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?
The acrid smell of smoke hangs in the air. A gunshot pops off in the distance. You hear a scream a few blocks away. The terrible groaning and moaning rises in volume like a sick chorus. You're trapped in town center, and the only way out is the helipad. If only you could remember where it was… Zombies!!!, by Twilight Creations, takes all the wonderful, scary, and campy tropes of a classic zombie movie and recreates them for your tabletop. Two to six players act as gun wielding survivors of a zombie apocalypse in this tile-laying game, and the goal is to make it to the helipad first.
All players start on the town center tile, ready to explore this zombified city and make their way out. A stack of city tiles are placed near the play space, and each turn a player draws a city tile and places somewhere where it will fit on the play space. Each tile is either a named building, like the Hospital or Skate Shop, or a bit of city block. As you explore, each tile will have a set number of zombies that come with it. The more you explore, the greater the hordes of undead grow.
Each tile that's placed down may also come with a set number of ammo and health tokens. As a player defeats zombies, he or she will be able to scoop up the necessary equipment to help them traverse the town.
Each player also draws three special cards. These cards may slow down your opponent or help you. Some of them are just actions that happen, while others are item cards. These item cards must be played when at certain named buildings. For instance, the skateboard is an item that increases your speed, but you must have the card and make it to the skate shop to unlock the skateboard. This aspect of the game keeps it very interesting, as players must decide whether they want to head straight forward or meander to pick up items.
Zombies are killed with a roll of the dice, and the first person to flip and make it to the helipad wins!
I love these board games where you're building the board each time you play. The city tiles are shuffled up, and you never know what building, street, or problem you're going to flip next. That keeps what would have otherwise been a pretty simple game very fresh.
I've been staring at this game on shelves of various board game and comic shops since it came out in 2001. And only now am I playing it. I've watched as its expansions continue to grow and grow, each one tempting me with it's funny, tongue in cheek artwork. This is a great game, I don't know what took me so long to play it. My favorite mechanic in the game is the item collection. I spent half the game with the fire axe item card, just waiting to flip the firehouse so I could boost all my attacks. It feels like a video game in this regard, and it's an exciting concept. I want to play Zombies!!! over and over again. And with over ten expansions out for it, this won't be the last you hear from Zombies!!!