About 'Enter The Story'

About 'Enter The Story'


A quick way into the classics

climbing inside a book

Enter The Story is a quick way to explore classic books. You get inside the story so you can see if you are as brave (or foolish) as the hero. Compare your score with your friends!

Enter the Story will one day include all of Shakespeare, every book of the Bible (including the apocrypha), the works of Jules Verne, Jane Austen and much, much more. If you like the quick version you can read the original in just two clicks.

The first five stories are experimental full length adventure games for Windows. Everything else works on nearly any Internet browser.

Free games

The daily story (up to the current chapter) is always free. For other stories you get the first half free. Or download everything for a low price (using Paypal or any common payment method). 

Read to your kids!

        parent reading to child    
        book images: 123rf.com

The best children's stories, like the Arabian Nights or the original Grimm's Fairy Tales, cover adult topics. But the stories are told in a very simple way. Enter The Story is the same. If you have children, this is an easy way to read to them: just grab a phone or laptop, settle down together, and argue over the choices.smile

No updates today?

If there are no updates then my Internet connection is down. I live in a remote village and sometimes get power cuts and Internet outages. Usually everything is back to normal within 24 hours.

About the hero

Each story stars Sam Everyman.
The first page of each story is about Sam.
Then you click "next" and the classic novel begins!


In the original novels Sam has different names, but those are just aliases. 

    the hero with a thousand faces

Sam's secret

Who is Sam Everyman? How can his adventures take place in different centuries?
The answer is in the original books.
To piece together the clues, start near the end of The First Men In The Moon.

Things to do

Try clicking around. See what happens. You can save your score, then print a certificate, read the entire original book, discover hidden 'Easter eggs' and more. Most browsers let you zoom out, using "Ctrl" and "+" - how many cats you can see? Enjoy!


If you have a favorite novel that is not yet included, it can be added for just $99, and that includes a dedication to a person of your choice. (The novel must be an out of copyright classic - anything before 1900 is safe.)


These stories are a quick way to get a story into a person's head, so they're perfect for schools. If you can't find the story you need, contact me (chris at enterthestory dot com) and I'll arrange something. 

School licensing

If you buy five copies of the complete bundle then consider yourself licensed for an entire school. The stories have no DRM protection, so you are free to use them on any computer and keep them forever.  

Business opportunities

This format is ideal for training, advertising, or anything that has a message that you want people to actually read. Contact me for prices: chris at enterthestory dot com.

Make your own games

Most of the code is open source. It's very easy to make your own games - why not try it? I will usually host your game on the site for free.

Buy this game and save the world

All the profits from this game go toward research to solve the world's economic problems. Yes, seriously.

About me

Chris Tolworthy

My name is Chris Tolworthy. Nobody makes the kind of games I want to play, so I decided to make them myself. I live in a remote Scottish village (that photo was taken at the end of my street). So if this site ever disappears for a few days, don't worry, a sheep will have eaten through the Internet cable again.

Keyboard shortcuts

Each page has up to four story choices. If you don't have a mouse or touch screen, you can use the keyboard numbers 1 to 4.


If you use a screen reader, then all stories are free. (Contact me, chris at enterthestory dot com, with evidence for your free password.) If you just need the screen to be bigger, most browsers let you zoom in and out, using "Ctrl" and "+" or "Ctrl" and "-".

Chapter numbers

These games are shorter than the original books, so the chapter numbers are not the same.

"Why can't I save my score?"

For security reasons, scores can only be saved from the online web site. 

When you buy all the games in a big bundle you get all the games in a download. This is so you can play the forever, or play them offline. The games are yours to keep and use wherever you want. Games stored on your own computer will still show a score for each story, but will not update with your online score, even if you are online. 


These stories are all out of copyright, from Project Gutenberg, usually from before 1900. The simple pictures are drawn by me. The bookshelves on the home page are based on Creative Commons "build upon; attribution only" images from Flickr:
'Bookshelf' by 'striatic'
'Bookshelf' by 'E.Drake'
'Day 48 - Some books' by 'Phil and Pam'
'Igaku Chuo Zasshi' by  'Peter Kaminski'
'maybe I've found my calling...' by '_overanalyzer'
'my old schoolbooks, phrenology, reference books' by 'Muffet'
'Remnants from my bookshelves' by 'illustir'
'Tabby Cat Stack' by 'AlishaV'
Many thanks to those generous photographers!
The shelf and main book are by me, and the pile of books is an old painting.
Images used for certificates are from Liam's fromoldbooks.org, and pre-1900 images from Project Gutenberg.

Professional images (mainly people with books) are from 123rf.com.

The first five games contain backgrounds based on thousands of images, including classic paintings and photos generously donated by others, plus licensed music - for full details on any screen, play those games and press 'C' for copyright. Many thanks to all who have helped.

Any stories added by others are copyright to them. If you see something that needs to be removed for copyright reasons, please let me know.

Anything else (e.g. the main stories and art) is copyright Chris Tolworthy.
Anything I do may be considered public domain after 18 years.

Terms of service

I am supposed to write something for terms of service. What can I say? What you see is what you get: stories. If you buy a game and change your mind I will give a refund. But I hope you will want to buy more stories, as they are very cheap and I need to pay my rent.

Privacy policy

I never ask for your email. I don't know who you are, so there is no information to be lost. When you buy a game the payment people (BMT Micro) might ask for an email address, but if you pay by Paypal or similar then they may not even need that. 

BMT Micro is a highly trusted company used by around half of all indie game makers. If you come here from Facebook then Facebook will know who you are, but I only use Facebook because I have to: social networking and advertising are my least favorite things. That's why I read so many books.

"I don't like Facebook"

I used to run my own forum but it attracted too much spam. Now I use Facebook because it's the easiest way to combine news and discussions.  But if you don't like Facebook that's OK, just email me, or follow the serious stuff on my blog. 

My blog


The blog is more for serious stuff like economics and politics. But it is also the place to go for longer thoughts about EnterTheStory.


How it all began

I've always loved comic book adaptations of classic novels. In twenty minutes you can get a good taste of the most exciting ideas in the world! I just wish they could be more interactive. So I made "Enter The story."
classics as comics

1997: 'Enter The Story' version 0.1

The original plan was to include every possible story: the game engine would be given the rules for creating a story, and famous stories would be seeds for creating new stories. The game would also create people, worlds and even galaxies.

 database driven gamescreenshot database driven gamescreenshot database driven game screenshotdatabase drivengame screenshot

I soon realized that was too ambitious. The game would never be finished! So I tried a different approach.

2003: 'Enter The Story' version 0.2

I decided to use an existing adventure game engine. Sludge seemed to be the most flexible. I planned to release the first game in 2012, featuring 100 stories. That was then revised to a more sensible "one game at a time" strategy. By April 2007 I had 5000 scenes in the game.
Notre Dame

2008: The first game

But disaster! In November 2007 I discovered a catastrophic memory leak in Sludge that could not be fixed before the game was released. With great regret I had to change game engines. I chose Adventure Game Studio. It isn't as flexible as Sludge, so I had to start again from scratch. The first story, Les Misérables, was released just before midnight on December 31st, 2008.
game book

Experimental games 2 and 3

Les Misérables was well received, so I decided to take a risk and do something completely different. The next games, The Divine Comedy and Genesis of the Gods (Hesiod's Theogony) were based on stories from before novels were invented. They have no dramatic structure, so I focused on the philosophy and ideas.

Genesis of the gods image
The experiment was interesting, but players didn't like it. Back to novels then!

Games 4 and 5: time to evaluate

Game 4, A Tale of Two Cities, was released in June 2010. It saw many new characters and many behind the scenes coding changes.

A Tale of Two Cities
There were further changes in game 5, The Count of Monte Cristo, released early 2011.

Monte Cristo

Although development was now streamlined, two facts were now obvious:

1. I was spending far too much time on coding.

This fact would never change. Every game brought more user feedback and unexpected new challenges. I always spent too much time on the code and not enough time on the stories.

2. Everyone told me that the game was best suited to a tablet computer, such as the iPad.

But it only ran on Windows! Also, I didn't like how the game could only be played after a large download. I want it to play instantly!

So I decided to create a new, simpler game engine that would run on anything.

This was the first test version, but it didn't feel right.

new game engine

This is the second attempt. It still didn't feel right:

new game engine 2

The third attempt felt better. It looks nicer, and worked on all the main browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.). You could just visit the web site and play instantly, with more than fifty locations and hundreds of animated characters (now in full color).

new game engine: version 3


There was just one problem: the most popular browser is Internet Explorer, and it was not designed for animation. There were speed problems, memory leaks, and strange incompatibilities everywhere.

Each problem could be solved, but it always took weeks, and then some new problem would arise. The code was too complicated again. I want to write stories, not code! And nobody else makes a game engine that is suitable (long story).

December 2011: a complete rethink

I needed a complete rethink. None of the games turned out quite how I wanted. Don't get me wrong, they're good games, but they're not what I wanted. In fact, I'm not really interested in games at all. The only game I ever really enjoyed was Zak McKracken (that's my site, the Zak McKracken archive).

Zak McKracken
it was based in the real world, and full of real world ideas. The puzzles didn't interest me, and the simple graphics were no problem: I just wanted to explore. I love to explore. I read books to explore!

So I got thinking.

the thinker

What exactly am I trying to do? Make games? No! I am not really interested in games. I am interested in stories. I want to explore stories. Lots of stories! I want hundreds of stories! And I want to feel like I am really there, involved, free to go where I want, making all the decisions myself.

Finally it hit me. I should completely remove all the complicated code, and strip the games down to their core: stories and decisions. That is all. Stories and decisions. You, the player, spend all your time making interesting decisions, and I, the game maker, spend all my time adding stories.

As an added bonus, the new simpler game engine works on almost anything: a desktop computer, laptop, a tablet, a phone, even an e-reader, which seems appropriate since this is all about books.

Best of all, I can add a new story every month - perhaps even every week. The idea is simple, the code is simple, and it just might work!

I hope you like it.

Thanks for reading.