While graphic novels and comics are nothing new to the iPad and tablets, you can’t help but feel that many of these aren’t actually taking advantage of what the device can offer. I’ve spent some time with the new iPad app CIA: Operation Ajax from Cognito Comics and it is an excellent example of the next-generation of storytelling.
The interactive graphic novel is based on a book All of the Shah’s Men and it’s a tale of the United States’ involvement in Iran in the 1950s. It’s stylized but based on actual history, as there are even declassified real CIA documents from the time regarding the United States’ view on Iran at the time.
I’m not going to ruin the story itself but I have to say that I’m impressed with how the app looks. I’m not just talking about the art style, as it also includes animations, in-line videos, access to reference documents and more. It’s actually built upon the Unity engine, so there’s a lot of presentation value to go along with the excellent art and soundtrack.
Just as important, Cognito has built a storytelling platform that could potentially be used for many other tales and the scope of the story is pretty much limited to the imagination of the creator. The CIA: Operation Ajax app goes live tomorrow (Nov. 16) and it will be free for a limited time before costing $7.99. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s well worth the price.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think. The app can be downloaded here (iTunes link) and you can check out the proper trailer below the hands-on video.