Second Edition, Director's Cut
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This expanded edition of Zombies!!! features updated and revised rules, plus gut-wrenching new art on Map tiles and Event cards for greater visual impact, as well as new "Red Heart" Tokens and a brand-new Female Zombie figure!
- 2 dice
- 6 shotgun guys
- 30 map tiles
- 50 action cards
- dozens of counters
- 100 Plastic Zombies
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Second Edition (Restocking)
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Average Rating: 3.4 in 38 reviews
I just learned how to play this game and it rocks!!! It's so awesome. My friends and I have played three of the expansions togetherand it Just Rocks The game has a very realistic and chaotic feel. It's only flaw is not very detailed rules. They should make expansions until pigs fly.
This game is awesome,the board is always changing. Yea there is some luck involved, but look at Risk or almost any board game. They usually involve dice rolling or luck. Just add your own twist and this game rules. I don't know if I have ever won this game, but it gets even more fun every time I play it. I like the additions they really add alot
I just learned how to play this game and it rocks!!! It's so awesome I find myself opening the box and playing a round or two against myself (pathetic, I know). The game has a very realistic and chaotic feel. It's only flaw is not very detailed rules. They should make expansions until pigs fly.
This game is awesome,the board is always changing. Yea there is some luck involved, but look at Risk or almost any board game. They usually involve dice rolling or luck. Just add your own twist and this game rules. I don't know if I have ever won this game, but it gets even more fun every time I play it. I like the additions they really add alot.
ZOMBIES!!!, ZOMBIES!!! 2:Military Corps(e), and ZOMBIES 3!!!:Mall Walkers are the funnest group game I can think of. The Add-ons give new Strategy and teaming up is just as Important as Backstabbing. Can't wait for ZOMBIES!!! 3.5:The Dead walk again......
The Artwork is great, The game Idea Original, It never ends (due to add-ons), and has MANY different ways to win. If you get bored, You can even make your own Scenario's!!!
Overall, I think this game Is a LARGE credit to the Board game world, And should NEVER be overlooked.
I've been waiting for a good, fun zombie game for a long time....and this is it - especially when the two expansions and an extra bag of zombies is added to the mix. Good fun and doesn't take too long to get through (although at least 30 min), perfect representation of the zombie genre for the masses.
This game is like 'Dude Where's My Car?' it's mindless-but endless fun. Although it requires little stragtigy, the true
gem of this game flawlessly captures the suspence and fear of all your favorite zombie movies. You can feel the pressure of the game when your only 4 titles away from your helipad haven and all that stands in your way isa good 30 zombies.
Some how Zombies could turn what is essentaily randomly rolling the die over and over into hours upon hours of drunken fun. My biggets problem with the game is when the game winds down, the supply of zombies (100) is singinfiantly lower than the number of zombies needed
I haven't seen a game soley directed toward zombie fans till now.
Cute background story and evil things to do to other players, this game has several hours of gameplay and replay value. I have had zombie nights with friends involving this game, several zombie movies and alcohol that was green.
The only problems I found were the hearts looked like the bullets and were hard to find and the lack of extra zombies.
Some of these problems have been removed in the expansion pack. the hearts are a different colour, there is more event cards, more movement tiles and 'super zombies' that move faster and die harder.
I don't play many board games, but this game stopped me from playing playstation and forced me to socialize with my friends.
Zombies fill the city and it's kind of creepy but fun! Our first play was kind of slow, but once we got the rules down(as with any new game)we had a blast. It was great as the city grows and the zombies take over the streets. You lay a tile,roll a die to move,battle zombies, and move zombies at the end of your turn. They're getting closer!! Action cards give you a chance to thwart your opponents progress. We did adopt a suggested variant in our second game,that is to roll both dice once the heliport is placed and it does move the game along more reasonably. If you roll one it takes a long time for someone to win. Some cards are admittedly tough to interpret, but we just made a house rule as to their meaning. If you enjoy horror themes I think you will enjoy this game. Lots of fun!
I grew up on 'Night of the living dead', 'Dawn of the Dead', 'Day of the Dead', and I love the remake of 'Night of the living Dead'. I believe this is a prerequisite to the complete enjoyment of this game. You dont have to grow up on these movies, but really enjoying these movies will make this game really great, as this game captures the whole genre magnificantly.
This game was designed with expansion in mind. If new tiles or event cards are released, the game will change. It revolves around the randomness of a ever changing map and random event deck. This helps the players understand the craziness of a zombie infestation as zombies are not rational, logical beings. Every game is different, crazy, and very random. Sometimes you have the fireaxe and killing zombies is a piece of cake. Other times you have nothing and find nothing. Staying alive then, is a true test. Its up to you as the player to make do with what you have or can get to survive the zombie mass. No one said that should be easy in a chaotic world like this.
The game did raise some questions, mainly with event cards. But this is easy to work through. The pieces (100 zombies, chits, Riflepeople, and Map tiles) are beautiful! For 19.95 retail, you can not go wrong.
If you love the zombie genre like myself, this game fits the billing nicely and will create hours and hours of enjoyment. GREAT GAME!
I had gone into the local game store intending to pick up the role-playing game All Flesh Must Be Eaten (AFMBE) after having read about it and getting into a Night of the Living Dead mood. Instead, I found Zombies!!! sitting on the counter near the register (I think the guy running the store was going to buy it) and I inquired about it. Upon reading the box, I knew this would be much less hassle than a role playing game and it would be easier to find people to play a quick board game instead. It made me feel even better knowing that one of the developers for AFMBE also helped with this game. Unlike many of the newer Steve Jackson Games, the $20 price tag didn't turn me away because in the box there are 100--yes, I said 100--zombie figures, 6 player figures, 30 map tiles, 50 event cards (with titles like 'We're Screwed' and 'Hey Look... A Shotgun!'), 2 dice, and cardboard counters for life and bullets.
All the players start out at Town Square and are fighting either to get to the Heliport (which comes up as the last location) or be the first to have killed 25 zombies, which is more difficult than you might think. One nice thing is that when (not if) the zombies kill a player, that player simply starts off from Town Square with only half the zombies they had killed. A game can last up to about 2 hours, but you only feel like it's been 30 minutes.
The rules are fairly easy to grasp: simply draw a map tile and place it on the table, combat any zombies in your space (roll a die; if it's a 4 or higher, you beat the zombie), move your player piece (combat zombies along the way), then move X zombies on the board (X being a die roll). The event cards are really cool. There are lots of ways to mess up the other players, like refilling a building after another player has cleared it out and they're still in it, thus making it much more fun with more players.
One thing we did was to make some house rules, like adding the unused player pieces in as other zombie hunters who might try to kill the other players, and that when someone plays 'Hey, Look... It's a Shotgun!' they have to shout the title or lose 5 zombies. We've had tons of other ideas as well.
I really don't have any problems with the game except for one or two of the Event cards, which have been clarified in the FAQ. Also, I've had a couple of games where we ran out of zombies, but there is talk of being able to get more zombies by themselves.
This review is for the new director's cut version of this game.
The zombie apocalypse has begun and you are in a town trying to escape the onslaught of zombies. The first player to kill 25 zombies or make it to the helipad first wins. On each turn a player draws a map tile and adds it to the table. They are then able to move, play cards, and finally move zombies towards other players or away from themselves.
The artwork on the cards is nicely done and the components really make the theme seem more intense. The amount of zombies you receive is more than enough. The expansions that are available for this game can keep the game fresh. Older kids and teens will really enjoy the gameplay. Playing it really is like watching a good old fashioned zombie movie.
The rules can be quite vague in many areas, leaving you to determine exactly how to play certain cards, etc. For adults gameplay can get boring, if you are not into the theme. Not a lot of strategy involved, you are just really moving around until the helipad card is played and then it is a mad dash to reach it first.
All in all, this is a fun game to play if you are not looking for something with a lot of strategy involved. The theme is great and I think the gameplay is fun, once you get all the rules figured out. With all the Zombie movies and video games out of late, I think older children and teens will really get involved in it and find it quite fun to play. I would recommend it for anyone ages 13 and up and I would consider it a good buy for the price.
Zombies! They're everywhere...literally in this game. In fact, you go through the bag of 100 plastic zombies pretty quickly in this one (although that's easily something you can take care of with pennies) there are so many zombies. That is after all the point. If you are making a game that pays homage to the great zombie movies there's got to be well...a TON of zombies.
Game play is simple and easy to learn. Advancement does rely on dice rolls each and every turn so if you are the type of game player that can't stand "luck of the dice" then steer clear. Now that's not to say your strategy doesn't have any effect at all, just that in order for your startegy to have a chance to work you need a bit of luck. Which when you think about the scenario (Zombies taking over and eating peoples brains) a lot of luck would probably be required if it were real life!
When played as a stand alone I've found a few house rules are in order....such as removing some restrictions on weapons and things like that but it's completely up to you on that level. When played with some of the expansions this game simply KILLS.
It gets 4 because it's fun and my 4 oldest children seem to drag this box out and play at least 1 or 2 nights a week. Even my 2-year old must like it because I found a zombie in her diaper a few weeks ago.
Many of the rules are unclear, at least to me, but to tell the truth - we lost the rules sheet a long time ago! Now we just play with our own house rules, and I think that seems like what the people who really enjoy this game are doing anyway.
The last shootouts at the helipad are always the most fun.
When we first got the game, I remember we were all trying to be polite and not 'screw' each other with the cards, etc. Heck, now that's the best part. Try to mess up your sibling's turn.
Some people seem to lament the lack of zombies, which I dont' get. Once the helipad is placed, why the hell are you going off to those dozen, 10-square away areas with all those zombies anyway? Even if the Skateboard shop or Police station gets placed, are you really going to go all the way back over there just to get ammo? Hell no! Get to the helipad and win, fool!
I think the game says 12 and over, not because of gory or scary, but because 11 and younger cheat - they think that a die roll is something you just keep doing until you get the number you need :P
You got to keep your eye on them, man
'Zombies!!!' truly is a no brainer. This game is just plain FUN. The only downside is the fact that it doesn't come with card holders (think scrabble tile holders) for your 3 card hand. This is a problem because the game itself is so fast, that if you don't have your cards glued in front of your face all of the time, then you will forget to use them. Unfortunately humans only come with two hands and in this game they're mostly being used to speedily roll dice and move pieces. I suggest using a dvd case with a flip-over lid leaning against the game box to hold and hide your 3 card hands. Also, studying your hand for a minute before the game begins has become mandatory at our table.
If you are bored of the tradtional monopoly and risk games, then this game is for you. It is a fun game if you play it with to have fun and not take thing seriously. This game is more fun with 4+ people, but will take more than 60+ minutes to play (as the box states).
I enjoyed this game very much. It was fun to put yourself in situations like those of the famous 'Living Dead series' What is more fun is the ability to put zombies in the path of your opponents and watch them squirm.
The only problem with the game is that there is a slight power issue with it. When several players are gaming the deck continues to be replenished, there is no real end to the game. We played for over three and a half hours. Finally one guy won because we were too tired to bother stopping him.
If the rules would state that the deck can only be shuffled twice, it would be more fun.
Zombies is a quite fun game to play as long as you don't fear screwing over your friends. If you've always wondered what you'd do in that zombie movie this is your chance to prove it. The game is best played with 3 or more players. The city changes shape each time you play. Every game you play is different. The only downfall is that you can easily run out of zombies. If you love zombie films and enjoy rpg's go out and buy this game.
Strategy, replay value, dollar value, blah blah blah. The box cover tells you to leave your brain at the door. This should give you some indication of what the game's about. If you're not into it, walk on.
This is a fun game that never takes itself too seriously, much to the chagrin of all the 'strategy' gamers out there who have written reviews before me. This game doesn't claim to be a strategy game. It doesn't claim to be anything but a good time. This is not a serious game, so no one should expect it to be one.
I won't explain specific gameplay because it has been done already (and in great detail). However, I do want to address some of the whining that has gone before.
Look, this game is just plain fun. Simple strategy, simple concept, simple gameplay. Bunch of zombies. You have some ammo and a shotgun. You use your cards to mess up the other players in the game, or give yourself a tactical advantage.
What makes this game fun is the joyous sendup of its theme. The designers have captured the feel of a B-Movie horror film with style and enthusiasm, right down to the rules that are, simply, shot full of holes. The artwork on the cards is good, gory fun, and you may recognize many of the elements employed. For example, at the Gas Station you find (or make, it's unclear but who cares?) a molotov cocktail which you can use later and blow up a bunch of zombies in another building. I've seen that before. Haven't you?
I have now played Zombies 4 or 5 times and am looking forward to playing it more. It's especially fun with someone who hasn't played it yet, just to see their face when they draw the 'Lots of Ammo' card, which features a guy firing away in the middle, with two red explosions on either side of him where zombie heads used to be.
Now to answer some specific complaints that have been put down before:
Problem: The rules are terrible. Solution: Make house rules that everyone can agree on when there's a question.
Problem: The game lasts too long. Solution: Take out some roads and buildings and any cards associated with them to shorten the game to your desired length.
Problem: The zombies run out before the game is over. Solution: Buy another game. It's only $20!!
Problem: No one dies. Solution: Give less ammo and life tokens at the beginning of the game.
Problem: There's not enough strategy. Solution: Play another game and stop complaining about this one.
I feel much better now.
I think this game is really good, because the ol' horror movie theme and the really good game design add much to a very easy and cool idea.
Actually, I personally do not own it, but a friend has it, and when I took an closer look, I saw that there are very, I mean VERY, many things in the gamebox. I mean, 100 Zombies and 30 Tiles!?
It may not be the worlds best game, but for the price, it is GREAT!
I've played quite a few games of Zombies!!! and I find that it provides a very nice diversion for a few hours. The materials in the box are beautifully made and very durable. Gameplay is straightforward and I was able to pick it up within 10 minutes of opening the box. The tile-laying system almost guarantees a new map every time you play. The game itself seems geared for 2-4 players (maximum of 6), with any more straining the amount of game materials provided in the box. A more detailed set of rules would have been nice, and some of the event cards could have been more clearly stated to avoid confusion. Another downside is that the game provides very little player interaction, aside from the occassional event card being played against someone.
I give it four stars. The problems with the game are minor and easily fixed with simple rule clarifications amongst the players and inventive use of spare game pieces. Some of the artwork featured in the game may not be suitable for younger or sensitive players. Great for Halloween.
I really enjoy this game. Maybe because it's morbid... or harsh... or just chock full o' zombies.
The rules are simple, the system works, and while it may not require a brain surgeon to play, it's just awfully darn fun. And we really got into it--talking trash, quoting bad movies, trying desperately to screw each other over.
PROS: Great price and you get tons of stuff in that box! It has excellent artwork, (mostly) clear rules and simple system, and plays well with 2-6. Even if you get 'killed' you're still in the game. The map changes each time you play. There's a good variety of cards and more than one way to win the game. It fits well in its theme.
CONS: The board tiles are very thin and tend to slip around if you have them on a glass or varnished table (a table cloth fixed that problem). It can feel a bit repetitive if you play a lot of games in a row. A few of the cards/rules are a bit vague and require some spot-ruling. It's possible to play into a 'no one can win' situation (based on luck in drawing tiles). These cons are just enough to knock 1 star off the rating.
MISC: Luck plays a *big* part--you roll for movement, combat and number of zombies you get to control each turn, as well as draw from a random stack of city tiles and event cards. However, there is strategy in how to maximize what luck has given you... still, very fun with the right group of people. It's well worth the price!
My game group decided to try a few new games, and this was one of them. The general consensus afterwards was that it wasn't bad - we had fun while playing it, but unlike some of the other new games we tried, like Citadels, nobody ever suggested that we play this one again.
Perhaps this was because luck is too high as a factor - this is not a group for serious strategy players, but it is fine for an evening of mindless fun.
Myself and some friends played this game a few nights ago, and while the rules were confusing and very poorly written, we did manage to have a good enjoyable game that lasted almost two hours.
Probably the most fun we had during the game was near the end when we started going ballistic at each other with the (delightfully drawn) event cards; mobbing each other with zombies in a vain attempt to reach the helipad.
On one hand, the component production values are awesome. The cards and map tiles are sturdy and slick. The playing pieces (100 zombies, 6 'shotgun guys') are made out of stiff rubber, so they can bend but not break. You also get two dice and a load of bullet and life counters.
Great value for the money.
However, the game's rules suck. There's no other way to describe them. Poorly organized, vague, and sometimes arbitrary mechanics. So much randomness that you can generate a game that has no possible winning conditions.
Furthermore, the 'event' cards are poorly thought out. Many of them only provide bonuses if you can get to a certain location on the board, and then only for a very short amount of time. Many others are just plain vague and sometimes contradict the rules. Much more playtesting was needed; it feels rushed.
All the pieces are there for a great game, and if you don't take it too seriously it can be a fun time. However there are just way too many problems which keep it from actually being good.
3 stars. 2 because the mechanics are bad but not awful, they just need polish. Plus 1 more because of the dollar value (great fodder for your own game, if nothing else).
ZOMBIES!!! - NOT a great game but the makings are there. I found that the best part of owning this game was taking the nice components and basic concept and then coming up with slightly more logical/fun rules about revealing city tiles and killing zombies. We use the basic game essentially as a development kit and for that it works PERFECTLY.
Positives: Good concept and price-to-product relationship. Fun cards and weapon possibilities. Always a new board layout and 'goodies' locations. Endless ways to piss off your opponents and extend the game. More players add increased possibilities for twists in game-play.
Negatives: Rules are abysmal. Better to learn the idea of the game, than make a set of house rules. Upside is that this is relatively easy to do. After the first game, the mechanics should be mostly sorted out. Lightweight tiles move around very easily when attempting to remove acquired lives or ammunition, and constant resetting of the board is necessary. Far too difficult to acquire special weapons. Far too easy to extend the game beyond limit of fun. Better to 'bite the bullet' and let the leader win after two hours, as more players also make game much, much longer.
Verdict: Quite a lark, if you know how to have fun. Worth the price for admission. Games get faster with experience, which keep game-play interesting, especially if you keep adding house rules. :)
One of the disturbing things about zombie movies is the mean-spiritedness of them. A movie like Dawn of the Dead, for example, features shoppers-turned-zombies being shot by the heroes. Yikes! You'll never go shopping the same way again!
This game captures this spirit perfectly. Dying isn't a big deal (and can even be a smart tactical move). You can endlessly mess with your opponents (I suggest constantly using and discarding action cards)--and will find yourself the object of their messing, too.
In short, this game is all tactics. It's short, easy to learn how to play (I played it successfully with my two nephews, both under 10 years old). Just like the movies, you never know what's going to happen, you can't plan what's going to happen, so you just let loose as fast and furiously as you can, hoping you're the main character and not some secondary character dying in some gruesome way.
Simple, violent, silly fun, which can become pretty exciting at times as you watch someone pull off a string of zombie killings (heading toward 25 and victory) while you try your best to get to the helipad (the other victory condition).
I probably wouldn't have bought it myself, but my brother gave it to me as a gift and I liked it the first time I played it and liked it more the second and third.
The box of Zombies boldly reads, 'This ones a no-brainer' this in fact is not really true.
The rules provided with the game are somewhat hard to understand. There are lots of rules that are very vague and up to interpretation. The advanced gamer quickly solves this problem by adding or subtracting rules. With the addition of house rules, game play is much smoother and more fun.
With that all said and done Zombies is a fun game that will amuse you and your friends. The game comes with quality components including cards, dice, and 100 plastic ZOMBIE figures!!!
The game also features an ever-changing board based on a tile system, this always keeps the game new and exciting.
Weather your raiding the police station for ammo, making a molotov cocktail at the gas station, or just shooting a zombie in the face with your shotgun, Zombies will provide a night filled fun and lots of gore.
I've played ZOMBIES!!! only once, but since the session took three hours, I do feel that I have a good handle on the game.
This is a simple Euro-like design that just has too many holes in the rules and cards. My group's FAQ quickly grew, and play was slowed considerably while we debated the merits of various interpretations. We're talking basic stuff here.
And though you're provided with a gazillion bullet counters in the box, they get used up quickly and are way too scarce. We continually found ourselves with more lives than bullets, which just didn't seem right. This meant constant death (also loss of all our weapons plus half our accumulated zombie kills), and yet another restart for our characters. Part of the fun is thwarting other players who are close to victory, but when the table gangs up on the current leader every turn, the game drags on past the point of interest.
Still, this will likely be a very popular game because of the theme. When it worked, I had fun. And for the price, there is a lot of stuff in the box. The graphic artwork and production quality is very good.
I was hugely disapppointed with Journeyman Press's [page scan/se=0878/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Age of Empires collectible card game, and now they stumble again here. Until JP can find someone who can write a clear set of short rules, and also properly playtest and develop a game, my buying dollars will go elsewhere.
If not corrected, the next time my buddy brings ZOMBIES!!! over for us to play, I know exactly what my reaction will be: 'AAAAGGGGHHHH!'
Add an additional star if you you have a really good sense of humor and don't mind making up rules as you go along. On the plus side, it's got great components and a great theme, however, the game gets two stars from me just because it's got a lot of problems - most of which have already been mentioned. The issue of vague and illogical rules is especially problematic. Some are mildy frustrating and others are downright stupid. For example, the rules stipulate that the player with the least number of zombie kills gets to place the heliport tile. I understand that this is to give players with a low number of zombie kills a chance to get back in the game, but there are two problems with this: 1. placing the heliport can be a huge, and at times disproportionate, advantage - especially depending on the location of the other players and the layout of the map. 2. The fact that you lose half of your zombie kills when you 'die' and re-appear in the town center combined with problem #1 can motivate rather illogical behavior. The resulting strategy, which I've used successfully, is to get myself killed the turn before the helipad is to be placed. This results in the loss half of my zombie kills which is usually enough to make me last. I then 're-spawn' at the town center and place the heliport tile as close as I can to my location. To me, this is a major drawback. I'm willing to overlook a lot when it comes to 'quirks' in games, as long as the spirit of the game is intact. This scenario motivates play that is directly contrary to the concept behind the game - staying alive. When was the last time you saw horror movie where the characters deliberately tried to get themselves killed? Unfortunately, this is rather typical of the kind of rules one will encounter in Zombies!!! Players can come up with their own house rules to sort some of these problems out, but it's kind of frustrating to buy an incomplete game. Sort of like buying a book and having to write the last chapter yourself or buying a new car only to find out you need to buy your own tires, put in your own radio and repair the transmission before you can even drive it.
Two stars: for the average gamer looking for a complete, playable game (is this really too much to ask?). This, in my opinion, is utlimate criteria against which the game should be judged. Also, much of the game is based on chance (card draws and die rolls) which doesn't bother me too much as long as the rest of the game is solid, but it may be a bit off-putting for some.
Three stars, possibly four: if you love the horror genre and are willing to overlook wretched rules for the sake of a good laugh. Personally, I probably fall into this catagory. In fact, despite only giving it two stars, I'll probably spend the money and get the expansion set Zombie Corps(e) and maybe even the glow-in-the-dark zombie pack. I can't wait to see what happens next.
This game is very boring. Not enough player interaction other than to try to get action cards out of your hand. The combat is by dice roll, so there's not too much strategy you can use. The action cards are fun(ny), but mostly I played them on other players just to get them out of my hand to try to draw something better. I would like to see more 'better' cards.
Not much you can do if you get stuck in a dead-end and zombies covering all the space between you and where you want to go. Law of averages says you'll lose half your combats by the die roll and use up bullet (really cartridge) tokens and life tokens very quickly.
OK, I think that some of the discussed mods and rule changes would help some, but out of the box, I think this is a stinker.
When I first heard about Zombies, I immediately figured it was yet another 'beer and pretzels' style game patterned after the old horror movie themes. The few snippets I read on the web didn't do much to interest me. The little information I could gather did little to dispel my initial suspicions. Indeed, it did sound exactly like a VERY light, 'beer & pretzels' type affair: lots of dice rolling, with little, if any strategy involved.
One of my gaming buddies, Michael Labranche, concurred, but said the game was still lots of fun to play ... if you have the right attitude and don't take it too seriously. Plus, he claimed that you get one hundred cool zombie miniatures and six shotgun-toting heroes. For twenty bucks, he claimed, how could you go wrong? So, with his encouragement, I stopped by our local hobby store and secured their final copy.
The game itself is released by Journeyman Press, the same folks who brought us the Age of Empires Collectible Card Game. From my understanding, the company is now defunct, having been closed by their parent company. However, one of the game's developers, Kerry Breitenstein, is active on a Zombies discussion board and is talking about upcoming expansions. He hopes to find another publisher for the game and possible future expansions, so the game may yet rise from the dead.
The components are surprisingly quite good. It's hard to argue with the 100 plastic zombie miniatures or the six plastic 'Shotgun Guys'. The cards are full color and sturdy with some nice, campy artwork which helps evoke the 'B' Horror movie atmosphere. The 30 map tiles are a bit thin, but still work just fine. There is also an abundance of bullet and life tokens, which are the a tad bit thinner than the counters found in traditional wargames. All-in-all, the components are well worth the game's market price. As to whether the game play is worth it, however ...
The theme is straight out of a typical 'B' horror flick: A strange disease has affected the community, turning the citizens into mindless, flesh-eating zombies. A few hapless individuals have managed to escape the ravages of the disease, but find themselves abandoned in the middle of the town and in the midst of a hundred or so of these hunger-crazed creatures. Their ammunition is running low, so they must battle their way through the zombies, acquiring new ammunition and dispatching as many of the vile creatures as they can. Ultimately, their aim is to make their way to the heliport and be whisked away to safety. However, time ... and the ever-increasing number of zombies ... are against them.
Players all begin at the town center, which is the only tile which begins the game in play. On a turn, a player draws a map tile and places it to the table. The tile must align properly with a previously placed tile (no roads running into buildings) and then must be populated with zombies and/or bullets and life tokens. If the tile has a named building depicted on it, the tile will indicate the number of zombies, life and bullet tokens which must be placed INSIDE the building. If there is no named building, however, a number of zombies equal to the number of road exits are placed onto the streets. Thus, tiles with more road outlets will be more heavily populated by these ravenous undead creatures.
Players then move their 'Shotgun Guy' by rolling a die. Each tile contains several movement spaces, but you must stop movement when you encounter a zombie and a battle ensues. If you successfully dispatch the zombie, you may continue your
movement up to your rolled amount. This die roll method of movement has come under some criticism as it can really have a huge impact on the game. One intriguing suggestion is to allow a person to move an amount equal to a die roll plus the amount
of life tokens he possesses. I've utilized this variant in several games and vastly prefer it to the original movement rules.
Combat is simple ... exceedingly simple. Roll a die. If you roll a 4 or better, the zombie is slaughtered, removed from the town and placed into your 'kill' pile. If you roll less than a four, you may use a number of bullet tokens to bring the total up to four in order
to defeat the zombie. Or, you can use a life token and re-roll the die. Fighting is to the death ... your's or the zombie's ... so you must do one of these two things. If you cannot (out of bullets and life tokens), you have fallen victim to the zombies and are
killed. Mercifully, death isn't permanent, however, as you get to start again at the town center with a fresh supply of three bullets and life tokens. However, you do lose half of the zombies in your 'kill' pile.
The 'reincarnation' rule does prevent players from being eliminated from the game, but the penalty for dying isn't severe. The game is ultimately won by the first player to reach the helipad, so late in the game it is often wise to die and reappear at the town center ... especially if the town center is located near the helipad. This matter has been discussed extensively on the Zombies discussion board and a few suggestions have been put forward to improve this aspect of the game.
Of course, the law of averages will undoubtedly cause you to lose about one-half of your encounters, so your supply of ammunition and life tokens will rapidly deplete. Thus, players are constantly searching for building which contain more ammunition and life tokens. Sadly, this is a matter of pure luck as these tiles are revealed randomly. You may well find yourself on the far side of town when a building containing extra tokens is revealed and placed. By the time you are able to reach the building, you will have either been dispatched by the evil undead or will have been beaten to the loot by your opponents.
The game can also be won if a player successfully slays 25 zombies, provided he still has all of them in his 'kill' pile. This is very difficult to achieve, however, as bullets are in extremely low supply in the town. I still don't know why there is such a HUGE
supply of bullet tokens in the game as there is absolutely no way all of them will be acquired during the course of the game. One suggestion I like is for each player to begin the game with 5 bullets and to place more bullets onto the board when tiles are
placed. We did increase the number of bullet tokens each player begins the game with to five and this did help diminish the frequency of player deaths.
A bit of spice is added to the game by the use of event cards. Each player possesses three cards and can play one per round, whether it is on his turn or not. These cards can hinder the efforts of your opponents, or aid you in your quest to slay the zombies. Several are weapons, which are extremely valuable and give you bonuses to your combat die rolls. Unfortunately, as seems to be the bane of many games which utilize event cards, many o the cards are infuriatingly vague and some are way too powerful. Numerous times each game we were forced to arrive at a consensus as to how or when a card could be used and to what effect. To me, this points to a game wherein the developers thought, 'Hey, this is a neat card!', but never fully play-tested it with outside groups and studied how the card would interact with other cards and in various game situations.
That's just about it, rules-wise. It is very simple to learn and play, but takes a bit too long in its current format. The rules call for the helipad tile to be placed on the bottom of the draw stack, meaning it will not appear until the very end. The player who currently has the fewest zombies in his 'kill pile' has the honor of placing the helipad tile when it surfaces. Of course, he will place the tile closest to his shotgun guy, making it easier for him to reach the safety of the tile first. This is a bit unbalancing, too, as the player who has succeeded in surviving and killing the most zombies may be left with little chance to reach the helipad. Various suggestions have been given to alter this placement mechanism, but none seem to be a stroke of brilliance.
Some folks have also suggested that the helipad tile be shuffled into the bottom five tiles, so the timing of its appearance will be a bit more uncertain. After my first game, I have used this method in all subsequent games and it worked well.
As you can tell, the game carries a similar story line as the Day/Dawn/Night of the Living Dead movies. Fans of those movies should enjoy the theme, but the game is so vanilla that it leaves much to be desired. I'm not a big miniatures game fan and Zombies has the same feel for me, but with even less strategy to be employed. Place a tile, move and roll dice. Hope the dice fall in your favor and make a run for the helipad. That's it. Fortunately, it seems easily adaptable to a wide variety of homegrown variants, so there may just be a really good game which can be developed with these components. Those
interested should sign up for the Zombies discussion group on Yahoo groups forum. It is already filled with some interesting ideas and suggestions to improve the game. As is, it is good for a few plays, but will quickly be relegated to my stack of 'dead' games. I guess I should have guessed as much from the box cover, which boldly declares, 'This one's a no-brainer!'
I enjoy strategy games requiring player interaction. Still, I also enjoy more mindless luck-based games if the mechanics are interesting and the game is fun. Sadly, Zombies fails on both accounts. The rules are a mess, and discussion and consensus is required before many of the cards can be played. Movement via a single six-sided die causes VERY slow progress across the board. I played a two hour game and basically moved from the town square into a building. I killed a few zombies and picked up a few tokens. I then rolled a two and then a one on my next movement rolls and basically walked a few squares on the street. The cards in my hand that could only be activated at a specific building were virtually always worthless. It took two hours of game play to go to the nearest building and exit it. The building across the gameboard would have required about 4 more hours to even reach with average movement of about 3 squares per game turn. The placement of the heliport is crucial. You have no chance if it is placed across the gameboard from your token. Dying isn’t so bad in this game. In fact dying and reemerging at the town square with 1/2 of your zombies may be your best play. Any game in which dying is the best play has not been well thought out. This game has nice zombie graphics on the box, and the cards are momentarily funny to read, but gameplay is awful and boring. Don’t waste your money.
I am a Zombie genre collector and a board game junkie, so I had no
choice but to buy this game.
I was so excited when I started the first game, but soon got very
frustrated as I had to:
1. move the sprawling gameboard off the dining table to the floor, where my cat proceeded to steal zombies while my back was turned;
2. try and figure out some of the most conflicting rules while trying to keep track of what I had already done on whichever repetitive turn I was taking;
3. tried to figure out what to do with the cards in my hand which could seemingly only be used in one specific situation out of many.
I don't really understand why any serious gamer would rate this game well.
I tried to play once more, and we got so bored we didn't finish. Then we Bought the expansion pack Zombies!!! 3: Mall Walkers, which made the problem even worse because the game sprawled even wider, the game board was pigeon-holed into inconvenient configuration by the randomness of the tile placement, and the cards became even more useless in most situations. Lastly, I tried to get some gaming friends to play for their first time. After one drink everyone was missing huge parts of their turns because the game got so repetative with four players. Eventually players just stood up and wandered away from the game at random. Perhaps they forgot they were having fun.
I can't even call this a game. You have to be some sort of mindless zombie to find any fun in this one. I thought we must have the rules messed up but the manufacturer can't seem to get them to agree even when they bother to print errata. They say you can't use parking lots, but then their note about doors on one of the buildings makes no sense. Nice looking components where the art gets in the way of the play and the play has nothing to do with a game. Suggestion: Get drunk, lay out the tiles, pretend you are six years old, and play with the cool plastic zombies. Just don't try to play it as a game.
I really wanted to like this game, also. Alas, we found it boring and stupid. Perhaps we did something wrong in interpreting the rules. They certainly were not well-written and clear, so it is highly probable that we didn't play the game the designers intended us to. What we played should never have been viewed as marketable.
The components are quite nice. The board tiles are glossy, adequately sized, and the patterns and quantity notations (of zombies, bullets and lives to place on each) seem to make good sense. The cards are attractive and the text and powers seems like they would also fit into a playable game. The player tokens and the army of the damned seem perfectly suited to play. The only real drawback in the components is the cardboard counters for bullets and lives - both are black and white and the same size making them more work to distinguish than they should have been. Red lives would have been more useful - but you could color them yourselves or use red glass gems instead. But the components just don't come together to make it a game.
I would be very interested to find out if there is a set of alternative rules that makes for a better gaming experience. I'm giving it one star based on the 'stick to the game' guidelines for reviews - but I almost feel that I should give them a five for truth in advertising for the line at the top of the box - 'This one's a no brainer.'
Rarely have I had a more boring gaming experience than the one time our group played this. On and on the game went: hours of killing zombie after zombie after zombie after zombie . . . There was very little strategy involved. No one in our group has ever suggested a second game.
The box says the game is a no-brainer, but what they meant was that the people behind the game have no brains. This is the by far the worst game I've ever had the displeasure of playing, and I've played a lot. Just check the web--it's full of upset gamers who assumed the company, Journeyman Press, actually proofread Zombies before they put it to press.
The rules are not only poorly explained, but badly designed. Your cards, besides being somewhat vague, spend most of their time sitting in your hand instead of contributing to the game. Huge sections of town go unplayed and the dozens of cool miniature zombies stand there doing nothing. There is precious little player interaction and the game drones on and on with repetitious and tedious mechanics. I even tried getting some questions answered at Journeyman Press website, but their email support address is not working. As far as I can tell, the site has not been updated since May 3rd!
Take my advice and stay far away from this game until it's fixed. Don't waste your money!