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Tales & Games

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood: It’s Not A Walk In The Park! is published by French games company IELLO and is the latest addition to their excellent Family Book Boxed range.

    

Everyone knows the tale of how Little Red Riding Hood went through the forest to bring goodies to her Grandma’s house and how she met up with the woodsman (“axeman” in some stories) and then when she arrived at Grannies the Big Bad Wolf was already there and had eaten Granny for dinner and was waiting for dessert. The story was written by Charles Parrault way back in the 17th Century but is best known as one of the famous Grimm’s Fairy Tales. This famous tale has been revised and slightly deviated on by the game authors, from the Purple Games group of designers, and reprinted in a glossy 8-page accompanying booklet. This new version has a tasty twist, but I shall leave you to read it and discover that for yourself.

The game contains rules for two versions of the game, one being the basic family game and the other being a variation with a few additional components included and more like a European style strategy board game than a family game. The rules also come in a colourful glossy 8-page booklet.

The design of the components is excellent. Apart from being of good quality, as you would expect from IELLO, the colouring used is clever. The Path cards and tokens have a gingham patterned red & white back side, just like a tablecloth for a picnic and the numerical tokens have a leaf-like background, obviously designed to fit in with the picnic in the woods which is how many folk envision Red Riding Hood on her way to Grannies.

The first version of play has all players working together against the Wolf who is controlled by the game mechanic. The Wolf is placed on his spot on the board and Red is placed on one of the two places allocated for her to start; actually although only two spaces have the Red icon there is one clear space between them so presumably she could start there. The gap between the Wolf and Red is either none (Red begins on the space next to the Wolf) or three, though Red’s path goes East before turning South while the Wolf’s trail is straight South. Both trails lead to Grandma’s Cottage which is on the reverse of one of the three “?” cards; its location remains a secret until it is located.

      

The main game play mechanic is similar to Yahtzee or Greed, two games where the players take a chance on whether to continue playing or stop. In this case the players are flipping cards over and counting the flowers on the flipped card(s). Red Riding hood travels along the path according to the Flowers showing on the flipped card; however it isn’t all that easy a walk in the woods.

You flip and reveal the cards one at a time from the face down deck. As long as the card flipped shows a number equal to or greater than the previous card you place randomly drawn tokens face down (unseen) onto the card played – the number of tokens equals the number of Flowers showing. You can continue to draw cards as long as the card flipped is equal to or higher in value than the previous card. If you stop drawing cards you then flip over the tokens and move Red Riding Hood as many spaces along the path as Flowers revealed. Some of the tokens may be Stones (pebbles) which does not move Red.

If you continue to draw cards and the flipped card is lower than the previous card’s value then you have to stop and you lose all the drawn tokens, Red Riding Hood doesn’t move the cards are discarded and a new start Path card is drawn.

   

The players have to move Red Riding Hood to the path containing the 4 x ? tokens and locate Grandma’s house before the Wolf gets there first along his much shorter route. Red Riding Hood has a long journey of 21 spaces to the first “?” she can reach, travelling from the Green space, or 17 spaces from the Green space if she takes the short, but dangerous cut onto the Wolf’s path. The Wolf is only 7 spaces away from the first “?” token. 

There are a couple of cards, numbered 7 and 8, which when flipped over have an immediate effect. Card 7: The Owl, allows you to view the card on the bottom of the draw deck. Card 8: Little Red Riding Hood, allows for Red to be advanced along the track as many Flowers as currently shown on the already drawn tokens.

The players have to move Red Riding Hood to the path containing the 4 x ? tokens and locate Grandma’s house before the Wolf gets there first along his much shorter route. Red Riding Hood has a long journey of 21 spaces to the first “?” she can reach, travelling from the Green space, or 17 spaces from the Green space if she takes the short, but dangerous cut onto the Wolf’s path. The Wolf is only 7 spaces away from the first “?” token.

Each of the character cards is double-sided, one showing a human and the other one of the forest animals: the Snake (the Lumberjack), the Goat (the Hunter), the Crow (Little Thumb) or the Fox (Peter). Each of these has a “special” power which is like a Hail Mary pass and can be truly advantageous to its player.

In the second variation, the gamer strategy style, one of the players takes the role of the Wolf. In this game mode the Wolf chooses the path cards instead of the players who in the first game mode have to draw them randomly. This version is more complex and a trifle more complicated than the family version but both games are good fun and the game is an excellent addition to the bookshelf range.

   

Whether Red Riding Hood gets to Grannies Cottage first or gets eaten is up to you, well, do you feel lucky ???

      

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015