by Dennis Hancock
Published by Twilight Creations
Game Design by Reiner Knizia
Contents: Board, 200 cardstock discs (112 pre-bomb, 88 post bomb), 16 plastic figures (4 of each color), 16 supply tokens (4 of each color), and a single 4-page rulebook.
When I think zombies, I think of brain-hungry bags of formerly living
flesh wandering the wastes of the earth. I think of burning cities,
panic amongst the living, rule #2: Double Tap, and Jonathan Coulton.
When I cracked open my copy of Zombiegeddon, I half expected the
restless dead to actually crawl out of the box and start doing the 'Nom!
Nom! Nom!' on my face. When I saw cardstock tokens and plastic figures,
I was more than a little relieved.
Zombiegeddon is a pre/post-apocalyptic survival horror board game
of zombies, mutants, and rival humans competing for limited supplies,
and occasionally fighting something horrible.
Inside each box of Zombiegeddon you will find 200 lovingly
machine punched, thick cardstock tokens. There are 112 pre bomb tokens,
which represent Manholes, Supplies, Weapons, Road Blocks, and Enemies
(Human). You'll also find another 88 post bomb tokens, which represent
more Supplies and Enemies (Zombies). The artwork on some of the pieces
makes it a little hard to tell what the supply token represents –
thankfully it doesn't matter what they actually are. The board itself is
pretty basic, the only artwork on it is the title of the game and 8
pre-located bomb shelters. Aside from the artwork, the quality of the
game board is what I would expect from any other board game – it might
even be a little sturdier than what I am used to seeing. The player
figures are made of plastic and color coded to each player.
Thankfully, the rules are blessedly short, less than four pages in
total. Game play starts with all players randomly distributing the
pre-bomb tokens on the board, placing one of the player tokens in each
of the pre-bomb shelter hexes, and the color-coded supply tokens in
front of them on the table.
The object of Zombiegeddon is to collect as many supplies as you
can – the more supplies of one type, the better. One tricky rule of the
game states that when supply tokens, with the exception of weapons, are
collected, they will be piled in front of the collecting player
upside-down so they cannot be counted by anybody... including the player
who collected them.
Phase 1: Before the bombs fall:
The youngest player goes first and is able to move two spaces, picking
up supply tokens along the way. The two moves can be split up amongst
two different figures on the board (each player controls four) or used
on a single figure to move it two spaces. Manhole and barricade tokens
cannot be removed from the board, they stay in place the entire game.
Enemy tokens can only be removed if the player has a weapon token in
their possession; once an enemy is removed, the weapon token is
discarded. Each enemy is worth the number of points displayed on the
token. Weapon tokens have no value by the end of the game, so use them
if you have them.
There is a catch with collecting tokens. Once a token has been removed
from the board, the space it previously inhabited is now impassible to
everybody. In this way, a player can strategically cut off other players
from the supplies they need. The only way to pass previously looted
terrain is to use a manhole. A player may use a turn to inhabit a
manhole hex, and a second turn to transport across the map to another
Collecting tokens are only half of the pre-bomb phase. Each player must
also try to make it to one of the post bomb shelters before all of the
supply tokens are collected from the board. Players need only touch the
post bomb shelters once to gain access to them in the next phase. Once a
player has reached one, they may place one of their color-coded supply
tokens on the shelter to indicate they have located it. If a player only
reaches two or three of the post bomb shelters before the start of the
next phase, they only have access to that number of units to collect
supplies. A player who only reaches one of the post bomb shelters by the
time phase 2 starts will have seriously limited their loot potential.
Game play continues with players taking turns until there are no more
moves, i.e. all of the supply tokens have either been collected or are
cut off from being reached.
Phase 2: The rise of the zombies:
At this point in the game, the government has turned on its citizens and
dropped the bombs – only, they didn't do anything but kill off the
non-infected. The players now take turns randomly distributing the post
bomb tokens on the board. Once this is done, players must remove any
figures of theirs from the board in excess of the number of post bomb
shelters they visited in the first phase of the game – these figures
have died off due to lack of shelter. Play then continues with the
youngest player making the first moves.
During phase 2, there are no more human enemiesÉ only zombie enemies.
This is where the game loses the zombie feel for me. The zombies don't
actually move or do anything, they just sit there waiting to be attacked
or ignored. Play continues along exactly as it did during phase one.
Players collect supplies until the rest of the supplies are either
unreachable or are gone. Once this is done, players move on to the final
phase, the point tally.
Phase 3: He who has the most toys, wins:
Players may now look at the supplies they have hoarded in front of them
and stack them all up in like types. Enemies or supplies with a numeric
value are tallied up based upon whatever number is displayed. Other
points are rewarded based upon how many tokens the players have of one
type. For example, a single supply token is worth 1 point, two of the
same type is worth 3 points, and six or more of the same type is worth
20 points. The player with the most points is declared the winner and
all other players must bow to their superior skill.
Replayability and final thoughts
I honestly can't see this game being played more than a few times and
stashed on the shelf. The rules are easy enough, but there just isn't
enough meat to really sink your teeth into. This game could have been
titled "Nuclear Winter" and game play could remain unchanged without
affecting the overall feel of the game. There really is nothing zombie
about this game except for a few enemies that don't do anything and can
be completely avoided. $24.99 isn't too expensive, but when it comes
down to it, save your money for another game – maybe one that feels more
like a zombie game.
Speaking of points, lets tally them up
Ease of play: 4 out of 5 bullets – the rules are short and easy.
Presentation: 2 of five bullets – rough artwork hurts the theme, but the game board and pieces seem fairly sturdy.
Replayability: 2 out of 5 bullets – not compelling; I can't see playing it very often.
Feel of play: 2 out of 5 bullets – this is just another game jumping on the zombie bandwagon. There's really nothing in the game to give you that 'my brains are about to be eaten by a zombie' feel.
Overall: 2.5 out of 5 – It should be obvious by now, I didn't like the game. It actually makes me a little irritated they call this a zombie game.