“...Wow Grandma, what big teeth you have!” said Little Red Riding Hood, mesmerised by her grandmother's enormous fangs. “Why thank you my dear…” replied grandma, “...All the better to slowly smirk at you as I play the big bad wolf to remove you and Grandma from play so that I can gain two Victory points a turn…”
...Thanks Steve, you’ve made your point. Now, for a more important observation;
What is Dark Tales: Little Red Riding Hood?
Little Red Riding Hood is a small expansion to the Dark Tales series, featuring more Gothic art from the humble tale of not trusting hairy grandmothers with large teeth. Designed by Pierluca Zizzi, along with artwork by Dany Orizio, Dark Tales is a game published by dV GIOCHI, with the Little Red Riding Hood expansion arriving as an extension to their already intricate base game.
With the addition of a small number of cards, a whole new set for victory conditions and the mechanics provided by Little Red Riding Hood herself, this expansion is by far one that is small in quantity, but one that makes up for it in quality and replay-ability.
Components and Set-Up
With the expansion, you will receive 24 new playing cards, two setting cards, 10 Basket tokens, 33 victory point tokens and a rulebook exclusively for the cards within the Little Red Riding Hood expansion. While this may not seem like much on the surface, these few additions add a whole load of new conditions and mechanics to the base playstyle of the traditional game.
Now, in order to set this up, the players will simply shuffle all the Little Red Riding Hood playing cards (Except for Little Red Riding Hood herself and the settings cards) into the traditional deck of playing cards provided within the base game for Dark Tales. Then, the player will pick at random one of the two settings cards, and add those alongside the other two settings cards provided with the core game box. Lastly, once everything has been set-up, the baskets will be placed in a stack next to the other resources, and Little Red Riding Hood will be placed on the board beside the first night card.
A nice, simple way to set things up, without any real complication. Moreover, each of the Little Red Riding Hood expansion cards have a small basket and a number in the bottom right corner, to help you differentiate them once you've finished playing and want to put them away, which in its own way is incredibly helpful!
How it Plays
While an expansion of its size would possibly suggest very subtle changes to the gameplay, instead I was met with the opposite. The expansion allows for some varied levels of playtime, as different win conditions and effects allow for some rather interesting combinations of cards, effects and changes to the already complex strategies within the game. Having the mechanic of little red from the beginning also provides people with a focus for what they could potentially try and do as the game goes on, which in its own right provides far more game time.
Regardless however, the addition of this expansion comes with it's positives and negatives. While it adds additional content to the game (With some incredibly interesting and fun gameplay twists and turns) it does however add an unreliable amount of game time. While sometimes games can last the same time as they usually would, sometimes games extend way past the predicted time frame, which could potentially cause a few games to get cut short due to individuals needing to either go somewhere (Meaning that games at work or during break at University/college could be a little unpredictable).
Final Thoughts on the Little Red Riding Hood Expansion
As far as games go, the incredibly detailed world of Dark Tales has hooked me more then once (Read my base game review), and now with an expansion pack for the dark tale variant of Little Red Riding Hood, I couldn't help but love the expansion. It provides a fresh new bundle of cards and mechanics for the already intriguing base game, and is more then worth the price. I would say that adding this expansion to your game may cause a varied amount of additional playtime - Which may be bad or good depending on your own personal preference for playing games.
Due to the labelling on the bottom right half of the cards, it's safe to say that even if you didn't want to use the expansion, you could easily take out each of the cards and pop them away for later use. This, in its own right, makes the game expansion more then worth it.
(Plus, it comes with a resealable bag for all you're token-storing needs. Can't go wrong with that!)