The Wolf Among Us: Season One

Common Sense Media says

Smartly written adventure immersed in adult themes, content.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This fairy tale-meets-murder mystery makes players question traditional conceptions of right and wrong by turning some traditional fairy tale villains into heroes, and vice versa. It also raises the question of what actions might constitute necessary force during criminal investigations.

Positive role models

Bigby Wolf, once the Big Bad Wolf, is now a gruff cop with bad habits and a worse reputation fueled by his tendency to get into fights. But he generally seems like he wants to do the right thing. Keep in mind that the player controls his responses in conversations, making pivotal choices that will affect how others see him, how the story unfolds, and even whether some characters live or die. His behavior is largely up to the player. 

Ease of play

There's only one difficulty setting, but it's unlikely that many players will wish the game were any easier. It's not possible to end the game through poor dialogue choices (or, at least, we never did). The only way to die is by making mistakes during infrequent combat sequences, which simply involve players tapping buttons as they appear on-screen. Even then, most fights allow for a number of blunders. 

Violence

Scripted combat involves humans and fantasy characters punching, tackling, biting, and shooting each other. Multiple scenes depict an ax embedded in a character's skull. Another sequence shows a man setting his own broken bone, which protrudes from the skin. Severed heads and bodies are discovered and physically investigated by the player's character. Blood, crimson stains, bones, and gore appear frequently. 

Sex

Prostitutes and strippers appear dressed in revealing clothing. A scene set in a strip club includes partial female nudity in the form of a topless dancer slinking around a pole. 

Language

Frequent strong language, including the words "f--k" and "s--t."

Consumerism

This game is based on the popular, long-running, and very adult-oriented Fables graphic novels. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The lead character smokes constantly and occasionally drinks hard liquor. Some scenes are set in a bar filled with drinking signage and paraphernalia. One character gets extremely drunk and begins slurring his speech. 

Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Wolf Among Us is an interactive adaptation of Bill Willingham's acclaimed -- but very adult-oriented -- graphic novel. Like the books, the game features extremely gory violence and has players carefully inspecting dead bodies as part of criminal investigations. The lead character is a brusque cop with a bad reputation who smokes, drinks, and gets into a lot of fights. He seems to want to be good and can be played as such. But dialogue options allow him to be turned into a selfish, belligerent jerk, should the player choose. Parents should also know that this decidedly mature game includes some very strong language ("s--t," "f--k"), as well as a topless woman dancing in a strip club.  

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's it about?

Based on Bill Willingham's long-running Fables graphic novels, THE WOLF AMONG US is an episodic series of games that imagines a New York populated by fairy tale creatures who've come to our world. Average folk don't notice them because they use magic spells known as "glamors" to assume human form. They take on normal roles in our world, running bars, working as receptionists, and running deliveries. Their security is left to Bigby Wolf -- also known as the Big Bad Wolf of Little Red Riding Hood fame. He's a surly cop who finds himself looking into a series of grisly murders in which women's heads are found lying on sidewalks. His investigation leads him to question storybook characters ranging from Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to Beauty and the Beast, and it quickly reveals both corruption and some menacing figures.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's no mistaking that The Wolf Among Us comes from Telltale Games, the same folks who brought us The Walking Dead series. From its hand-drawn, cel-shaded graphics -- which make the game feel like a comic book come to life -- to its preference to entertain via engaging interactive dialogue rather than twitchy action, The Wolf Among Us is unquestionably a spiritual cousin to Telltale's award-winning zombie series.

That said, it manages to carve out its own distinct personality thanks to an interesting cast of characters and a focus on investigation rather than survival. Plus, Bigby Wolf is one of Telltale's most complex heroes yet. Given his previous life as a villain -- and many characters' unwillingness to forgive him -- it feels OK to make him come off as a bit churlish to some characters while revealing a softer, more caring side to others. He's fascinating. The game suffers a couple of issues -- most notably a frequent failure to allow players to investigate every object in an area before triggering a new scene (this is likely to drive obsessive players a little bonkers) -- but older players interested in enjoying an intricate story with memorable characters won't come away disappointed.   

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as The Wolf Among Us. The body count in this series is relatively low compared to most games, but the intensity of the violence is high. Is a game with a few deaths shown in excruciating detail more difficult to play or interact with than one with less gore but a kill count in the hundreds or thousands? Do players grow numb to violence when it becomes too common?

  • Discuss the character of Bigby Wolf. Did you make decisions for him based on what you would do in his shoes or on what you think someone like him would do? Would you have a hard time making him be mean to a seemingly innocent character?

Game details

Platforms:Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Price:$24.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Telltale Games
Release date:October 15, 2013
Genre:Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Fairy tales
ESRB rating:M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Drug Reference, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco (Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This review of The Wolf Among Us: Season One was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bySalsander September 27, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Mature Fairytale

Though a majority of mature topics are covered in explicit detail, none of these elements are glamorized. Violence can be painful to watch. The story revolves around Bigby Wolf, a sheriff of an underground fable community who must solve a serial murder case. Graphic crime scenes include images of severed heads and blood soaked beds. Bigby will also on numerous occasions fight criminals in self defense. These characters are demigods and shapeshifters, so they will more than likely fight in their animal form and can survive critical injuries. Violent acts committed by Bigby and the criminals include burying hatchets into an attacker's skin, throwing characters across the room, stabbing, shooting, gouging eyes, and use of blunt objects. Though the actions are graphic and bloody, fables (the characters) can not die from these fisticuffs (though they grimace in pain). Because of their demigod characteristics, their wounds heal quickly. Only the serial killings (not seen on screen) and a suicide (which can be avoided) result in death. No human characters are killed. You do however have the option to gain information on the serial killings through brute methods. Torturing a suspect (hitting him, rubbing a lit cigar on his cheek) is an option, but there are consequences. A good majority of the game however revolves around non-violent conversations and investigation. Your character (Bigby) want to make up for past sins in his life, however he does have a temper. You can choose to be nice or gruf to other characters. Speaking about being gruff, there is a lot of language in this game. Expect f-bombs and s-words at a rate typical in an R-rated movie. The environment around Bigby also is a bit scandalous. A couple conversations will take place at a bar where on one occasion a main character is drunk. Bigby and other characters smoke a lot and talk about their smoking habits. Sex is also a commonplace. Because the serial murders are of prostitutes, Bigby will have to investigate workers at a strip-club. Ariel (a stripper) is seen pole dancing with only a thong on. Beast is suspicious of his wife cheating on him (though she does not). A character has a sexual fantasy about his co-worker and pays a prostitute to dress up as her (act not seen). Overall the Wolf Among Us contains many mature themes. However because the explicit content isn't glamorized and includes a rewarding story about class-struggle, the Wolf Among Us is a great game for mature teens. On for 16+, iffy for 14+.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byMrRaz0r21 September 3, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Really good game

It's an amazing game, like the Walking dead made by the same creators. There is a fair bit of violence, but not high in impact, swearing is quite frequent and as for drug use, pretty strong. People smoke & drink frequently. Sex, is medium as there is a women topless dancing at a strip club. Main messages are justice and to help people out. Main character Bigby is a somewhat good role model, he wants what's best for his town and goes to great lengths to do so.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide