Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries – Review
Follow Genre: Platform, Action, Adventure
Developer: GRIN
Publisher: GRIN
Platforms: PC

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries – Review

Site Score
8.7
Good: Creative narrative, beautiful visuals, equally great soundtrack, feisty female protagonist, gameplay with many genre-specific elements and mechanics
Bad: Controls felt more responsive during early access, combat feels iffy, short once you know the mechanics
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries turns the classic tale of little red riding hood into a much darker tale. The 2.5D platform game is the first stand-alone cinematic half of the fable volume brought to us by the Belgian game development studio GRIN. The alterations of classic fairytales will without a doubt remind you of the twisted game The Wolf Among Us – another game that has forever branded us with darker thoughts of our beloved fables but the Red Hood Diaries is so much more than that. It is a tale on its own with an almost perfect blend of hack ‘n slash, platform and puzzles.

woolfe the red hood diaries

Story

Wipe out everything you know of the classic fairytales but begin with little red riding hood because, “this is not a fairytale. There’s nothing fair about it.” Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries uses the classic little red riding hood fairytale narratives and turns them into something dark, secretive and unsuitable for children. We’ve seen this before with The Wolf Among Us and this type of narrative seems to charm many adults. It is brilliantly dark with so many twists that we cannot help but to want more.

Our protagonist is Red, an orphaned girl who lives in the forest with her grandmother. Her mother she lost years ago but her father Joseph’s death has only been recently. Joseph met his fate in an unfortunate work accident while working at Woolfe Industries. The accident was never fully investigated and Red decides to face the dangers in the city and discover what truly happened to her father. During her search for answers, she finds herself face-to-face with B.B. Woolfe’s army of tin henchmen. Luckily her granny has taught her well and she fights her way through, only to reveal a dark truth. One that becomes the cliffhanger of the game.

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Graphics

Not only does the game bring a creative but dark narrative, it is also visually stunning. The unique graphics are influenced by old fairy tale books and Tim Burton’s dark fantasy art, bringing an eerie atmosphere to the game that fits perfectly with the narrative. The visual aspect of the game is certainly something that will leave players with gaping mouths and the cutscenes could’ve come straight from a dark and twisted animated film.

The animations of the protagonist are almost equally perfect. Although they aren’t flawed, the fighting animations combined with the 2.5D aspect of the game can make it feel like they are flawed. This is mostly due to the fact that you cannot always tell whether you are hitting an enemy or not. Does this mean the animations are flawed? No, it simply means that the fighting mechanics are not entirely up to snuff.

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Sound

Upon loading the game, you’ll feel like you’ve been thrown into a fairytale – except it isn’t one. We’ve already said that the narrative and visuals blend in perfectly together. The sound does so as well and it is simply brilliant – much like the rest of the game. The voice-acting is also superb.

As for the ambiance sound, it’s fairly hard to explain how a fairytale sounds like but the game offers a soothing instrumental soundtrack – a nice contrast to the darker visuals. It also steps up a few notches when the game truly becomes action-packed to make sure that you will feel your heart beating in your chest.

Gameplay

The controls felt great in the early access version of the game and for the majority of time, they still do. However the controller feels less responsive than it was before and this can cause some unwanted damage or even deaths. Whether this is a bug or not is unclear.

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As for the gameplay, the baskets show the path that you must take which makes the game pretty much straight-forward like a side-scrolling platformer but there are certain areas which will feel more open-worldish. The game does not offer a tutorial but each type of attack is revealed to the player at a specific time when the attacks are of most use. Due to this, the difficulty increases gradually, a good feature for a game that is not quite easy overall – not due to complex puzzles but more due to miscalculation, hardened enemies and an iffy combat system that is very unsatisfying as well as annoying.

The game can be split up into two parts. The first part has plenty of puzzles, timed events, hack ‘n slash times, a chase event, a mini ‘boss-fight’ and an actual boss-fight. The second part however barely has any puzzles – if any at all – and has a more platforming feel to it where you simply need to avoid anything that may kill you, including the boss fight. While the second part is no less fun, it certainly is less interactive than the first part which also felt much longer. As for the duration of the game, I’m going to be completely honest with you and say that the game is short, extremely short. You can of course replay the game as often as you’d like but other than unlocks, achievements and a hard mode, there are not many reason to replay it. Unless you like to kill the tin army of kickstarter backers, than feel free to replay it as often as you’d like.

Conclusion

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is without a doubt a masterpiece, albeit it is a short one once you know how to tackle it. The narrative is dark, creative and original. The rich fantasy visuals and the soothing, at times upbeat soundtrack – it simply all adds up perfectly. The various gameplay elements such as the puzzles, timed events, chase events, boss fights and even the simple platforming elements make sure that the game never becomes dull. It is simply a short but powerful masterpiece.

Note: The score is based by taking all things in consideration. Some may feel that the unsatisfying combat system of the game weighs through much more than the narrative, visuals, sound design and basic gameplay altogether, although it is a much smaller part of the game than all of these things combined.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Drydwen
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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