Published on September 26th, 2014 | by Nicole Jekich4
Top 5 Favorite Zombie Games
Survivalist Mode Activate!
Well there is no denying that summer is over. This last Monday marked the beginning of fall with pumpkins, colorful leaves and for us in Seattle, lots and lots of rain and gray clouds. This weather always puts me in survivalist mode- I want to stock up on non-perishable foods, flash lights and extra blankets. That behavior does sound like I’m preparing for the zombie apocalypse but don’t worry, I won’t be sharpening axes and putting together med kits any time soon.
Saying there are plenty of zombie games to choose from is an understatement. Along with Cthulhu-themed games, zombie games are one of the most overused themes in tabletop games. This Top 5 list includes games that are a bit different than your typical move-n-shoot variety and will feature many indie games.
1. Dead of Winter:
We recently played Dead of Winter by Plaid Hat Games who are a prominent name in the board game community. Players participate in a semi-cooperative game where they collect rations, fuel, weapons and have the added options of taking on survivors who in turn can further help or hinder the party.
Combating zombies that die after one hit may not seem bad but characters will have to avoid other complications like getting bitten, traitorous players and getting frostbite which is ongoing damage. You’ll want to protect your characters because they are the reason Dead of Winter is so fun and unique. Sure you have the option to play as the town sheriff but wouldn’t you rather team up with the mall Santa, the local palm reader or everyone’s favorite stunt dog Sparky.
2. Last Stand:
This game is from local game designer Jeston who we first met at the Seattle Unpub event this past July 26th. Last Stand we were told isn’t really about zombies but players are fighting an unknown hoard of infected. Game play is very similar to Pandemic: all players can move around the board freely and work together to remove zombies to prevent groups from growing. Players can also build shelters which they can upgrade and specialize into supply houses or more defensible structures.
Each character is specialized in handling certain aspects of the game whether fighting, building, healing or exploring so everyone has a critical part to play. Holding out for more than 10 turns is pretty difficult but is possible and if you’re familiar with Pandemic’s gameplay, Last Stand will be very easy to understand and play.
3. Zombie 15′:
If you think you’re cool and tough enough to take on a hoard of zombies, how about trying a speed run? I first came across Zombie 15′ on Kickstarter and it sold itself as a real time zombie survival game. The game comes with a fifteen minute soundtrack and a variety of objectives to choose from. Players work together to complete the objective before the fifteen minutes or the music stops!
A virus has turned everyone older than 18 into brain-sucking zombies and you, the players, are fighting off the hoards as a teenager and trying to find out what turned all adults into monsters! This is fast-paced, team building game set in the suburbs, which is a nice change of pace from a warehouse, farm or grungy city.
4. Last Night on Earth:
Flying Frog Games excels at miniatures-focused gameplay and Last Night on Earth is one of the best. If you want a classic, small town, “heroes versus the apocalypse” game done up like a horror movie, then this game is it. Last Night on Earth fits up to 6 people- all fighting their way to survive and stay alive until the sun comes up. It is designed to give you a cinematic experience while playing and the theme is very fleshed out. The heroes have motivations, quotes and obvious personalities that are supported by their stats and special abilities.
Last Night on Earth comes with an original soundtrack and there are multiple thematic expansions like Timber Peak which changes the setting to logging village As in all Flying Frog Games, the board and objectives art modular allowing players to customize their experience and difficulty. Want even more craziness in your characters and gameplay? We suggest the fully cross-compatible “aliens vs carnies” version of Last Night on Earth titled: Invasion from Outer Space.
I included ZtoZ on here because it was a zombie party game which is atypical of the survivalist theme and I literally could not stop laughing when I played it. 2-8 players are surrounded by zombies and the will be reading a word or series of words from a card to their neighbor in their best zombie impression. The game is to trick zombies into thinking you are part of the hoard with your impression. Since zombies are gurgling masses of undead that don’t know how to have a good time, smiling and laughing are a sure give-away that you are a human.
If you can successfully speak your words aloud without cracking a smile you are on your way to victory. (The card that had me in laughing fits after trying to read it aloud as a zombie was “gobble gobble” in case you were wondering.) ZtoZ is from our friends at Mind The Gap Studios- who also brought you Wizard Dodgeball- and it is currently available on DriveThruCards but will be heading to Kickstarter in mid October. Make sure to check back for our Kickstarter updates!
We only covered a few zombie games out of many, many options. Do you have a favorite zombie or survival game? Let us know in the comments!