Little Red Riding Hood Gets Scary

An indie video game wants you to break the rules and die

Once upon a time, a small game developer created a demo called The Graveyard that left video game journalists puzzled. The entire game involved playing an old woman who visited a graveyard and then left, unless you paid for the full game version that allowed a chance for the character to die. Journalists debated The Graveyard's merits, and some questioned whether it represented a game or some sort of interactive art.

Now the same game developer, Tale of Tales, has come out with a modern-day horror version of "Little Red Riding Hood" called The Path.

Players control one of six sisters who take turns delivering food to their grandmother's house in the wood, if "control" is the right word -- pivotal or unexpected moments only unfold in the game if players keep their hands off the controls. However, players do decide how the story experience plays out by choosing how often the character stays on or strays off the path. And that can result in a somewhat bizarre twist on the usual video game progression, as seen in the tagline for The Path:

"There is one rule in the game. And it needs to be broken. There is one goal. And when you attain it, you die."

I managed to squeeze in some time with The Path, as documented in the video above, and found myself pleasantly surprised by the game's open-ended approach.

Interested gamers must pay $9.99 to download the game directly from the developer's site, or through a third-party service such as Valve's Steam. Side bonus with installing Steam -- you can always download Left 4 Dead if you're hankering for faster-paced horror thrills.