Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys!

Second cousins to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The creepiest thing about Teenage Zombies isn't that you, in effect, play as three dead children, but that this is - shock, horror - actually based on an original idea and not a cartoon license. Though the dead kid thing is a close second.

Set in a tongue-in-cheek comic-book universe - cutscenes are read from the DS held book-style - plenty has been made of the novel format. A neat tutorial is carried out on the instruction panels of the comic book, and chapter names appear engraved into the levels in a style not dissimilar to the episode titles of television's Heroes.

Play itself is slightly more by the book - or, given the bookish style, less by the book. There's a trio of teenage zombies each with, you guessed it, unique powers that help overcome individual obstacles. What should be rather tired is kept fresh - or rather, rotten - by the odd character design. Slurpy tentacle boy Fin and half-a-kid-on-a-skateboard Half Pipe are grim enough to disguise the fact that they boil down into Mr. Can Climb Walls and Mr. Fits In Small Gaps, respectively.

Factor in a smattering of stylus minigames - including a terrific dash to piece together a cantankerous rag doll zombie - and Teenage Zombies seems to have brains to spare.

Feb 20, 2007