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‘The Wolf Among Us’ for iOS game review

The Wolf Among Us is a point and click action game based on the Fables comic book series. Created by Telltale Games, the same people who made the excellent ‘The Walking Dead’ series of games, The Wolf Among Us got rave reviews when it was launched on the PC and consoles a few months back.

Now the developers have ported over the game to iOS, just like they did with The Walking Dead. Let’s take a look and see how Bigby’s adventure plays out on the small screen.

Title
The Wolf Among Us
Developer
Telltale Inc
Platform
iOS
Release Date
December 5, 2013
Content Reating
17+
Size
635MB
Price
$4.99 ($20 for all five episodes)

Gameplay

The Wolf Among Us follows the episodic format of The Walking Dead and will be released in five parts, out of which the first is currently available for download. So this review only covers the first episode out right now and not the entire game as such. Still, most of what is said here should apply to the rest of the game as well.

For those unfamiliar with the plot, The Wolf Among Us is based on these fairy tale characters who were driven out of their Homelands and forced to live among humans. You have characters in the game such as Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Mr. Toad, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Woodsman and our main character, The Big Bad Wolf or Bigby Wolf as he’s now called. These characters had to adopt a human form called Glamor to blend in with the other humans, and those who don’t have to live in ‘the Farm’ away from others.

Living among the humans, these fairytale characters or ‘Fables’ have had to take up human jobs. So Bigby is now a sheriff and Snow White works at the mayor’s office. Underneath their human appearance still lurks their fairytale character which can come out whenever they want and unlike humans these Fables can live much longer and are harder to kill.

Episode 1 starts off as a murder mystery that you as Bigby, the Sheriff have to solve. You have Snow White to assist you and together you go about finding clues and interrogating people. The gameplay is exactly like The Walking Dead, where you have to tap on marked points to bring up a list of options that lets you interact with it.

While talking to characters, you are presented with a choice of things to say or do and often you have to make a decision before the timer runs out. Every decision you make is taken into account and will affect future outcomes that even carry over onto the next episode. It can affect little things such as the attitude of other characters towards you (friendly or hostile) and in some cases can change the entire outcome of the game. Once you make a decision, there is no going back and you have to stick with it to the end.

The way the game seamlessly turns things and presents outcomes based on your decisions is masterfully done. You can’t take decisions too lightly knowing you could be affecting the game in the long run. But the game doesn’t let you ponder too long on your decisions and some of them have to be made at a split second’s notice, otherwise it makes a decision for you that you may not like. Watching the story unfold and the characters change depending upon what you chose is really a gratifying experience and makes you feel like you’re contributing to the story rather than just be a bystander watching it happen from a distance.

Along with tapping on text boxes and objects, there are also some quick time events when you get into a fist fight with someone. At certain points you will have to swipe in the direction shown on the screen and tap on a particular point to make Bigby dodge or attack respectively. Failing to do so at the right time can cause, once again, to alter the story in a way you did not intended so it’s best to be quick on your fingers.

Playing on a touchscreen for most parts works flawlessly. Things like tapping and swiping on the screen feel right at home on a touchscreen but the one area where it falters is when you are moving the character around in a room. It feels ungainly and makes you feel glad there is not a lot of that in the game. Playing on the iPhone was surprisingly decent although the game would be best enjoyed on the iPad.

Since it’s in an episodic format, the game is only about 3-4 hours long. But the beauty of it is that you can play it again several times and make different decisions and come to a different end each time. Be careful with what you do, though, as your decisions carry forward into the subsequent episodes.

The Wolf Among Us, Episode 1 ‘Faith’ is priced at $4.99 and you can choose to purchase the individual episodes as they are released for the same price or pre-purchase 2-5 at once right now for $14.99 with a 25% discount and get them when they release, all through in-app purchase.

Graphics and Sound

Just like The Walking Dead before it, The Wolf Among Us is a 3D game with cel shading. The game makes use of a very vibrant color palette, which, coupled with the cel shading, gives the game a very psychedelic look. The game looks fantastic, of course, and the art style is superb. Characters look great and have very realistic facial expressions and movement. Detailing is also very sharp and the game looks great on a Retina display, letting you read even fine text on objects without having to zoom in. This is easily one of the best looking games out there on the mobile platform.

Sound-wise, the The Wolf Among Us treats you to some superb voice acting across the board from all characters that rivals the kind of stuff Rockstar does with its games. All the characters come across as authentic and believable and deliver their lines with aplomb. Music and background audio is bit more subtle but well used and fills in nicely to make the entire audio experience enjoyable.

Verdict

The Wolf Among Us is a stellar effort from Telltale Games. The game is thoroughly enjoyable thanks to its gripping story, unique characters and the gameplay mechanism with multiple choices for every interaction. Having to decide which option to choose when and knowing your decisions affect the outcome of the game makes it more than just a simple point and click adventure. Add to it stunning visuals and sound and the The Wolf Among Us becomes a solid contender for the Game of the Year award.

Rating: 10/10
Pros: Gripping story, superb characters, brilliant gameplay, stunning visuals and sound
Cons: Moving around feels a bit awkward at times using the touchscreen

App Store

The Wolf Among Us was reviewed on an iPhone 5s.

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