Tuesday, October 25, 2016




The final week of our October Spooky Game Reviews brings us to one more Tabletop Halloween Evening gaming sensation: ZOMBIES!!! With game design by Todd and Kerry Breitenstein and production from Twilight Creations, Inc. we are quickly immersed in that classic Zombie realm. From the very beginning of the game you find yourself and the other survivors stranded in the town square. It is your job to be the one who survives...

The Game
 Due to the tile laying mechanic, set up is pretty easy. Put the "Town Square" tile in the middle of your play area (pick a good sized space, this game takes up room!). Pick your player piece and put it in the square. Shuffle the decks, deal everyone a hand. GO! As I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of quick set up when it comes to my Tabletop. It is much more likely to get people to agree to play if you set the game up in five and make it look easy.

Luckily the game play is simple enough to keep the task of learning from feeling daunting. On your turn the first thing you do is flip over a tile. You can place it in any legal open space on the board. What this basically means is match up the road to more road and try not to purposefully create roads that end in buildings. Each tile will either have instructions on what to put there, or follows the basic Zombie placement rule. We will look at the Florist Shop in the tiles pictured, look in the top left hand corner for an example.

In that corner you see Z-3 L-1 B-1. What this translates to is: Within the three squares of the Florist Shop, place three Zombies, one Life token and one Bullet token. If there are no instructions on the tile like this than the basic rule is: Place one Zombie on every entrance/exit to the tile. So if you drew the same tile, but it had no letters or numbers in the top left corner, you would place three Zombies on the tile, one at each road leading into or out of the tile. After you have placed your tile and the corresponding pieces, you would combat any Zombies in your current space. After all, you can't do anything with a Zombie all up in your face! Combat is simple. Roll a D6, on a four or higher, you win! If you roll any lower than a four, you can use a card from your hand if it applies (it will say it right on the card), spend one heart to re-roll the die, or spend enough bullets to reach four, every bullet you spend counts as a +1 to the roll. Any Zombies you kill, make sure to collect the piece! Total Kill Count is one of win conditions.

You start with a hand of three cards. All the cards are quite self explanatory. Pretty much read the card and follow what it says. It will tell you when it can be played, and what effects it has.There is no specific card playing phase. Play the cards whenever you want to as long as the situation on the card is met such as in the "Adrenaline Rush" card pictured where it says "this card is played before making any die roll". Should you choose, you could play that card before another player rolls and effect that outcome.
After you handle any Zombies in your personal space, if you have less than three cards in your hand, than draw until you have three. Grab that D6 again and give it a roll. You may now move as many squares as the number showing (unless you have an item that says otherwise). You may not pass through Zombie filled spaces, you have to fight through them. Luckily it does not end your turn to fight a zombie. If you rolled a 6 and have six zombies in a line in front of you, should you desire (and are lucky enough) you could spend all six moves to walk that line and kill them all. After you have finished all of your movement take a hold of that D6 one last time. This time the number showing will give you how many Zombies will move at the end of your turn. Each Zombie can move no more than one space and can not occupy a space that already contains a Zombie, but they CAN enter a space that holds a player... yes, you can feed other players to the Zombies to better your chances of survival! At the end of the Zombie movement, should you decide to, you may discard one card. Now it is the next players turn! Play continues until someone fulfills the win conditions.

How to Win

As you can see in the picture, things can get pretty crowded, and it happens quickly! Before you decide to just carelessly wade into the oncoming horde, you might want to ask about the whole "mortality" thing. If you lose a combat and have no hearts to re-roll and not enough bullets to fend them off, you "die". Well... you never really die, so you do not get eliminated. You go back to the Town Square, lose half of your collected Zombie Kills and at the start of your next turn, you get three hearts and three bullets, as if you had just started. What is the point of slamming into the Zombie masses knowing that you could just keep re-spawning at the same spot losing your kill count along the way?

So now you ask, how do I win? There are two ways to do so. One is to reach 25 collected Zombie kills. The very moment you grab your twenty-fifth zombie and place it in your kill zone, you win! But what would be the fun of a game where there is not a chance to escape? That brings us to win scenario number two. The last tile in the pile (unless you shuffle it in to mix it up a bit) is the "Helipad". If you get to the Helipad and clear it of all Zombies, you win! The hard part? The Helipad is literally covered in Zombies. When it hits play, there is not a single free space. So have your weapon ready and hope you can kill them all before you get Zombie Slapped back to the Town Square!
The Wrap Up

One of the biggest factors for me in purchasing a game is the replayability. If you only plan to let it hit your Tabletop once, you might as well skip it. The replay value in this game is very high! Start with the fact that the game board will be different every single time and you have a great way to mix it up. Let's add in the many expansions they have that each add something unique to the game, and all of the possible combinations thereof and you have a game that could be getting play for decades to come. In my official findings, Twilight Creations, Inc. boasts a solid thirteen expansions on their site (linked above) topping it off ZOMBIES!!! 13 DEFCON Z. However I did dig around and find an interesting image...
I really enjoy the thematic feel to the game, as well as the quick and simple yet open for strategy game play. I only own one Expansion, ZOMBIES!!! 3 Mall Walkers, but I can tell I will be looking into many more of these fun additions to an already solid game. If you just happen to be a big Zombie fan (like my wife) or are looking for a good Horror/Halloween themed game I highly suggest you pick up a copy of ZOMBIES!!! 

I happily hand this game a good four stars! 

Until next time... Game On!