Stage Fright: Little Red And Professor Wolf

Little Red And Professor Wolf

If you can’t come up with a memorable character of your own to star in your game, then it’s great to know that you can fall back onto the myriad of well-known characters of fairy tales. And hey, that’s not a snarky remark. I love to see what developers can do with the grim world of fairy tales, especially when they provide a modern reimagining or really delve deep into the essence of the story and extract a unique aesthetic from its core. Players connect with characters in games, and to be honest, it’s not that likely that the ones you’ll create will be worth remembering, so using established ones to generate initial interest, while adding your own twist, seems to be the way to go.

Salem Games, for instance, has taken the well-loved character of Little Red Riding Hood and her actually rather macabre story of visiting her grandmother to then nearly getting eaten by the wolf that gobbled granny up. This tale has been spun a few different ways across many different media in years previous, but we’re being proved once again that there’s still room for creative agency within the fairy tale with Little Red And Professor Wolf.

Little Red And Professor Wolf

You see that? Not your typical image of Little Red, right there, seemingly being sucked into a swirling red vortex with glowing eyes suggesting possession. Don’t worry; I don’t think she’s evil…

That shot is actually taken from the first teaser for the game and takes place on a stage where Little Red is being terrorized by, presumably, Professor Wolf. The game itself doesn’t actually play out on a stage, though, as interesting an aesthetic as that would be. Instead, it seems to be more of a typical sidescrolling adventure in which you are deftly taken around a number of interesting environments. That’s only half the game, however, as the developer states that there will also be another mode which plays out like an isometric arcade game and has you collecting baskets. Interestingly, these two games swaps the roles of the two titular characters. In one, Little Red is the heroine, while Professor Wolf is the villain, while in the other, they’re perceived as being the other way around. There’s no evidence of which roles add up to which mode, unfortunately.

In the adventure portion of the game, which is the one that has more of my attention, you find yourself picking around the abode Professor Wolf as Little Red. While the environment may not be too exotic, with a greenhouse and a grandfather clock noticeably on display, given that this is the home of a humanoid wolf, there are bound to be a few interesting oddities.

Little Red And Professor Wolf

What should pique your interest more than that is at the end of the level 3, Little Red is apparently poisoned by a toxic plant and ends up falling into a deep sleep. She then finds herself trapped in Professor Wolf’s nightmare. The screenshot above is taken from that level. Notice how sweet and friendly it looks; not much of a nightmare, is it? Teacups and teddy bears seem to plague this dreamscape, and you’ll have to run up spoons and various other over-sized crockery to traverse the level.

I love seeing level design that takes a different perspective on everyday objects (usually by means of shrinking) so that even the most mundane of environments and objects are interesting and fun to navigate over and around. But I do admit the teaser with the stage-horror element is much more up my alley. Give it a look below. Little Red and Professor Wolf is coming to web browsers and iPad when it’s finished.