Twine

Common Sense Media says

Interactive story-creation tool is fun but complicated

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Twine's interface gives kids the freedom to be creative and learn coding at the same time. They'll feel totally empowered by the process.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Twine must be downloaded onto your personal computer, so any information saved will live there.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, although Twine is very cool, it also can be very complicated. The new and updated version of Twine makes some progress with this, simplifying and streamlining the process to make designing games easier. However, that also means that a lot of the resource materials available are no longer valid since they apply to the first version of Twine. Younger children will likely continue to find Twine frustrating, but older kids will enjoy exploring coding and storytelling. Parents should also be aware that the content on Twine is not monitored, so if kids get interested in interactive fiction, they could be exposed to stories involving sexual content, violence, and inappropriate language. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Arts

  • script writing

Hobbies

  • board games

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • decision-making
  • strategy
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • set objectives
  • effort

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The tool will appeal to students exploring coding. The layout is clear, but it can take some work to figure out what to do.

Learning Approach

Storytelling is a great practical application for coding. Students will have to think critically and use their skills to create something they're proud of.

Support

There are some good tutorials for the new version of Twine, but you still have to search to find them, and some of the online tutorials are for out of date versions.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Arts

  • script writing

Hobbies

  • board games

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • decision-making
  • strategy
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • set objectives
  • effort

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Twine is a combo platter of storytelling strategy mixed with beginning coding skills, and patient, dedicated kids can create their own interactive stories. The way Twine is designed also makes it a good tool for storyboarding and organizing information. The best thing about Twine is that it gives students the chance to put coding skills to use and create a concrete, useable product. Depending on their skill level, they can create very simple stories or more complex masterpieces. Although Twine can be challenging to use, its unique format gives kids a rare opportunity to use both sides of their brains at once.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

TWINE is a program that you can either download or use online to structure a story using text and code. In a confusing twist,  It provides a visual interface, where you can see a map of your story and easily visualize connections among passages. Twine can be used for storyboarding, organizing a novel or a story, or creating a choose-your-own-adventure tale. Once you finish a story, you can publish it online for other readers to experience the interactive journey. You can also read stories others have created through Twine's site. 

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Twine has a lot of potential to introduce kids to the idea of coding and encourage them to write creatively. It's not difficult to figure out how to get started, and the intuitive interface allows you to quickly and easily add steps to your story. However, there aren't a lot of instructions provided, and while Twine has recently made some great upgrades to the site, that means that a lot of the tutorials you'll find contain out of date information. You have the option of either downloading Twine or working online, but since there isn't a way to sign in, your work is saved in your browser. This means that multiple users can get confusing, multiple browsers can be problematic, and if you delete your browser data, you also lose all your saved work. That said, there is an archive button that allows you to backup your work to a save file on your computer. It seems like all of this would be a lot easier with a simple login and cloud storage, however, 

Families can talk about...

  • Find a classic Choose Your Own Adventure book and share it with your kid. Why is it fun to make choices that affect the outcome of a story?

  •  

  • Take the structure of a well-known fairy tale and, as a family, turn it into a Twine-style story with a few alternate options. What would happen if Snow White didn't bite the apple? What if Cinderella made it home on time?

  • Discuss how computers work and the complexity behind seemingly simple websites and games. How is coding its own language, and how can knowing that language help you?

  • Examine some of the existing stories on Twine and discuss whether they seem appropriate for your family. Kids and parents can talk about what makes a website or story inappropriate and how they should react if something begins to make them feel uncomfortable online.

Website details

Genre:Creating
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Twine was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Essential School Tools