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The Wolf's Bite review - A neat but flimsy competitive narrative adventure

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone
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Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin

Product: The Wolf's Bite | Publisher:  | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
The Wolf's Bite is a competitive choose-your-own adventure game, which is a combination of words I'd never really considered before.

Either that's a sign of the game's originality, or an indicator that the two elements aren't a particularly well suited combination.

Having played through The Wolf's Bite, I think the answer might be a little bit of both.

Let me in

Fancying a career change (the residential demolition industry is mighty competitive), the Big Bad Wolf has decided to clean up his act and open a restaurant.

Opposing Mr Wolf's attempt at reform are the Three Little Pigs, who are understandably a little bitter about all that huffing and puffing malarkey.

That's the charming premise for The Wolf's Bite, and at the start of every run through you must select your side in the dispute.

Choose the Big Bad Wolf and you'll be attempting to launch your new restaurant. Select the pigs and it'll be up to you to sabotage the opening and drag Mr Wolf's name through the mud.

Howling at the moon

Well, I say it's up to you, but the key issue with the game is that you actually have very little say about the shape of events.

Sure, you select the setting for the next event on a game board, such as the grocery store, City Hall, or The Wolf's Bite restaurant itself. But there's no logical link between the different vignettes that play out, and no way to ascertain the direction any selection will take the story.

You might argue that this is all part and parcel of a proper choose-your-own adventure story - the unforeseen twists and turns that crop up.

That's certainly true in a traditional sense. But in setting the game up as a competitive exercise - you can either play against a rival human or an AI opponent - and by giving the selection system the feel of a board game, it creates the expectation of some kind of underlying strategy.

Indeed, at the end of every turn you're awarded points towards your reputation and wealth. But all this determines is the nature of the ending once all the 'turns' have been taken.

Lots of huff, not much puff

Ultimately, any such narrative-driven game lives and dies by its story. The Wolf's Bite is undeniably well written, with a light and breezy sense of humour and no little wit.

As a subversion of the famous fairytale, updated with modern reference points, both young and old audiences will find something to identify with here. It's jolly good fun.

But again, there's no great feeling of high stakes, or any real sensation beyond mild amusement. As such, I didn't feel particularly compelled to rinse the game for all its endings, which you'll ideally want to do given the game's premium price point.

The Wolf's Bite is a stylishly drawn, well-written choose-your-own adventure game. But I suspect that it'll be a little too light and throw-away for both gamers and fans of interactive fiction alike.
The Wolf's Bite review - A neat but flimsy competitive narrative adventure
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 13 April 2018
Brisk, fresh and well-written, The Wolf's Bite is a choose-your-own adventure game with only a superficial gloss of strategy and depth
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