Review

Review

Dangerous Games: 'Zombicide' Board Game Review

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The chair creaks as you settle onto it. The candlelight flickers. All around you the ravenous faces of your so-called friends twist in delight as you slowly open the box laid out on the table. Welcome to Dangerous Games! Each week, we'll feature a horror/thriller/monster tabletop game you should be playing. Don't be scared… roll the dice… what's the worst that could happen?
 
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Zombicide
 
There aren't any more screams. Or, at least, not many. You can still smell the acrid smoke of a fire that laid waste to the department store down the street. Now and then you hear the Pop! Pop! Pop! of a lone pistol firing in another part of town. But most of all, you can smell the dead. The dead who stay dead... and the dead who don't. But you've got more pressing matters to attend to, bigger fish to fry. You've been looking for something to take care of that freaky, lurching, screaming monster in the center of town. You need something powerful, more powerful than a gun or machete that works on those shambling zombies – something with real firepower. But where is it? And where are you friends? Weren't they supposed to be back here by now?
 
Zombicide by Guillotine Games was released in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign.In this game for one to six players, you play a survivor of a zombie apocalypse. Your goal, and the goal of your teammates, is to survive… sometimes by finding a special item, a way out, or by killing all the zombies. In this cooperative game you either stand together… or become a zombie's lunch.
 
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Gameplay Mechanics
 
In a world gone to hell every hero needs some options. There are six possible characters to choose from in Zombicide. These characters are vibrantly different from one another, and each progress and "level up" with every zombie they kill. The more they kill, the more things the character can do… but they also begin to draw more attention to themselves and their whole party. The goal of the game changes every time, and the modular board (with removable and switchable tiles) supports ten different play scenarios.
 
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There are also four different types of zombies that will populate the board: there's the boring old shambling Walker, sturdy fat zombies that take more hits before they're downed, runners that can move extra spaces, and the dreaded Abomination that can only be killed with a molotov cocktail (the most impressive weapon in the game). Players will move around killing and avoiding zombies, searching for items, and combining what they find into better items. You can dual-wield weapons like a machete (and look badass), combine a scope and a rifle to make a sniper rifle, or combine a rag and gasoline to make a cocktail… among other combinations. If some or all of you survive long enough to complete your objective, you win!
 
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Replay Value
 
Now here's a game with true replay value. First off, there are the ten difficult, fun-as-hell scenarios to play through. Secondly, there are a few new expansions that have come out (the ubiquitous mall and jail expansions). But thirdly, and most impressively, I've never seen a game with such support from its parent company. Guillotine Games posts a weekly adventure for the game – sometimes they're by the company, other times selected by community submissions. These missions are fun, hard, sometimes wild, and always exciting.. plus, they come out every week. In Zombicide, the fun really doesn't ever have to end.
 
Overall Impressions
 
At first glance, many gamers will balk at the price tag ($89.99). But take it from me, it's worth it. You'd buy two or three board games for that much money, but this game keeps releasing new iterations of itself. It's like subscribing to a weekly game club with a central physical board that keeps self-updating. I'm impressed, to say the least. Search out this game… it's a bit hard to find now that the initial buzz has died down, but it's worth it. It's also more fun than throwing a molotov cocktail into a square full of zombies (that is to say… it's extremely fun).
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