Scarlet Hood And The Wicked Wood PC Review
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The Scarlet Hood And The Wicked Wood PC Review
If we played the “first thing that comes to mind game” and I threw the words “Scarlet Hood And The Wicked Wood” What Mental Connotations Would This Lead To? You might think of a fairy tale, maybe say Little Red Riding Hood, or maybe a superhero (eg DC’s Little Red Riding Hood), etc. (where did you think I was going with this?). For South Korean developer Devespresso Games, the title represents their first puzzle-based adventure game. Overall, the team has done a great job here, but sometimes the game seems to lose its identity. The game tries to throw in too many different gameplay elements and for die-hard puzzle gamers it might be a bit much. Welcome to our Scarlet Hood And The Wicked Wood game review for Steam PC!
First and foremost, this is a 2D, side-scrolling story-driven adventure, in fact it plays out more like a novel storytelling game at times, as lots of dialogue reading can contribute to moments of boredom. You play as Scarlet Hood, the singer and guitarist of a starting rock band. Somewhere along the line, you’ll fall “down the rabbit hole” and arrive at Glome’s realm after being thrown into a tornado. You then find yourself leading a group of Munchkins through the Wicked Wood and trying to get to safety. The only problem is that you have to get past the Black Witch, LeFaba. The developers are not afraid that it is known that the story of this game is inspired by The Wizard Of Oz, Red Riding Hood and Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, strangely mixed with South American cultural elements. And for a Korean developer, the English translation is perfect! Without completely ruining it, the game also features a bit of the “Groundhog Day” time loop phenomenon.
Scarlet’s campaign involves reliving the same day multiple times. Almost like a Metroidvania meets Groundhog Day scenario, each “death” brings someone closer to the end of the journey. What one does before will open avenues for the next step, as well as affect one of ten possible endings that the player can achieve. What this does is give the impression of missing content that completists will inevitably come to, and it also provides flexibility on how one can approach obstacles.
Yes, this story-driven game contains a lot of puzzles, but sometimes there is a lot of “downtime” as you travel from screen to screen interacting with everything and everyone. Because of this, the game started very slowly for the first hour. It also doesn’t help that some of the dialogues are a bit mundane and the writers sometimes went out of their way to use a different analogy. These moments seem to eat up your patience as you try to solve your next puzzle. However, the anime-inspired artwork is beautiful and reminiscent at times, and the occasional narrated cutscenes are well worth the “travel expense”.
If you ever felt like your Point & Click title needed more spice, this would be a desirable option. While technically more of a side-scroller than Point & Click, the gameplay helps to tarnish any solid distinctions. Generally, one will run from one end of a room to the other, looking for clues or hidden items that will help them move forward. Most areas are quite small, with the general player probably able to complete at least one path to completion in an hour. Once the player knows what he’s doing, it takes much less time, as item locations don’t change on repeated playthroughs.
At times Scarlet Hood And The Wicked Wood borrows from a few gameplay styles, some of which puzzle gamers like me can find themselves caught off guard. As you get deeper into this puzzle-based game, it suddenly forces the player timed mini-challenges with very little guidance on what to do. It then turns and borrows from action games by incorporating evasive moves, hit points, stamina, potions and then survival and stealth gameplay tactics. For a point-and-click adventure gamer, who this game is aimed at, this can come as a culture shock.
The puzzles themselves are plentiful, but many won’t challenge die-hard puzzle gamers. Deeper in the game you better take some notes or screenshots with your mobile phone if you come across the typical visual cue needed to solve a puzzle. If you get into it far enough to notice that these puzzles aren’t the most challenging, you’ll still feel compelled to finish the game as the presentation elements are quite entertaining. There are also the occasional puzzles where there is little to no explanation or clue how to They solve. Either that, or maybe I just missed a clue somewhere, this could be especially true in those sections where I sprinted to avoid mafia damage. In one case it came down to trial and error for me personally.
Like The Coma, Scarlet Hood’s overall aesthetic has a vaguely Flash-esque appeal, mixed with the obvious inspirations of fairy tale descriptions. There are a number of different ways the game represents itself: special cutscenes, in-game animated models, dialogue art models, and even real human models that can be found in the bonus gallery.
For the most part, players will see the in-game models and dialogue art, as those two are by far the most common. Dialogues are plentiful, so you’ll see a lot of different characters expressing a mix of different emotions. Beyond this, characters usually have minimal, but noticeable animation, even when inactive, which helps to make the world feel alive. Still, some things come across as unclean, such as when a special cutscene takes place and Scarlet spams the same three emotes continuously until the cutscene ends. “Flash-like” is both a blessing and a curse – it refers to a time when it felt like everyone’s passion could bear fruit. It also has a bit of a jerky run, which those who prefer fluidity may not care.
Lovers of color in their games will find comfort here either way. Scarlet Hood in name alone raises the expectation that the journey will be one covered in bright colors. Whether it’s Scarlet, the black witch Lefaba or others she meets along the way, the figures are recognizable only by color and proportion. Even if some of the dialogue art has a bit of an eerie anime touch, the overall one has more personality than some AAA titles.
As with the written performance of the game, the soundtrack and overall soundscape are fairly “standard”. This is not an atmosphere test, however, because the campaign is filled to the brim with exciting, sometimes mystical tracks. From what I’ve listened to (and remembered), two specific songs stand out – the title theme and another song with some soft stringing. At startup up the game, the player will hear a jazzy, almost carnival-like song that comes to life up the mood right away. And when the mood calls for it, the soundtrack does what it can to calm the player’s immersion. Doesn’t really reach impressive heights, although it is spicy.
It may say bad, but it’s not always bad. Devespresso Games’ attempt to bring fairy tales to life in their own way is an admirable, if not entirely original, attempt. With a solid set of puzzles and poppy visuals, there’s plenty to love that fans of the Point & Click-esque things of yore will lust after. Although the choice to opt out of Early Access may be in the game’s technical details, with some rough patches in performance being noticeable. With others features with a disappointing feel and perhaps a lack of solid identity, this modern story is best suited for those new to the genre.
Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a colorful and beautiful game with a fun, light-hearted atmosphere. The main character of the same name is an endearing companion with whom you spend the same challenging day over and over again. Not only does Dorothy go off to watch the wizard make him solve her problems, the young heroine here takes charge of the situation and explores her magical abilities as she home to apologize to her friends. The puzzles could use a little more variety, though entertaining enough, with the action elements leaning towards the easy side, yet adding a nice little adrenaline rush to the process. Overall, it’s a welcome new twist on much-loved classic fantasy tales, and for those considering a purchase, it’s worth a voracious cackle when you declare, “I’ll get you, my pretty!”
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