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Zombies!!!

Reviewed by Nigel Buckle ©2002

Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion

 

This board game for 2-6 players is packaged like a special edition horror video, with the box proudly claiming Widescreen Edition "This one's a no-brainer". 

Opening the box you see a slim rule-sheet, 30 map tiles, a deck of event cards, 6 plastic 'men' (representing the players), a counter-sheet of life and bullet tokens, 2 ordinary 6-sided dice and a bag of 100 plastic Zombies!!! 

The box art and event cards capture the feel of horror 'B-movies', but this means you're not likely to want to try this game with younger players. If you like Zombie films then chances are you'll like this game too. 

The idea is the players build the Zombie infested town tile by tile as the game progresses, until the last tile (the Helipad complete with Helicopter to escape) is placed. While the town is being built players hunt down equipment (like the Chainsaw) and destroy Zombies. The winner is either the first player to eliminate 25 Zombies or to reach the center of the Helipad (and escape on the chopper). 

Combat and the rules in general are simple and the game is easy to play. However, it is not without problems it takes much too long to finish. I would normally expect a light-hearted game like this to take around an hour, Zombies!!! usually takes much longer than a Zombie movie! Also, the player with the least number of Zombies eliminated gets to choose where the Helipad tile is placed, this means the players are encouraged to avoid destroying Zombies and just collect movement cards, waiting for the last tile to be placed (the Helipad) and then make a mad dash to it to win. 

Despite these problems the game has heart and a few 'house-rules' can fix the problem areas. There is even a mailing group dedicated to the game, where you'll find plenty of alternative rules, scenarios, etc.:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ZombiesBG/

Overall, the box is right, Zombies!!! is a no-brainer, but it has bags of style and heart. Consider it as a horror game development kit and use your own rules; any fan of horror movies/games is going to have fun. Where else can you get 100 zombies for under $20? 

Unfortunately the publisher (Journeyman Press) is no longer trading; the game is out of print. See the April issue, however, for some good news about this game:
Press Release: ZOMBIES!!! Board Game rises from the dead -
Twilight Creations

Editor's Note:  Zombies!!! is published by Journeyman Press and retails for $19.99, 19.99

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