All signs point to happily-ever-after in this interactive picture book app of the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood (Nosy Crow, April 2013). Vibrant, cheery colors set a lighthearted tone for wide-eyed and well-freckled Red’s familiar adventure through the woods to Grandma’s house. Unlike other, more gruesome renditions which often include an ax-wielding woodsman, there is zero bloodshed in this toddler-friendly retelling, though thankfully the canonical exchange between Red and the Big Bad Wolf (“My, what big eyes you have…”) is preserved.
Developer Nosy Crow utilizes a choose-your-own-adventure narrative structure, which has recently become a trend in children’s digital applications, to encourage interactivity and nonlinear story exploration. As Red sets out to deliver a basket of goodies to Grandma, she encounters a hungry wolf and several forks in the road along the way. A combination of three paths (out of eight total) leads to the final destination, each path featuring a mini activity that Red must complete in order to obtain items that she will ultimately use to battle the Big Bad Wolf in the denouement at Grandma’s house. Each time you play, you can try a different combination of paths and activities, thus changing the final outcome. An easily navigable map in the upper right corner allows you to backtrack and try different paths if you don’t like the way things are going.
Mini activities include simple tasks such as picking flowers, collecting jars of water, and pouring honey, to name a few. Each activity employs an interactive element: tilting the device from side to side, blowing into the microphone, and dragging items here and there using the touch screen technology.
No matter which paths you take, the story concludes with a no-holds-barred, girl vs. canine showdown that ends with the inevitable butt-kicking of the maniacal Big Bad Wolf, wherein he gets his just deserts through a variety of humorously humiliating defeat sequences, while the victors, Red and Grandma, just get desserts — the only things devoured in this version of Little Red are the treats from the picnic basket.
Available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (requires iOS 4.3 or later); $4.99. Recommended for preschool and primary users.