The controversial McGee Act of 2000 has not yet been repealed, despite the revolt led by Tale of Tales’ The Path, so it remains the case that every videogame based on a fairy tale must be a broody platformer starring a young lady with a weapon. While we await Snow White: Dwarves Of Darkness and Rapunzel: Hairway To Hell, we can Halloween it up with today’s demo of Woolfe – The Red Hood Diaries.
It’s Red Riding Hood with an axe and an acute case of Burtonitis, innit.
You get three levels to play with, which includes assorted hacking at monsters, switch-flipping and platform-hopping. There’s a great deal of insta-death, but at least it’s generous with its checkpoints.
Despite a fondness for twisted metal architecture and characters and the decision to make her murderous, I’ve not seen any suggestion that it’s taking Red Riding Hood to truly surprising places, but it is of course pleasing to see her in charge of her own destiny/axe, rather than needing a bloke in a lumberjack shirt to come and sort it all out for her.
Its Unreal-powered dark steampunkery is attractive enough, though it doesn’t have the visual imagination of McGee’s Alice games. The demo is, however, based on an early and unfinished build (which also lacks many graphical options), so we’re probably not seeing it at its best yet. Hopefully they’ll improve the bored/supercilious-sounding voiceover in the released version too.
Still: can’t really argue with three free levels of jumpy-stabby fairy tale on jokey-spooky day. It’s got pumpkins in it and everything.
The demo’s up on Steam right now. Here’s the pitch video from their Kickstarter earlier this year, if you’d prefer: