In Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, the sound of a growling stomach and the prolonged moan of a walking corpse will equally provoke dread. Plunged into the freezing temperature of winter amidst a zombie apocalypse, every day is a battle for survival. Frostbite plagues you whilst scavenging for food. Barricades provide temporary shelter whilst you research valuable skills. Hungry survivors join the group, as vital members are lost to the gnawing of tireless ghouls.
This semi-cooperative title, by Plaid Hat Games, hands 2-5 players a few survivors each. Players work together to maintain the colony and work towards a common objective. However, everybody also has a secret objective. This could be benign, like ensuring the colony remains secure. However, one player may want to see everyone’s downfall, hoarding food and sabotaging efforts. Will they be found and exiled before their damage is irreparable?
Players roll and assign dice to different actions to their survivors. Then, they travel around the town’s six prominent locations for supplies. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute towards a crisis, such as a food shortage or disease outbreak. This is when a betrayer could exacerbate problems and negate everyone’s hard work. Specific conditions can trigger “Crossroads Cards”, which set a narrative scene. Players must then vote to decide how to tackle the event and which consequence to accept, for better or for worse.
The box contains fistfuls of dice, including a custom 12-sided die which is rolled when exposed to the elements. There are also 30 unique survivor cards, each with their own abilities and cardboard standee. With dozens of item cards at your disposal, will you be able to sufficiently prepare yourself against the next wave of the undead?
This is a challenging game, even without a traitor. With the combination of the main objectives, secret objectives and wide range of characters, no two games will ever be the same. However, if you decide you want even more variety, this game can be combined with the standalone expansion Dead of Winter: The Long Night. Then if you want you want to feast on even more, Dead of Winter: Warring Colonies combines all three games to create an 11 player war between two groups of survivors. If you want to know more, check out our How to Play or review!
Player Count: 2-5 Players
Time: 60-120 Minutes