LifeisXbox’s Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood review | When a game even slightly reminds me of fairytales, my curiosity is piqued. Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood has fairytales written all over it if you look at the name and some screenshots. This new story-driven adventure game by developer Devespresso Games and publisher HeadUp was set to launch into Early Access today, but we’re getting the full version immediately, isn’t that great! You may know Devespresso from games like The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters or Vambrace: Cold Soul. Since both these games scored well on our website, I was very curious to dig into this new adventure!
We played Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood for 9 hours on PC. This game is only available on PC.
What we liked!
- Story | You start the game as Scarlet, who is part of a band that has to perform somewhere. Of course, things don’t go exactly according to plan and Scarlet is left by herself, after which is taken to a strange land by a tornado (The Wizard of Oz vibes). She finds the cutest fox, which she follows. After a series of unfortunate events, she ends up in charge of leading a bunch of Munchkins through the Wicked Wood to safety. One person in particular, namely the Black Witch LeFaba, isn’t too happy about travelers wandering through her beloved forest, so a hex is put on Scarlet, having her relive the same day over and over again. Let me tell you, this may sound like annoying gameplay, but it’s surprisingly fun! Scarlet ends up with the mantle of the Red Witch (Little Red Riding Hood vibes) and well, you want to get out of this time loop, don’t you? I enjoyed this inspired story and the plot twists that came with it. I can definitely recommend following it and reading everything without skipping!
- Puzzles | There are quite some interesting puzzles to be found here. Some are rather easy, while others require a bit more thinking and puzzle-solving skills. I honestly enjoyed gathering clues and trying to figure out the various puzzles. I’m also a big fan of a good quiz, and besides the many puzzles, there are also some fun quizzes in Scarlet Hood. All I can say is to keep your eyes peeled on your journey so you can answer them when the time comes!
- Graphics | Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood uses hand-illustrator graphics, and they’re quite beautiful. If you’re familiar with other games from Devespresso Games’, then you’ll definitely recognize the art style. The whole scene is very vibrant, and even though you’re stuck in that time-loop, it never gets boring or repetitive, graphic-wise. You spent most of your time walking through a forest, but sometimes it’s snowy, other times you go into a cave, it’s always very enjoyable walking around the landscapes! The enemies look really cool as well. The dodos are all dressed up and there are flying monkeys (again, The Wizard of Oz vibes).
- Replay value | Even though you finish this game in about 6 to 9 hours (depending on how good you are with the puzzles and whether or not you read everything), there’s a lot of replay value. You see, there are no less than 10 different endings to discover. Depending on the choices you make, you get different puzzles and an alternative ending. This way, you can easily get more than 50 hours of gaming fun. Taking into account that Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood only costs you 15 Euros, I think the amount of gameplay is quite a lot.
- Checkpoints | I’m really glad Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood has plenty of checkpoints where you can save your progress. Almost every new screen has one, so you’ll probably never have to replay a big chunk if you happen to die. You might think that the many checkpoints might be distracting or something, but they really aren’t. They always fit in with the scenes so even though they are obviously there, they’re not ‘in your face’.
- Soundtrack | I love, love, love the menu soundtrack of Scarlet Hood. Seeing as the game itself brings together the worlds of fairytale and Wizard of Oz, an exciting soundtrack makes this game even more attractive. It’s such an upbeat sound that just makes you happy. The main soundtrack (heard on the menu screen) reminded me a little of the music you hear during a fair or circus or something, so very cool! However, the actual music provided during the gameplay was less interesting. I mean, it was fun and good at times, but there were entire parts of the game where there seemed to be no soundtrack at all for some reason?
What we disliked
- Achievements | I don’t know why developers feel the need to add achievements just for the sake of having achievements. If I start my game for the first time, and I get an achievement right away, I know I won’t care about them at all. I was already cautious when I saw that Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood had 45+ achievements, and surprise, surprise, within the first half-hour of playing, I had unlocked like 6 achievements while barely doing something. This just takes away all of the challenge and excitement that should come with achievements.
LifeisXbox.eu is the largest Belgian Xbox centered website, your reading time is greatly appreciated! Please consider sharing this review with your friends on social media, that means a lot for us! If you are Dutch speaking also consider joining our Dutch exclusive Facebook group Xbox Gamers Belgium. Feel free to use quotes for PR purposes.
Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂