Red Riding Hood

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Red Riding Hood App Poster Image
Alternative plot twists give clever update to classic.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about storytelling and perspective as they explore a classic story from multiple points of view. They'll also see the consequences of their choices when they see how the story goes off in drastically different directions. The alternative paths may inspire kids' creativity as well.

Ease of Play

Navigation is clear; the rest is as simple as listening to a story.

Violence & Scariness

The wolf lunges at Red Riding Hood and eats people.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Icons advertise other apps from the same developer, and links to purchase are buried a few taps away from the main menu.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Red Riding Hood retells the classic story but with a choose-your-own-adventure twist. At key points throughout, kids choose what the characters' next move will be. Sometimes the choices lead to the traditional ending, other times the story ends a bit differently. Kids can follow the highlighted text as a narrator reads the story, but there aren't many drawings to accompany the story. The settings menu includes options for adjusting sound effects, background music, and font size, and turning off the text highlight feature. There's also a story map that allows kids to revisit each fork in the story and choose a different path. Tap the screen three times with three fingers to turn on the accessibility mode for visually impaired and blind users. Kids can navigate through the menus to find advertisements for additional stories; there's no built-in parent lock that prevents kids from arriving at the App Store purchase page. The free download includes Red Riding Hood's story; unlock the wolf's story through a $1.99 in-app purchase. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Kids can choose to hear the story from RED RIDING HOOD's point of view, or -- in the paid version -- from the wolf's. Either way, at key points in the story, there's a choice to make: Should Red Riding Hood eat the food her mother prepared or take it Grandma like she's supposed to? Different choices take the story on different paths. Kids can play as Red Riding Hood or as the wolf. Visit the story map to choose a different option.

Is it any good?

It's fun to revisit a classic fairy tale and experiment with different endings, and kids who don't need pictures will especially enjoy this kid-directed app. Most of the story paths and endings are engaging, and there's a good enough variety to really make kids feel as though they are controlling the story. Red Riding Hood also has wonderful voice actors that bring the story to life. This becomes particularly important because the story is almost totally text-based; there are no traditional illustrations. Instead, kids read along as the text unfolds on the screen, somewhat in the style of a text-message conversation. This lack of images may disappoint some kids, and it probably won't take long to explore all the story paths, so kids will need to have an interest in the story itself to feel like it's worth revisiting. However, having kids explore different sides of a story, see how plot twists play out, and make choices -- all while honing early reading skills -- gives the experience value. If your kids want to give it a try, test the free download first to see how captivated they are by this storytelling style before you commit to a purchase. If they love it, there's also a version of Hansel and Gretel available.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Red Riding Hood's nontraditional story endings. Do your kids like the new endings better? Why or why not? What other twists and turns can your kids invent?

  • Give your kids the gift of reading. Read with them as much as you can. Explore the classics -- fairy tales, fables, and nursery rhymes -- all the way through the newest additions to children's literature. 

  • Most classic stories have a lesson to teach. What is this story's message?

App details

Themes & Topics

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