Board games are really starting to come into their own. This truly is the golden age that we’re witnessing. The latest area for board games to tackle has been with co-op games, much in the same way that co-op has begun to dominate many popular video games. Zombicide is very much in the vein of a Left 4 Dead, but in board game form. I received this game the other week from a Kickstarter campaign that was wildly successful (yep this is one Kickstarter that has actually delievered the goods in full!). I wouldn’t doubt that CoolMiniOrNot’s next game Relic Knights will have just as much success based on the quality of this title alone.
I play tested the heck out of this game, mostly because I couldn’t put it away. Read on for a quick synopsis and gallery of the game in action!.
First of all the detail in all of the characters and zombie figures is spectacular. All pieces are mono-color and mostly grey, but that didn’t spoil it for me (I could also always have some more fun painting them later on). The game includes 71 miniatures with the basic box, but being in the Kickstarter campaign gave me access to the extra “Abomination”, so I increased this count to 107. That’s a lot of different figurines! And so far I haven’t really needed the extra ones, but I haven’t actually played with other real people either.
That gets me to the next point: this is a fantastic game for solo. I thought I would just play test it a couple of times so that I could explain it to friends later on, but I quickly found that I loved playing the game. I kept busting it out at night and playing it in-between rounds of Starcraft, it was just a blast! May seem a little silly to play a board game by yourself, but this is after all a co-op game to begin with, so you’re playing against the board anyway. That translates to a pretty fantastic little single player game.
How do you actually play this game? Well I can already tell that the specifics are going to be pretty boring, but basically you’ll be moving several “survivors” around the board one space at a time. You have several actions to spend each round and you can use those for moving, searching empty buildings, shooting guns or revving up a chainsaw. Zombies will periodically spawn at designated spawn points each round and as you kill more zombies, the intensity of the spawn rates will increase. Luckily, you will have been searching buildings for more loot to deal damage with, plus you’re extra kills grant more skills as you keep playing, sort of like leveling up.
The game requires you to play certain scenarios, which range from “get all the objectives” to “get from point A to point B” and even really specific ones like “get a bag of rice, canned food and water before leaving the city”. That means that you can easily switch up the style of gameplay between rounds. Tiles for the game board are linked together in a certain way at the outset of the game according to what the scenario calls for. I’ve been thinking of designing my own scenario, but haven’t figured out the logistics of it yet. I was disappointed that scenarios in the instruction manual didn’t have difficulty ratings assigned, because some are pretty tough and some are ridiculously easy.
I should also mention that with this being such a new game there’s a lot of room for improvement, at least with maybe a FAQ section or possibly some more scenarios. Some of the rules were clear from the outset, but some situations would not have a ruling that I could easily discern, so I made on-the-spot judgement calls.
Overall the game is extremely fun and I am pretty psyched to get a few rounds in at PAX Prime this year. I am willing to bet that it will be a big hit as long as people take a few minutes to grasp all of the various rules and concepts. I’m not sure when the game will be going on sale exactly, but it should be some time this month. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell them at PAX as apparently they were on sale at GenCon. Check out a gallery of the game below!