We think of The Path as an “emancipatory” game for the many people who have largely been left out in the cold by the games industry for decades. We, and many people with us, find it difficult to relate to muscular soldiers packed with tons of guns or scantily dressed vixens wielding impossibly long swords -or even to the dorky intellectuals of adventure games. The Path offers a different kind of story. For a different kind of people, perhaps.
-From an interview with the creators of The Path
Developed by Tale of Tales, The Path is a small, horror game based on older versions of the Little Red Ridinghood story. There are 6 Ridinghoods, 6 sisters, that have to take a basket and go to grandmother’s house. Your first instinct may be to follow the directions given to you at the start of the journey–go to grandmother’s house and do not stray off of the path. If you do this, you will fail. The whole point of the game is to get off the path and explore the woods. There are lots of things to discover and interact with–including the wolf.
Each sister has her own particular wolf/weakness. Encountering the monster (who may not look like one) is not enough, your character is not successful if she is not attacked by it. Afterwards, her “game” ends and you must pick another sister to take the journey.*
The wolf is not the only person your characters will encounter in the woods. If you are unsure of what to do next, look for The Girl In White. Her intentions in the game are open to interpretation, but she will lead you to the objects you need to encounter….and eventually to your wolf.
I bought the game on a lark–it was 1/2 off on halloween weekend–and hadn’t seen any of the hype/pr/etc in the months building to its release. The red riding hoods all appear to be white. The first time I strayed from the path, I was surprised to see a black girl in a white dress running through the trees. (If I had played the demo first–it would not have been a surprise at all.) Considering the color symbolism in the game, it’s fair to wonder if or how the skin color of the GiW should be factored into interpretations of The Path.
Is the GiW a commentary on victimization and race? Does seeing a picture of the cofounders of Tale of Tales provide a simpler explanation…or deepen the mystery? 😉
*The Path is not as violent as I make it sound, a better explanation can
be found in this review.