance in Book 2, and officially becoming a love interest and Cecile slapping Damien when he was captive.
- Many fans also ship Sloane and Khaan together because of the massive amount of ship tease between them. It's possible to put them together in game if you are dating neither of them.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
- Sloane initially came across as a weird nerd stereotype, rubbing on the readers as the writers trying too hard to make her adorkable and instead being incredibly ignorant on human interaction. Once the truth is revealed and she proves to be perfectly capable of surviving on her own, fans started to see her in a new light, with some accepting her as a love interest, or just a good friend.
- Most of the readers initially find Nadia annoying and vapid, making it hard to feel bad for her whenever a dramatic situation happens to her. Her character development after the discovery of Eros's true nature has at least redeemed her to a base-breaking character.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Steve's father/handler, Robert, completely disappears from the story after the reveal that Steve is a robot despite the immense potential and interaction that he can bring. At the very least, he could be a good antagonist along with Cecile and Rowan.
- Despite being the CEO of Eros, Rowan West barely makes an appearance and delegates most of his villainous tasks to Cecile.
- A few people who were romancing Adrian decided to stop romancing him after he expressed grief that he couldn't save Serafine from the Order of the Dawn in Paris. They interpreted it as him still having feelings for her and not being fully committed to a relationship with MC.
- Priya is surprisingly popular among the fandom due to her character design despite her abusive behavior towards her houseboys, predatory gestures towards MC, and antagonistic attitude towards Adrian and Kamilah.
- Lily: Some players like her for being a supportive friend towards Amy, her cheerful attitude that prevents the story from becoming too dark to digest, gradually developing into a formidable fighter in her own right, and technological expertise. Other players dislike her for her childish reaction at being attacked and turned into a vampire and felt that she should've remained as the "Muggle Best Friend" to keep Amy grounded. It seems that PB is aware of her unpopularity and left her out of the cover of Book 2.
- Those who are romancing Adrian adore him, while those who aren't tend to view him as creepy, controlling and inappropriate, and his behavior towards MC as unethical and predatory because he is her boss.
- Griff Sanderson has a big number of detractors, who hate him because he spent all of his screentime in Book 1 being mean and unpleasant to MC and Lily despite the two having just survived an incredibly traumatic event, not to mention trying to kill Kamilah. Almost no one saved him over Liv Denara in the final battle of Book 1. On the other hand, his few supporters argue that he has reasons to resent both Lily and MC for being directly connected to two clan leaders, while he and his people didn't choose to be vampires and hide for their lives. If he is chosen to be rescued, he becomes notably nicer and grateful in Book 2.
- Priya is this between the readers. Her fans love her for being a Vamp, and her character design, to the point many were requesting a chance to hook up with her. Her detractors hate her for being a subject of double standard by her supporters, since she is equally as evil, sadistic, and abusive as The Baron and Lester, but gets away with it because of her looks. Her betrayal of the Council in favor of Gaius added more fuel to the hate for her.
General Facts (About the app and/or the community)
This section is meant to give more facts about the app itself and/or the community.
- Several books were greeted with little enthusiasm upon their announcement but ended up being quite popular, the most prominent examples being Bloodbound, Desire And Decorum, and Ride Or Die: A Bad Boy Romance. Inverted with Across The Void, which the fans eagerly anticipated but ended up being disappointed by.
- After complaints that all the playable characters are law-abiding, The Heist: Monaco and Ride Or Die A Bad Boy Romance allow players to play as criminals (albeit of the lovable type), which was welcomed by players. Pixelberry also confirmed there will be a story released in 2019 in which the protagonist is a fugitive.
- While none of the stories are outright ripoffs, several are clearly inspired by existing franchises:
- The Crown & the Flame: A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones
- #LoveHacks: Single-people-in-the-city sitcoms, particularly Friends
- Nightbound: Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals
- Hero: DC/Marvel series
- Endless Summer: Lost
- Bloodbound: The Vampire Diaries, True Blood
- Ride or Die: The Fast and the Furious
- The Heist: Monaco: Ocean's film franchise
- Desire & Decorum: Jane Austen works, particularly Pride and Prejudice
- Open Heart: Grey's Anatomy
- Across the Void: Mass Effect
- Bachelorette Party: The Hangover
- Mother of the Year: Gilmore Girls
- Blades of Light and Shadow: Fantasy role-playing games
- The Nanny Affair: The Parent Trap, Au Pair
- With Every Heartbeat: Five Feet Apart, The Fault in Our Stars
- Queen B: Pretty Little Liars, Mean Girls
- Throughout the stories, there are fictional counterparts to real-life products:
- Pictagram / Instattuned: Instagram (and probably Picasa for Pictagram)
- Facespace: Facebook and Myspace
- Fangbook: Facebook
- Starbeans / Novabucks: Starbucks
- Uskea: Ikea
- McDermot's: McDonald's
- Eternally 22: Forever 21
- Chirper: Twitter
- FlixTube: YouTube and Netflix
A Broken Base:
- While some players agree that some content requires Diamonds, they are undecided where to draw a line to it. Also, there is a heated debate in the base on which story and content should be a Female Lead only and which one should be a Gender of Choice Lead story. Ironically, the majority of the fans agree that some of the best LIs and Romance options can be found in the Gender of Choice books.
- There are two distinguished groups in the base: Romance Fans & Non-Romance Fans. Romance Fans claim that the app should only focus on Romance and the other books in different genres such as Mystery, Horror, Fantasy... etc don't leave too much room for character and relationship development. On the other hand, the Non-Romance Fans complain that focusing too much on relationships and love interests will not allow the story to progress and that Pixelberry should expand the available content and experiment with other genres. Ironically, the two agree that there are some exceptions to this such as Open Heart, Bloodbound because the two books have a good story progression supported by a well developed and fledged cast of LIs and characters but they are not the only ones.
- The customization of the player character has sparked some debate. There are some players who find it unrealistic that all the female player character models are skinny and all the male player character models are muscular with bare chests and believe that there should be more body representation in Choices. Another group believes that there should be options for facial accessories such as glasses, earrings, or facial hair. The limited age range of player characters is also widely criticized, with almost all of them falling between high school age and young adult; a few are more ambiguous, but there are none who are clearly middle-aged or elderly.
- The controversial tweet posted by Pixelberry writer Luke Georgette, which he ended up deleting. In the said tweet, he expresses discontent with people who automatically labelled Ride or Die: A Bad Boy Romance as terrible before it was even released. Some players have voiced their support for Luke, given that the fandom has a tendency to label a story as good or bad based on its title or premise alone. On the other hand, some players have voiced their anger towards Luke and have stated that what he did was very unprofessional and that it damages Pixelberry's reputation.
- Pixelberry's favoritism towards certain love interests has sparked some debate. There are several instances in which a love interest, usually a white guy (e.g. Sawyer Oakley and Beckett Harrington), receives much more screen time than other love interests, with one of them, usually a girl (e.g. Asha Roanhorse and Aster D'Yew), often getting sidelined. Those who like those love interests justify it as proof that the app's target demographic will always be straight girls or women. On the other hand, others have grown to hate those characters for being "creator's pets" who take up too much screen time at the cost of other love interests, especially if they aren't dating said forced love interests.
- Pixelberry writer Andrew Shvarts posted a series of tweets on the company struggling with limited time and resources, his experience with various titles, and the tough decisions gaming companies make when investing their resources. In response, some players agree with him and felt that each segment of the fandom should realize they don't make up the entire fandom. Others, however, disagreed and stated that he's missing the point of Pixelberry's problems, which they noted isn't limited time and resources, but wasting them on unnecessary things for the sake of making more money off of their target demographic at the expense of the rest of the fandom.
Franchise Original Sin: Some of the most common criticisms for Choices books include:
- Having the third book in a romance series heavily based around a wedding, such as in Red Carpet Diaries, America's Most Eligible and Desire & Decorum. While the first instance dates back to Rules of Engagement, that series established from the start, as part of the premise, that this would be the case, and the plot involving the wedding was well developed. In the case of RCD, the wedding plot was seen as distracting (as you have a movie to make and a stalker to track down); as for D&D, even though it is also established from Book 1 that this would be the case, any significant decisions and planning scenes are paywalled.
- Reusing character designs for the main character, a trend which began as early as 2017, when The Royal Romance used the same faces as LoveHacks for the main character. While it was seen as a little bit lazy by some, it was nowhere near as bad as the surge of reused character designs in 2019, specifically with the female Open Heart faces, which were used in six other books within the same year. It has gotten to the point that whenever the faces from Open Heart are reused in a subsequent book, some fans immediately label the book as bad for this reason (such as Distant Shores).
- Requiring players to pay diamonds to save lives. While the first instance dates back to The Crown & the Flame, it was relatively rare, the characters in question were likable and related to the plot, and there was a valid in-universe reason available in case players choose not to do so. Fast forward to Across the Void, and you have to spend diamonds to save roughly half the main cast, with many of the characters in question being unlikable or irrelevant to the plot or both (worse, most of those who have to be saved are love interests), and only a few of these choices come with an in-universe justification; in many of the cases, not paying for the diamond scene results in the main character standing by as someone else dies when he/she could have easily been saved, and in some cases, survivors guilt-trip you for letting the victims die.
- Recently, whenever a book goes on hiatus, fans tend to panic and think the book is a standalone (or the last book in the series). This started with Across the Void, which was put on a months long hiatus and ended up being rewritten as a standalone (after is was originally intended to be a series). While understandable at the time due to its negative reception, several other books met the same fate, such as A Courtesan of Rome, Platinum, The Royal Masquerade and The Elementalists, Book 2, which were also put on hiatus so that the story could be wrapped up in the same book. It took until Blades of Light & Shadow for a book to go on hiatus and still get a second book.