Zombies!!! — Greens and brains

A quick summary of Zombies!!!
Every fortnight, some of the team at B3 meet up to play tabletop games together, trying out new games and playing some old favourites. This week, we played Zombies!!! by Twilight Creations, Inc.

In Zombies!!!, you are a survivor in a city filled with zombies and have to fight your way to escape on a helicopter.

This game has been designed for two to six players, who can either play cooperatively, in teams or work against each other. To win, players must either be the first to kill 25 zombies or be the first to reach the Helipad tile and kill the zombies currently residing there.

How to play

At the start of the game, each player is given three event cards, as well as three bullets and three life counters. The map tiles are shuffled and the Helipad tile is placed at the bottom of the pile. For faster play, the Helipad tile can also be shuffled into the deck.

The Zombies!!! board set up for play
The Zombies!!! board set up for play

Each turn, players pick up a map tile to expand the city. The tile has to connect by the road to at least one other tile in play. Map tiles have a set number of zombies on each one, life tokens and items that can be placed anywhere on them.

The player then rolls a dice for their movement. They can choose to try and avoid the zombies, to kill as many zombies as possible or to collect items from around the board.

When a player lands on a square with a zombie, they must fight it before continuing. Combat is very simple. Players roll a dice and kill the zombie if they roll a 4, 5 or 6. If they roll a 1, 2 or 3, they lose a life token. Combat continues until they either kill the zombie or lose all of their life tokens. Players can also choose to use a bullet token to increase their combat roll by one.

When a player dies, their character is transported back to the starting tile and lose half of their zombie kills.

At the end of their turn, the player rolls a dice for the number of zombies to move one square. They can choose which zombies to move and whether to move them away from their fellow players or towards them. The player also collects additional event cards to bring their hand up to three.

Event cards can either be played during a player’s turn, or for certain cards, during gameplay. These cards can either assist other players or hinder their progress.

Our Zombies!!! board at endgame
Our Zombies board at endgame (once the helipad tile had been placed)
What we thought

First of all, this is a very long game it can take at least three hours to play if the Helipad tile is further down the deck and if the game has expansions in play. We also recommend playing on the floor or on a very large table building the city as the game progresses means it needs a very large area to play comfortably.

We really enjoyed the game itself, it is very easy to pick up and get the hang of. As a fan of B Movie zombie films, I also really liked the artwork and the feel of the game.

Being able to either help or hinder other players was great too. But we found that the race to the Helipad at the end changed that. “Even if you were to team up with others, it can suddenly take a turn for the worse when one wants to get to the helicopter or they start putting zombies in your way or making your character freeze!”, says Dan O’Reilly.

The action cards are generally designed to discourage cooperative play, too. “There are so many action cards that are just for sabotaging other players, which doesn’t feel right,” says Dann. “I feel like there should be an alternative set of cards that encourage cooperative play, but with more zombies on the board and you could all be on the Helipad tile at the end for a cooperative win.”

The fight for the helipad at the end of Zombies!!!
The fight for the helipad at the end of Zombies!!!

Stuart agreed with this. “I think it would have been better if the objective to win was that all of the players had to reach the Helipad or half of you have to be on there that gives you more reason to help each other and work together.”

While players can win individually by the number of kills, we wondered if there should be a way for players to win cooperatively. For example, by reaching a set number of kills as a group. “Even if it just gave you different tiers of wins for set number of kills, for example 60+ kills, 80+ kills or 100+ kills, with a different title for each,” suggested Dann.

However, despite this we did have fun with surrounding other players with zombies, particularly on the run to the Helipad, when Dan was frozen in place!

We really enjoyed the game, and the world-building elements of it. We played with two of the expansions: Zombies!!! 2: Zombie Corps(e), which introduces a military base, and Zombies!!! 5: School’s Out Forever!, which adds a school. However, the core game is so long that we were not really able to take full advantage of these two expansions before the Helipad tile was put in play.

This is a great choice for anyone new to board games, though it does require several hours to play! We would also recommend this game to fans of the board game Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game, which has similar world-building elements.

Zombies!!! Director’s Cut Second Edition is available to buy on Amazon.

Looking for more zombie board games? Check out Matt’s review of Resident Evil 2: The Board Game. Or, check out our list of great free Horror games on PC that you can play right now.

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