Zombicide is your simple and typical Ameritrash game. There’s not a whole lot of thinking in strategy due to it’s randomness in dice rolling and spawning of zombies at the spawn zones, but this game definitely has it’s zombie theme cut out for you.
The game is composed of three main phases: The Players’ (Survivors) Phase, the Zombie Phase and the End Phase.
Each player chooses their own survivor player sheet cards (how many sheet cards is dependant on how many players there are). Each survivor has different special abilities and more abilities will get unlocked as they level up with their experience points. During the Players’ Phase, the players activate their survivor(s). They spend three actions each (and more actions can be taken as the survivor levels up) mainly to move, combat or search; however, there are several other actions to choose from as well.
Once all players are done activating their survivors and doing all actions, it moves on to the Zombie Phase. All zombies will either attack or move, following all stipulations of attack and movement (depending on what type of zombie it is – there are four different kinds just from the base game – Walkers, Runners, Fatties, and the Abomination)
After all zombies have taken their actions, then zombie cards will be drawn for each spawn zone and whatever amount and kind of zombie is shown on the card, that is what will be placed on the spawn zone. The level of danger will be based on the survivor with the highest experience level on their sheet card.
End phase will reset all noise tokens and the next player will get the first player token going clockwise. The game continues on till end game requirements are met depending on which missions are being played.
If you’re a zombie fan, then you’ve already covered your love for the zombie theme in this game and would be a must buy or put on a wishlist.
Not only is the game very thematic, but the fun and simplicity of this game falls right into place of its theme. What’s not fun about being chased by zombies and getting to eliminate as many as you can or just trying to survive till you can complete your mission? You move, you attack, or you search for weapons etc… Each players’ actions are tactical, but straightforward. There can be some discussions with other players as what to do next, but it’s nothing too critical of a decision.
There is a lot of game in the one box, but if you feel like you haven’t fulfilled that zombie itch, there are many more…and I mean, many, many, many more expansions to add to your zombie cravings.
You get plenty of component pieces in just one box. There are 65 zombie miniatures and 6 survivors with 9 large double sided tiles to add more variety to your gameplay and several tokens and cards. The artwork is great and the rulebook is well explained with lots of illustrations. The game comes with ten missions to start with. More missions can be found online at the boardgamegeek or Guillotine Games’ Zombicide website.
As much as it would be fun to kill zombies all night, the one thing that discourages me from bringing this out sometimes, is the set up time. Some days I just want to crack open a game and play right away; however, Zombicide does not allow that. There is some time needed to be spent to set up the game.
Not only can the set up time be daunting, but the randomness can also be frustrating. Since generally, you can only take up to two wounds in a survivor, that horrible dice roll during combat can control your deathly fate if you aren’t able to eliminate that zombie before it attacks you in the next phase. The spawn cards aren’t as frustrating, since thematically, you’re never really supposed to know where or what type the next zombie will appear, but really, your fate just lies on luck of the draw.
Even though this game overall has a simple game mechanic, another issue that may come up is keeping track of where to place zombies or which zombies have moved and which direction they should be moving. There are many stipulations to consider such as line of sight or sound tokens etc. If there are too many zombies out, it can get quite convoluted. Extra dice can come in handy for some people with a short term memory and have trouble keeping track.
The game components are generally great, but I worry that the large tile boards will eventually start to warp especially with humidity or just your typical weather changes. I’ve had issues on some tiles warping before on other games while I was living up north, so I’m not sure if there’s a real solution there unless you have a controlled temperature environment in your house.
Last of all, as much as this game can be fun, it can really bite you in the wallet. I personally have only bought one expansion (Zombie Dogs) and I’m not sure I will buy too many more, just because there is just way too many expansions. This game is a little more costly than most of the games I typically buy, and to have to buy the expansions is a little more than I’m willing to spend when I would rather spend it on other different games. And I’m not a complete zombie fanatic so I guess I can pass up all other future expansions.
As mentioned already, there is plenty more expansions to feed your zombie hunger that will ensure you have lots of gameplay… more survivors and many more different zombies and tiles. I believe there will also be a compendium book coming out soon that will offer more missions, and campaigns and some of it are compilations from the designers themselves and other players from the gaming community.