A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Revenge is Red's whole reason for being. Her only goal is to right the wrongs inflicted on her family.
Positive Role Models
Red is a strong girl, a loyal and loving daughter, but filled with rage. Though prone to remembrances of her parents, often mutters to herself about violence she plans to visit upon her nemeses.
Ease of Play
Varying difficulty levels, but serious lack of visual feedback and clunky control scheme. The former makes it hard to understand what to do in boss fights; the latter makes fights an exercise in frustration.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is cartoonish, mainly against mechanical soldiers who can't bleed. Other enemies spout blood when Red takes her ax to them. When not committing acts of violence, Red spends a lot of time talking about them.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No overt mention of sex, but one suggestive story thread involves mysterious disappearances of young women and girls kept for some unknown reason in a grungy dormitory.
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Red occasionally refers to her nemesis as a "bastard," uses "crappy" as a descriptor.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is a downloadable action game featuring a heroine bent on violent revenge and prone to cutting her enemies down with an ax. Although that sounds gruesome, the violence is cartoonish and primarily against robotic opponents. There are occasional splashes of blood against some human and animal enemies, though the heroine frequently talks about what she will do to her nemeses. There are some control-scheme and visual-feedback issues that can confuse and frustrate players, particularly during boss fights. Language issues are limited to "bastard" and things being described as "crappy," and, although there's no sexual content, there's a suggestion of women and girls held against their will in a dormitory.
Is It Any Good?
Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries takes the classic Grimm fairy tale and brings it along a darker path, with Red, not the woodsman, being the vengeful righter of wrongs. She's cast as an angry young woman (older than the traditional Red Riding Hood by about 10 years) and is brave, athletic, and trained to defend herself. The adventure has very expressive lighting that supports the narrative, along with environments that are as lush and detailed as some of the best fairy tale illustrations. The sound is equally distinct, with moody music that adds emotion to Red's grown-up yet girlish voice as it relates poignant memories from her past. The game also has strong platforming mechanics with lots of interesting areas to jump, climb, and run through, making it fun to explore this updated take on the adventure.
Although it's a good start to what should be a compelling story, the heroine is done an injustice thanks to odd design choices. Unless you use a console controller, the control scheme is confusing because it places attacks on traditional movement keys. Boss fights are just as strange, with false clues on defeating enemies provided to players and no visual feedback on damage to enemies. Also, Red's giant head is disproportionate to her tiny body, and, without lip syncing, she and other characters stare blankly like department store mannequins during cut scenes while their voices come floating out of nowhere. But these presentation issues aren't as problematic as Red Hood Diaries' lack of content -- from start to finish, the game can be completed in roughly 90 minutes, which is incredibly short. But, although Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries appears to be somewhat limited by design choices, it's a potentially promising start to a complex fairy tale series.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.