Kickstarter Shout-out: Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries

 photo woolf01.jpg Here is a very interesting case for this Kickstarter Shout-out. If you remember at E3 2014 when Microsoft was showing off that they are making sure to have good relations with indie developers, they showed off a trailer filled with multiple indie games that were coming to the company’s Xbox One. Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries was one of those games. This was a fun-looking action game with a fantastic art style. Recently, I saw that this very game was on Kickstarter. It was a little confusing, since I feel like if Microsoft is coming out and saying that they want your game on their console, they would give you the funding for that to happen. However, it is a project on Kickstarter, so I thought, “why not give them a shout-out?” Let’s dive into the twisted world of twisted fairy tale books and read on why Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is getting a Kickstarter Shout-out!

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This game puts you in the heels of a rather gloomy, but deadly Red Riding Hood. Four years in the past, Red’s father, the lead engineer of Woolfe Industries was killed in an accident. Of course, that is what they wanted Red’s family to believe. After she has mourned for her father’s death, and no more tears are left in her head, she goes off away from her grandmother’s place, out of the magical forest, and back into the city where Woolfe Industries lies, and sets off to get revenge for her father’s death. Instantly, I want to gush over the game’s beautiful art direction, but for now, I will give my two cents on the story. We all know most fairy tales that Disney touches are much darker than they should be, and this is no different for Little Red Riding Hood. I am very intrigued to see how dark they are willing to make the story. It kind of reminds me of Alice: Madness Returns, but with a more fleshed-out female lead. I was a little concerned that this game’s version of Red Riding Hood was going to be an angst-filled character, but from what I have seen, they have made sure to put a more human element into her. If they didn’t do that, they would end up with an emotionless and overall bland character. You know, it’s like Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. Anyway, the game’s story has some promise, and I can’t wait to see more of it!

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Woolfe is described as a cinematic 2.5D action platformer. Red’s main form of combatting the evil that walks this world is her trusty axe. The original version of this game cut out Red’s ability to use magic, but they are now going to implement different magical abilities, ranging from animal instincts to detect hidden environmental clues to summoning wolves to fight alongside you. It will definitely give Red some firepower to tackle the more challenging enemies and bosses as you trek through the levels. To split up the platforming and combat, you will need to solve puzzles that will help you progress through the levels. To say the least, the developer behind the game, Grin, has made sure that Woolfe is a fulfilling experience. I have my concerns about the design of the game, but I will comment on those concerns later.

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I love the look of the game. I always enjoy seeing a more gothic look at fairy tale worlds, like in Alice: Madness Returns or any games American McGee works on. I know it isn’t the most unique art style, but there are some cool designs to some of the characters, from the toy soldiers to that giant Pinocchio boss. The music reminds me of something Danny Elfman would compose for Tim Burton. It has that grim, but quirky sound.

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I do have a few concerns with the overall project. I have played many action platformers, and the one thing that bugs me is that the controls are usually never as tight as they should be. The controls for most action platformers are stiff or a little too floaty. I want to die in this game because it was my fault, and not because the person in charge of the controls didn’t tighten the controls correctly. It makes games like Nier, the recent 2.5D Castlevania, and many other downloadable action games less desirable, because it was the game’s fault that you died.

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In the end, Woolfe is definitely a game worth backing. The Kickstarter, if funded, will get a PC port of the game made, but they have made sure that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will get a version for the game itself. The funding goal is $50K, and it is currently at over $39K. I can tell that this is one of the better Kickstarter games to follow and invest in, due to the game already having a solid design and being in a later stage of development. Congrats to GRIN Gamestudios! Woolfe gets my Kickstarter Shout-out!

(If you want to support this Kickstarter, go to this link!)