Maul of America
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Bob ran down the corridor, skidding to a halt in front of the local hardware store. Finally, he'd get a chainsaw and hack his way out of this forsaken mall. "Will anyone believe me if I say I was attacked by zombies?" he thought, clutching his side in pain from the Taco Hell super-sized Bucket-o-Beans.
There! In the lawn and garden section... the Black and Wrecker 4000 rpm Bonecutter! Just what the doctor ordered. Bob heard the crunch of broken glass behind him as five, six, maybe ten zombies blocked his only escape route from the store. Not a problem with the Bonecutter. Bob tugged its cord and it sputtered to life. And then ran out of gas five seconds later. "Stupid demo models."
So much from Plan A. Guess I should figure out what Plan B is... sure hope Dave got his hands on a pistol or something. This is turning into a long, long, night...
Maul of America is a boardgame for 2-6 players pitting never-ending hordes of zombies against shoppers trying to escape with their lives. To escape, shoppers need to collect equipment, weapons, and food. The zombies--well, they want food. And what better food than shoppers caught after dark in a mall? Can the shoppers get out in time to warn the authorities?
I don't know what it is. I actually am a person that goes into the horror section of my movie rental shack and look for trashy B-grade horror flicks. They aren't scary, they have low budgets, and they suck on special effects. So why do I do it? Because it is fun.
Maul of America is a very simple game that meets the epitome of 'Beer 'n' Pretzel' games. You simply roll the dice, and move your character through the mall, which is laid out on a simple square grid. You run around and avoid having your brains eaten by the zombies, and collect a weapon, ammo, a first aid kit, and a food card. These locations are all around the mall and easily marked.
As soon as these four prerequisites are met, the Zombie player (who controls an increasing number of zombies, which appear from nowhere) will then designate an exit of his choice, and the player must run the gambit and escape.
The weapons are the same ones you can find in any campy horror film (shotgun, rifle, pistol, flamethrower, and you can't forget the chainsaw).
Maul of America is campy, it's fun, but strategy is very light (it will eat your brains).
The final note on this game is that the production value is not very good. It is great when you consider that this was a very limited run by a very small company. :)
How much would you pay for a Cheapass game that somebody provided the plastic bits for and put into a box? The people at Jolly Roger Games are hoping your answer is $35. Maul of America consists of 4 laminated double-sided 11x17 inch card stock sheets to serve as the game 'boards', several sheets of perforated paper cards, a bunch of generic plastic tokens, stickers to put on the tokens to make them represent the zombies and players, a rule book, 2 dice, and a box to keep it all in. That is it. Deplorable when you consider the content of games like Tikal and Java that have the same list price!
Anyway, suffice it to say that Maul is a very poor value. So how is it as an actual game? Average, at best. The campy theme and mindless violence of blasting away at zombies is entertaining, but the game is so simple that you quickly become bored with it. There isn't enough variety or depth to the game to give it any replay value.
If you like the 'horde of zombies' theme, I recommend Army of Darkness by Leading Edge over this game. Army of Darkness is another cheaply made game, but at least it has a much more reasonable price. Army of Darkness also has a few plot twists and good tactical decisions to make to keep it interesting--something Maul sorely lacks. Maul is fun to play once, but not much more than once, and at this price I can not recommend it to anybody.