DS

North America

Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ

by Jeff Shirley - January 26, 2009, 3:52 pm PST
Total comments: 8

7

It’s a neat trick to turn a passive fairy tale about virginity and chastity into a zombie-filled action game.

I don’t even know where to start with this game. I mean, just read its title. Little Red Riding Hood’s… Zombie BBQ. The images conjured up in the head from this are absurd to the point of either insanity or genius. I want you to imagine a board of directors meeting in which a skinny little vice president has a big idea that he wants to share.

“I have an idea,” says the skinny VP. “Why don’t we take cherished, old, and fortunately public domain fairy tales and fracture them with a new take?”

The director says, “Have you ever seen Shrek? Or perhaps caught an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle?”

“I’m not done,” the lean VP says. “Let’s take them all and add zombies! And the hero… heroine… will be Little Red Riding Hood with help from… a ninja! A ninja named Momotaro! You know, after that old Japanese legend? The Peach Boy!”

“Hmm… but who would they fight?” the director says.

“Zombies! And they can fight other people from the fairy tales! Who are also zombies! And a zombified Santa Claus! And Godzilla!”

“Gentlemen, we have reached an accord,” the director says as he motions for his gavel. But before the meeting can be properly adjourned, the lunch bell rings and recess is over.

I know I’m making it sound like they didn’t put much thought into it, but if you can get away with making games about baking cakes, picking noses, and screwing the caps onto pens, I suppose no idea is too outlandish for a game.

But this isn’t the point here. The point is to shoot zombies, and this game has a whole lot of that. And let me be the first to tell you that this game surprised the hell out of me with how competent it is. The action takes place in a third-person view on the bottom and top DS screens, linked together to make a sort of “corridor” that Little Red Riding Hood or Momotaro run through. Red Hood and Momotaro will slowly advance upwards through a 3D corridor and take on waves of zombies, machine-gunned or throwing starred to death. Yeah, Momotaro is a ninja whose weapon is throwing stars — that he shoots out of a gun.

The stages are all ripped from the stories, such as the North Pole and the candy forest from Hansel and Gretel. Of special note is Gretel herself, who appears in this game as a boss that fights you after having successfully eaten the Gingerbread House Witch and subsequently Hansel. Her weapon of choice is the dismembered leg of her partially-consumed brother.

You see, you need to be in the right mindset for this game. If you ever find it lying around an EB or GameStop shelf, I want you to put it behind another more popular game, leave the store, and then come back in and “discover” it. It’s the “what the hell?” reaction when you see a game named Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ behind some Sonic game that I’m shooting for. I’d almost call it a grindhouse game if the term wasn’t already beaten into the ground. It will definitely be on several social network blog ”Top Ten Strange Games” lists in the future. And it would probably top them all if the game didn’t get too repetitive too quickly.

The sundry aspects of the game don’t really matter as much as the concept, but here are the details. The environments are 3D, and the heroes, zombies, and bosses are 2D sprites. The controls are simple; touch to shoot, and double-tap the screen to shoot a grenade. You change weapons by tapping an unfortunately-placed icon on the screen, that is frequently hit accidentally in the midst of all the action. The music is unfortunately forgettable, comprised of strumming rock chords that are mostly drowned out by the sounds of zombie fighting.

So here I’m left with a final thought on whether to recommend this game or not. I can guarantee you that you won’t see another like it for a while, because this isn’t your typical game pitch to a publisher. Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ is a competent - if not exceptional - exemplar of a bygone era in game design. It does nothing fancy and has no message, aside from giving a possible critique on the continuing absurdity of zombie movies (But how to kill them? They are, like their material, undead. And “zombie barbeque?” Would that be cannibalism? But they aren’t dead, right? Do you have to un-cook the un-dead? Now that’s meta).

I’d say look into your own heart. I can only guide you to the pool; it’s up to you to dive in. But if you are a shoot-em-up fan, you won’t leave this game disappointed.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7 5 9 7 4 7
Graphics
7

They function, but aren’t spectacular by any stretch. Red and Momotaro are quite pixellated at times. Thankfully there is little slowdown to stop the action.

Sound
5

Other than zombie groans, this game’s audio is mostly forgettable. There are voice samples you would have to be a bat to hear and humdrum, repetitive rock music that does a good job of not intruding on the game.

Control
9

Other than accidentally selecting a weapon on the right or left side of the screen, the controls are butter. It’s just touch and hold most of the time, which the occasional double-tap for a bomb.

Gameplay
7

What we have here is an unapologetic shooter that can be burned through rather quickly. It couldn’t be considered “deep” by today’s standards, but the waves do get repetitive enough to warrant disapproval from all stripes of gamer.

Lastability
4

When you are done with the core of the game you are done with it, period. There are no multiplayer or online modes, other than a few boss rush-type deals that you unlock along with some additional difficulty settings. Unless you have a taste for zombie meat, the game has given up all of its treasure.

Final
7

A fun game to experience if you are looking to stray off the beaten path. But still, try to have that mindset of “what the hell?” when you find it. It’ll take the edge off the absurdity.

Summary

Pros
  • Surpisingly competent corridor-shooting action.
  • What a concept.
Cons
  • Forgettable music.
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Mop it upJanuary 27, 2009

I feel I must own this game simply because of the title. It's the best game title since Super 3D Noah's Ark.

Mop it upJanuary 27, 2009

I feel I must own this game simply because of the title. It's the best game title since Super 3D Noah's Ark.

SheckyJanuary 27, 2009

Since when is LRRH a story about virginity and chastity, and not a wolf in sheep's clothing/talking to strangers thing?  I mean if you've really read a variant of this story where LRRH is punished for harboring a extreme lust for GRANDMA, then suddenly I don't see how your argument of this being an odd adaptation holds...

SheckyJanuary 27, 2009

Since when is LRRH a story about virginity and chastity, and not a wolf in sheep's clothing/talking to strangers thing?  I mean if you've really read a variant of this story where LRRH is punished for harboring a extreme lust for GRANDMA, then suddenly I don't see how your argument of this being an odd adaptation holds...

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusJanuary 27, 2009

Horrid review, the review looks lazily written,sloppy and unfinished that barely talks about the game with bad attempt at a joke in the opening. It seems like to me that there is a lot of fluff and filler in the review and quite frankly it makes you look like a terrible reviewer.

Also how can forgettable music be the only con if you said this " You change weapons by tapping an unfortunately-placed icon on the screen, that is frequently hit accidentally in the midst of all the action." that to me sounds like a bad design flaw and in your lastability section you pretty much said that this game is a one trick pony.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusJanuary 27, 2009

Horrid review, the review looks lazily written,sloppy and unfinished that barely talks about the game with bad attempt at a joke in the opening. It seems like to me that there is a lot of fluff and filler in the review and quite frankly it makes you look like a terrible reviewer.

Also how can forgettable music be the only con if you said this " You change weapons by tapping an unfortunately-placed icon on the screen, that is frequently hit accidentally in the midst of all the action." that to me sounds like a bad design flaw and in your lastability section you pretty much said that this game is a one trick pony.

KDR_11kJanuary 27, 2009

BTW, I didn't see a mention of the limited position movement that other reviews have mentioned (wasn't a negative though).

KDR_11kJanuary 27, 2009

BTW, I didn't see a mention of the limited position movement that other reviews have mentioned (wasn't a negative though).

OptimusPrimeJanuary 27, 2009

Well, LRRH was original a story with medieval roots and actually had great sexual undertone which vivid descriptions of little red and the wolf doing it. The Grimm Brothers just cleaned up a lot of these medieval stories into stories of virginity and girls being confronted by male sexuality (the wolf) according too Victorian standards.

You should read diaries of convents with only men...you'll be surpised how "gay" the original and medieval christians were in comparison to our standards(here's a hint: very).

OptimusPrimeJanuary 27, 2009

Well, LRRH was original a story with medieval roots and actually had great sexual undertone which vivid descriptions of little red and the wolf doing it. The Grimm Brothers just cleaned up a lot of these medieval stories into stories of virginity and girls being confronted by male sexuality (the wolf) according too Victorian standards.

You should read diaries of convents with only men...you'll be surpised how "gay" the original and medieval christians were in comparison to our standards(here's a hint: very).

nilcamJanuary 27, 2009

I was very interested in this game until I found it at a Gmaestop and read the manual. Using the touchscreen to control a shmup is a horrible idea. I had the same reaction to Animal Boxing. Developers need to think about touch screen usage before implementing it.

nilcamJanuary 27, 2009

I was very interested in this game until I found it at a Gmaestop and read the manual. Using the touchscreen to control a shmup is a horrible idea. I had the same reaction to Animal Boxing. Developers need to think about touch screen usage before implementing it.

KDR_11kJanuary 27, 2009

From the reviews I've seen it seems strange at first but isn't a problem.

KDR_11kJanuary 27, 2009

From the reviews I've seen it seems strange at first but isn't a problem.

ShyGuyJanuary 28, 2009

I liked this review Deguello is the most creative reviewer at NWR

ShyGuyJanuary 28, 2009

I liked this review Deguello is the most creative reviewer at NWR

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Genre Shooter
Developer EnjoyUp
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ
Release Oct 31, 2008
PublisherGammick Entertainment
RatingTeen
eu: Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ
Release Oct 30, 2009
PublisherGammick Entertainment
Rating16+
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