Back in the day, people built children like we now build war criminals. Tiny tykes weren’t coddled or babied with cheery tales about the world and all its wonders. From the day they sloughed out of the dark prison that was their mother’s womb, kids were weened on a steady diet of gruesome fairy tales and sawblades. But it’s time for a new generation – our generation – to rise up and claim the mantle of Most Powerful Child. That’s why everyone’s making fairy tales more fucked up than ever before. American McGee has made a career out of it, and now a small Belgian studio called GRIN (no, not that one) is taking up its own axe with Woolfe: The Red Riding Hood Diaries. It looks rather stunning, no? I am, however, worried that it could end up a bog standard platformer with a macabre coat of red paint.
And here’s the dev team’s description of what Woolfe will ultimately become:
“Non-sugarcoated steampunk fairy tale, full of drama and dark twists. A vengeful Red Riding Hood confronts her nightmares and demons in a dark sidescroller odyssey. This dark but magical platform game is filled with winks to familiar fairy tales and visual elements reminiscent of masters such as Tim Burton and Anthony Pieck. Woolfe is inspired by story elements from the original, more cruel pre-Grimm versions of Little Red Riding Hood.”
So basically, it’s exactly what it looks like. Only problem is, I can’t spot a single unique element in those trailers. It’s just basic (and rather herky-jerky-looking) platforming. There’s nothing overtly wrong with that, I suppose; I’m just hoping for a little more, is all.
Then again, the game is still quite early, so perhaps it’ll prove all my fears unfounded later on. I certainly hope so. Woolfe has a gorgeous visual style, and I’d love to explore its world provided the actual design of it holds up its end of the bargain. GRIN is hoping to have a public beta ready by March. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go Kickstart a children’s show all about the proper application of curse words. Yes, they will be history’s mightiest, but even that is no excuse for being uneducated.