Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries (Hands-On) (PC) Preview

By Ian Soltes 03.02.2015 2

Review for Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries (Hands-On) on PC

Developed and published by GRIN Gamestudio, Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries seeks to retell the classic tale with a dark twist. With a great aesthetic the game holds a lot of potential for a decently dark game without going overboard.

It is a tale almost as old as time. Few here in the Western world haven't known the tale since childhood. The story of a little girl, dressed all in red, heading through the woods to visit her grandmother not knowing that a big, bad, wolf has replaced her. Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most well-known fairytales of all time and has been subject to hundreds of people attempting to retell the tale, often resorting to try and turn it into something grim, and often outright failing. While it is still in Early Access it looks like Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries might just manage to break free of the many stupid pitfalls only to, potentially, fall into the trap of relatively generic gameplay.

Screenshot for Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries (Hands-On) on PC

First off, time to get this out of the way, right off the bat: although the game claims that it is a '2.5D' platformer it is actually 3D. It is more 3D than the Paper Mario games and those have a main character literally made from paper. Anyway, when retelling a classic it is important to understand the story through and through. While it is unlikely that a tale like Little Red Riding Hood can be turned into a game without repeating the failings of the much maligned Little Red Hood on the NES, instead GRIN has opted to retell the story with its own unique version of the tale.

The world is a grim one. An evil man by the name of 'Woolfe' has taken over the city that Red Riding Hood once called her home. Her father has gone missing, the streets are populated with clockwork tin soldiers who follow the orders of Woolfe, many children have gone missing, and Red is out for vengeance!

Screenshot for Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries (Hands-On) on PC

Truth be told, there is a lot about Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries that could be delved into in more detail but a lot of it can also be changed by the time of release. Already, though, the game has many things going for it that likely won't be amended. First and foremost is the sheer visual design and general aesthetics. The world looks depressing, but it's not just 'grim' where things are accented with mire and decay, it actually looks legitimate in how dark it is. The city is a muted, snow-covered land where any sort of colour is a stark contrast causing Red to stand out. The token sewer level holds true to this distinct colour-choice and, while it is certainly more colorful than the main city, the apparent difference holds true, putting Red front and centre simply due to great design. She is a character who can bring change, and the game can make that very clear simply by its choice of colouration, so kudos on the great design.

There is more than that, though, as the simple choice of using clockwork tin soldiers alone is a great choice and, despite being, well, tin soldiers, they hold a distinct influence on the world. Without even a story to tell, it is possible to see exactly what has happened with the world and how vibrant a personality it has going for it.

Screenshot for Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries (Hands-On) on PC

Sadly, this personality does not transfer over to the main character. That isn't to say she isn't likeable by any means. Speaking in pseudo-rhyme, reminiscing about how much better the world was before Woolfe took over, and her constant gloomy determination speak volumes about the character, but it often feels… needlessly grim, despite the fact that this is supposed to be a grim game. She seems more like the kind of person who doesn't even know what happiness is in the first place and, while certainly not not enjoyable, it needs to show some other emotion more often.

The rest of the game is, however, fairly standard and stock and, barring some sort of major altercation, likely signifies exactly where Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries will end up when released: an artsy game that, while not bad, will be pushed aside for others. Combat is little more than the standard hack and slash fare, with enemies currently dealing a little bit too much damage per hit. There are jumping and platforming sections as well, yet they aren't anything unique, and so on, and so forth.

The game doesn't do anything that is apparently 'wrong,' though, and may very well appeal to those looking for visually pleasing games or darker fairytales. It's just unclear if it will end up appealing to a larger audience or not.

Screenshot for Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries (Hands-On) on PC

Final Thoughts

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries holds a lot of potential and, even in its pre-release state, the visual style and sheer character that the worlds themselves contain is evident. Even Red herself, although in need of some puppies to show her what a smile is, is distinct and memorable as a character, but the game itself needs to step up and develop its own, distinct, personality beyond the generic hack-and-slash platformer that most people have already played, even if they haven't played Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries yet. Even if the game doesn't step it up, though, it's likely that it will come in at above-average merely due to its personality.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


Honestly I very much enjoyed this game, but it had a stupidly difficult spike later on. Less of 'OMG SOOO HARD' and more of 'Why the heck are you jumping two seconds AFTER I told you to jump' difficulty. Hopefully that's been patched and dealt with cause I really felt this game has potential to at least be interesting.

It had some other problems too. The health is SOOOOOOO low that a few hits can put you down, which can make the boss fights needlessly difficult. I'm hoping that they'll increase the amount of health before the final release or decrease the health of foes to compensate.

On the whole, though, I had a lot of fun and certainly wish it the best. Who knows? I may even bump it up in my backlog once it gets a full release.

It certainly does look intriguing. To be honest, when I first heard about it, I thought it was a point and click adventure! Clearly not, though!! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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