Little Dead Riding Hood is a new release by Twilight Creations, Inc.. It is a 45-60 minute racing game for 2-5 players. In it, players compete to be the first Riding Hood to reach Grandma's house. The following is my review after one play.
This is a lighthearted take on the Red Riding Hood fable in which Red totes a gun, and the wolves are also zombies. It just wouldn't be Twilight Creations, Inc. without zombies. Along the way you are helped by various Fairy Tale characters and hindered by your competing sisters.
How to Play:
Each player begins the game by placing a pawn in a starting location. Little Dead Riding Hood consists of several rounds and utilizes a rotating first player mechanic. The game utilizes drafting, tile laying, and card mechanics. At the start of each round players draft one of six fairy tale characters to assist them this turn. After this each player gets an action phase. Each player has a hand of cards, that have a play effect, and a movement value. They can play a card for it's effect, or move it's movement value, but not both. Players may only play one card per turn. The a tile can be four types. The first is a barrier of impassable terrain, these are used for blocking. The second is a tile with no effect. There are also tiles that spawn wolf zombies and bullets used for combat.
The combat system is pretty interesting. Players place a wolf token in a bag, along with as many bullet tokens from their inventory that they want. Then they draw a random tile. A bullet defeats the wolf, a wolf forces the player back one square. At a distance of 10 tiles away, there is a white line, and the first player to cross it is declared the winner. The full text of the rules is available online at BGG.
The components appear well made, if not well thought out. The art on the board and the cards looked good, but bear in mind I am certainly no art critic. The figurines seemed sturdy and paintable if that's your thing. However, there are some issues of the components that add a bit of frustration to game play. For instance, the helper cards have the same back as the action/movement cards. It's not a major issue, but can get annoying when cards from different decks get mixed up with each other. Another weird thing is that the the board has thin white lines that separate the tile laying by columns, but not by rows. This can allow the board to get a bit sloppy. I also found the rulebook to be a bit unsatisfactory and vague in certain issues. The component problems are more nuisances than they are major obstacles though, so don't let that be the deciding factor in whether or not you will purchase it.
Once you get the rules down, the game plays pretty smoothly. There's a lot of ways to mess with your opponents and perhaps more than a healthy dose of luck. It's not a game you can take too seriously, and if you try to put too much strategy into it, you will probably end up frustrated. There's some interesting balance issues in it. Players on the side can get cornered easier than players in the middle. But like I said, you can't take it too seriously. When the wolves move, they can go from any tile to any other tile, so forcing someone to fight, isn't easy.
Little Dead Riding Hood is a bit of a goofy light game. It has a very similar feel to other games by Twilight Creations, Inc.. For instance if you've tried Zombies!!! I'm willing to bet you'll have the same opinion about Little Dead Riding Hood. It's not for me, but I'd say it would definitely be worth a try if you are looking for a light game and like the theme. And if you do like fairy tales with an edge like in this game, you can also try Scary Tales: Snow White vs. The Giant and the other Scary Tales games.