Pffft. Zombies! Again! And in a dice game. What can you even do with zombies in a dice game that’s interesting? Why would anyone play this, a light weight Steve Jackson game that is neither in depth nor convoluted?
Probably because they have joy in their soul, I expect. Yes, it’s about as simple as you can get, but as an warm up game that has a nice central risk/reward mechanic that even my 5 year old son can enjoy, it’s perfect. It’s as exciting as you can be; shout and the game shouts with you, sit forlornly looking at the cubes as they bounce across the table and you’ll have a miserable time. But you’d deserve that, on account of being miserable.
So what is it? It’s a cardboard tube with 13 dice in it. The dice have brains, shotgun blasts and footprints indicated on them. The dice also come in 3 colours – green, amber, red – which happens to correspond with how weighted they are towards rolling a brain. Why would you want to roll a brain? BECAUSE YOU’RE A ZOMBIE.
You’re a zombie in a race. It’s a race to eat 13 brains before any of the other zombies playing. You eat brains by mixing the dice in the tube, blindly choosing 3 and rolling them. You may choose 3 red dice – RUH ROH – and have the odds stacked against you, or you may get 3 green ones and have an easy time munching down. You don’t know until you pick, so pick you do and then roll a do.
Shotgun blasts get set to one side. Brains to the other. Footprints are escaped victims.
Here’s the rub, you can stop and score – adding the brains to a tally sheet you hope to get to 13 – or you can roll again. To roll again, you take any escaped victims, top up the number of dice to 3 using the ones still in the tube and off you go. BUT! Should you ever end up with 3 shotgun blasts across all the rolls you do, you lose all the brains.
Do you take the risk to roll some more brains, or bank what you have and pass the dice on to the next player?
It’s simple, with the odds imbued upon the dice adding a bit of counting and weighing up to the mix. You may be on 10 brains set aside but not bagged, but you could roll 3 shotgun blasts in one go. What do you do?
As a family, we’ve found that copious amounts of shouting, punching the air and taunting our opponents adds to the hijinks. It makes it fun, and so much more than the simple dice rolling game it is. The theme adds something gross to the mix, allowing kids to pretend they’re monsters. All for £8, which is less than a Transformer these days. Gotta be worth it for a few hours of fun.