Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ

Nintendo DS

Destineer/EnjoyUp, $20

I usually don’t buy a game before knowing something about it. But I couldn’t resist this time. Who could say no to Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ?

Not me.

The story is pretty “complicated,” but I’ll sum it up with a quote from Little Red Riding Hood herself: “Dammit! Zombies everywhere. Gonna have to cross the forest again to get to grandma’s house before it’s too late.”

It’s a lot to take in. After you get to grandma’s house though, and after you’ve killed her, because she’s turned into a zombie, it all begins to make sense. Although why Little Red Riding Hood has changed into a sexy anime gun-toting superhero is never quite fully explained.

Some games create powerful and emotional narrative experiences. Interactive stories can arguably rival films in terms of enveloping storytelling. But Little Red isn’t one of them. This is a game where you shoot zombies.

The story happens to be loosely framed around some classic children’s fairy tales. You run into characters like Gretel, but she’s a hideously deformed zombie who has consumed Hansel in her ravenous rampage. You also run into Pinocchio, but he’s a giant who decapitates himself in order to use his head as a weapon against you.

Little Red Riding Hood defines the game pretty succinctly after completing the first level: “I so don’t even know what’s going on, but I’m thinking we gotta, like, stop this before it’s too late.”

The game plays like the classic Space Invaders. You control your character at the bottom of the screen, shooting upward at the never-ending onslaught of zombies. It’s simple and reasonably entertaining, but the formula stales quickly. You’ll have experienced all the game has to offer after about 30 minutes. It is a fun, but fleeting challenge.

The best things about this game are the absurdity of the premise and the ability to have a game on your shelf called Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ. If being able to claim ownership on such a title is worth $20 to you, then by all means, buy this game immediately.

Just don’t expect anything other than some sweet zombie carnage.

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