|Setup ready to go|
This is weird for me, but I liked the look of the game and the overall BGG ranking for it was quite high.
It ticks a lot of boxes that will ensure it gets plenty of play with my partner and my gaming friends.
First of all, the theme is readily accessible. It's a zombie themed game with all the cliches that entails.
Now i'm a big "old school" horror fan and I really like Romero's Zombie flicks (mostly Dawn and Day of the Dead). As a genre, i think its pretty bloody over exposed at the moment with bundles of movies, games, TV series, and what not.
|Ok, everyone, go into this room.|
I'd seen other zombie boardgames, and played a few, but honestly I thought "Zombies!" and "Mall of Horror" were pretty ordinary.
What set this game apart for me was that is pure co-operative. This is good as many of my gaming friends prefer the co=-op gameplay experience over the "i kick you in the nuts and take poland" experience that competitive games have.
The miniatures are also top notch, and i am tempted to give this game the full treatment at some point in the FAR FAR future.
|We kill everyone, except the "fatty who proceeds|
to nom on Wendy the waitress.
It's very simple, which is another selling point, as who the frack wants to play a complicated zombie slaying game?
Nope, people want to gun down wave after wave of critters while panicking about being overrun at any time.
The game does this well and the pressure is unrelenting.
First of all, each character has three possible actions they can do each turn. These include movement, attacking, searching, opening doors (if you have a crowbar or fireaxe) or trading.
You can do all of these more than once each turn (except searching).
Combat is based off the weapons you are holding, and your party starts with one pistol, 1 crowbar, 1 axe, and 3 frying pans....... Yeah, fighting the zombie hordes with a frying pan is not going to go well, so searching for better gear is a high priority.
|Building one clear, we are about 1/5th of the way home.|
Each zombie your character kills grants them 1 experience point, and as characters level they get more options and unique funky skills.
And this is pretty freaking brilliant in my opinion, the zombie spawn rate increase based on the experience level of the highest player character.
So if Wanda the Waitress is the only character killing zombies then things will get out of hand for the less experienced characters real quick.
It encourages you to share out damage, to swap weapons around, and to not min-max one character into the perfect zombie killing machine.
|BALLS! Zombie rush, many deaths, so sad.|
Zombies are dumb, thankfully. The move towards survivors they can see, or failing that, towards the most noise.
Each survivor makes one noise by default, but slamming doors, shooting guns, and/or just stomping around yelling, will generate noise.
While we failed to take advantage of this factor is our test game, it opens up some possibilities for zombie herding. I think this will be a real key to actually winning the game long term.
|SO MANY GOOD DAM ZOMBIES|
We quickly learned that you just can't stay and fight the zombie hordes, once one character went up a level the spawn rate "exploded" and we were getting 2-4 zombies at each of the 4 spawn points around.
What really killed us though was a badly timed "zombie rush" which made all the walkers activate twice in one round. We had done well to keep them at arms length, for a while, but the double rush meant 5 zombies in one square murdered 2 of our people (including wanda with her chainsaw).
The game is horribly brutal, merciless, and apparently quite difficult. I can already see it having some good replay value.
|Last man standing, NOM NOM NOM|
My partner enjoyed the game a lot, and is keen to play again. I'm also interested to see how my other gaming groups deal with it as well.