I’m fairly new to the board game world. I’m used to the traditional favourites such as monopoly, cluedo and even trivial pursuit. I’m also not a very competitive person, which most people assume is a bad trait for board games but I find I can take a step back and make educated decisions more than others in the heat of the moment.
Despite this i’ve always loved the idea of getting into board games and it’s something my other half is really keen on. We recently visited some friends who suggested a game called Zombicide, a turn based cooperative board game where you have to fend off attacking zombies and reach checkpoints to win the game. We gladly accepted the challenge and got underway about setting it up. It is fairly complicated and has been likened to that of Dungeons and Dragons for it’s gameplay details and combinations of cards that are used during the game.There’s even an app for iOS and Android where you can all input your character details to keep track of during the game, which worked well for us too.
There are 6 different characters that you can choose to play. Each have their own special abilities such as taking an extra turn or being able to move two spaces at a time. You have a level/intensity bar that increases as you collect checkpoints or kill zombies. The higher the intensity, the harder it gets but also the more you level up. Each colour upgrade (blue>yellow>orange>red) spawns more zombies per turn and even opens up the possibility of harder zombie forms such as fatties and runners. If you’re really unlucky, you may even have a showdown with the abomination zombie that can only be killed by molotovs, that you make from finding gasoline and a bottle.
The rules for this game can be changed depending on how comfortable you are with complicated board games like these. However, the essentials still stand. Each round you take it in turns to decide what action you’d like to take. This can be to search a room/car by picking a random search card in the hopes of landing yourself a better weapon or valuable item. The catch is, once you’ve searched a room that’s it, it can no longer be searched in the game. This limits you to play strategically if you need to secure a molotov to deal with an abomination for example. You can also simply move around, maybe to get closer to a checkpoint or group up. Finally, you can kill off some beastly zombies with your weapons. Fighting zombies involves rolling the dice and trying to secure the correct number that you need (which varies based on how good your weapon is), if you fail you miss.
After all of your team’s turns, the zombies get a go. This involves drawing cards at random for each ‘spawn point’ on the map, where the corresponding number of zombies appear. If you happen to be in the same zone as a zombie, they get to munch on you and you get wounded. You can only get wounded once in a game, meaning two zombie bites and you’re out.
It’s a fairly expensive game at around £60 with multiple expansion packs ranging from £20-£60, although some of the expansions can be whole new games, hence the price range. Considering you get dozens of zombie/player figures and well designed maps, it’s worth it. The games can range in length too, from 30 mins (optimistically) to over 4 hours. I’d say It’s best played with 5-6 players but you can make do with less by doubling up characters to players. It’s great fun for both hardcore and novice board gamers, especially when you end up with a huge swarm of zombies chasing you around the board at the end.