Paul and I recently attended the UK Games Expo in Birmingham where we did a bit of perusing around the bring-and-buy second hand games stall. We came across this which I could not resist buying for £5 with a name like Zombiegeddon, Paul in his long-suffering agreed. Later on we found ourselves a little corner of floor in the expo and, with pints in hand, gave Zombiegeddon a go. I was pleasantly surprised.
The Game is split into two halves: Pre-Apocalypse and Post-Apocalypse. The aim of the first half is to both gather as many resources and points as possible while also getting your pieces to each of the 4 bomb shelters which will allow you to continue on in full strength during the second half of the game. You start with 4 pieces, for each of the shelters you fail to get to you lose a piece for the second round. The first half ends when all the tiles that are accessible have been collected by the players. Tiles for the second half are then distributed and the players begin with their remaining tokens. Post-apocalypse contains far fewer resources but your aim is to continue to collect them and kill baddies – for which you will need to have collected ammo.
Scoring is pretty simple. Food stores have numbers on them – those numbers equal points. Enemies work the same way – the number on them gets added to your score. Things get a little bit more tactical with other resources, as the more of one type you get the higher your score gets (1=1, 2-4, 3=9, 4=16 5+ = 20) This gives some tactical necessity to the game, as you try and move your path to collect the tiles you think will provide you with the highest end score.
Another great little feature is the ability to cut off your opponent. Once the tiles are taken up from the board you cannot move through empty spots. This means you can remove tiles to corner your opponents in and prevent them from getting hold of important resources. (Paul didn’t realise I was doing this to him the first time we played, which was very satisfying) This is further intensified by the presence of road block tiles, which are randomly distributed at the beginning of the game and can make getting to certain areas of the board quite difficult. There are also sewer tiles which allow you to move across the board to other sewer tiles, making blocking in an opponent far harder and also allowing for much faster movement around the board and escape once an area has been cleared of resources.
The Rules are basic and the game can be played very simply if not much thought goes into it, however, the more you put into the game the more you get out, allowing for both strategy and back-stabbing of your opponent. It is a simple concept, but can be played very enjoyably.
My few criticisms of the game are thus: The artwork is crap. Every tile looks very similar to the other tiles; making it on first glance very hard to distinguish between each of the different resources and road blocks etc. I am sure the grimy, faded-out look is to add to the effect, but it does make the visuals of the game much harder to follow and does not attract you to the game on first look. The tiles are beautifully detailed, but this is again lost in the size of them and the very limited color scheme. I wonder how differently the game would play if each of the tiles were more easily distinguishable from the others.
My other, very minor, criticism is that it does not come with any replacement tiles (at least ours didn’t) this means that you lose ONE tile and the entire game ceases to function properly. We did in fact lose one at a games night but luckily a work colleague brought it back to me a few days later. It can be played minus tiles but it looks a bit stupid and it interferes with the game somewhat.
Overall I am pretty pleased with this acquisition. It is playable by 2 people, which works well for Paul and I in our usual anti-socialness, but it can also be played by up to 6, making it far harder and more strategic – something I look forward to doing more of. It’s a fun, fairly unheard of game and is pretty darn enjoyable, if a pain in the arse to set up. Buy your mum it for Christmas!