Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys!

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