Posted on June 6, 2005 by Flames
A board game from Twilight Creations, Inc.
Review written by Monica Valentinelli
The bullets fly and the zombies pile up in this game from Twilight Creations, Inc. Zombies!!! the board game proclaims to be a no-brainer, but assuredly this is a high-strategy game. As a player you have two goals, one of self-preservation and of zombie hunter. The game is never played the same twice, as you lie out the individual pieces of the board as you play. This adds to the frenzied anxiety of the game, you never know what will come around a corner.
The game begins with all of the players (from 2 to 6) in the Town Square. Each player receives three, small bullet tokens and three life tokens. One player is designated the dealer before the start of the game. The dealer shuffles the Zombies!!! cards and hands out three to each player. The dealer also shuffles the board pieces and places the Heliopad (the end of the board) at the bottom of the tiles.
Play begins after the order is decided. The first player draws a game board tile, and places it in the appropriate position on the table. Tiles are easy to spot where they can be placed, as you quickly realize you are mapping out the layout of a small town. Next, the player positions the required zombies for the tile. Bonuses, such as additional bullet or life tokens, may be found within buildings such as the Hospital or local Gas Station. But beware! for players may soon find themselves killing zombies to get the invaluable tokens to proceed.
One the tile is set, the player then fights any zombie on the space they currently occupy. Fighting zombies is easy, roll a 1d6. With an outcome of 4 or higher you kill the zombie and take it into your inventory. Roll less and you have a few choices to kill the zombie. Not killing it would kill your own character, and the player would then start the game over from the Town Square. Bullets add a +1 to your roll to bring your total up to 4. Life tokens allow a player to re-roll. Throughout the game, a player can choose to go into buildings to obtain an unlimited number of bullets. However, a player can only carry three life tokens at any time.
After a player has cleared their occupied space, a player then rolls a 1d6 for movement.
The player must fight any zombies in their path, up to their movement total. Translated, this means that a player can not move five spaces freely if five zombies are in their path. That many zombies, means that much combat. After the player takes their last movement, they roll a 1d6 once again. This time, the player moves that many zombies.
Cards add momentum to the game, and may be played at any time. Some cards, like “Where did everybody go?” allow a player to move their opponent’s piece. Other cards are store-specific, and grant the player additional ammo or special bonuses in combat. At the end of their turn, players have the option of discarding a card from their hand. A player must decide whether to hang onto the specific-use cards, or whether or not to discard in the hopes of drawing cards like “Bad Sense of Direction” which forces and opponent to the beginning of the board. Other cards move or add zombies, like the “We’re screwed!” card. To slow an opponent’s progress, this card allows a player to add zombies to 10 spaces where none are present.
To play the game, you need a large table for the board’s roads can twist and turn. To solve the game play space, players can choose to remove some of the tiles. A wise option considering a player’s space also includes the zombies that they kill.
To win the game, players can choose between two options. The first player to kill 25 zombies can win it all, or the first player to reach the end tile known as the “Heliopad.” The “kill” option is a much faster game, as a player has much working against him. Run out of tokens, fail a kill roll, start over. An ambitious opponent plays a card, start over. When we played the game, players went back and forth 6 times before the game was won.
Overall, Zombies!!! was a fun, but lengthy experience for our group. We appreciated the artwork and the quality of the game, but wished the bullet and life tokens were two, different colors instead of both in black and white. Retailing for around $25.00, this is a good board game for people who enjoy strategy. Since the game is easy to learn and is never the same twice, players will undoubtedly have a different experience every time they play.