Last Night on Earth, The Zombie Game is a survival horror board game that pits small-town Heroes head-to-head against a limitless horde of Zombies (players can play on the Hero team or as the Zombies). A modular board randomly determines the layout of the town at the start of each game and there are several different scenarios to play, adding lots of replayability. Fast Paced Game Play with Easy To Learn rules allows players to jump right into the action, while Strategic Depth and Strong Cooperative Play keeps the game interesting.
Flying Frog have been responsible for several great games over the last 10 years, but at the top of the list has to be Last Night On Earth. A survival zombie horror game that is packed with great team play, suspense, atmosphere, and a box full of very attractive components.
Each of the detailed plastic miniatures of the heroes comes with a character sheet (Thick card) giving an explanation of their unique abilities, and it’s very simple to understand. The hero deck of cards and the zombie deck of cards look great, with photo images of the events or items on the card, and have easy to understand instructions of what they do. And as much as the game itself is easy to pick up, learn and play, that is one of the great qualities of the game... It doesn’t require hours of rules learning. That said, the game has a lot of depth and requires a good combination of luck and tactics if you are going to succeed.
The Last Night on Earth board consists of L-Shaped tiles which are placed around a central square tile and give you the town in which the scenarios are played. The shape and layout of the town can be different each time as more often than not only four of the six L-Shaped tiles are used and the central tile is double-sided. Or, as I have done, you might want to create your own scenario involving all the game board pieces for one large town full of the undead.
The zombies will be controlled by a player, moving around their zombie figures and attempting to, well, eat the heroes. The zombie controller will draw from their own deck of zombie cards to aid them, whereas the heroes will draw from the hero deck of cards whenever they search a building.
The cards will trigger events or give items for future use as you run around the town in an attempt to complete the mission objectives before the sun track marker reaches the end of the track and the game ends. The zombie controller (Or controllers if two players wish to share the fun of hunting down the heroes) has to stop the heroes from completing their task, or simply kill them all. Which could lead to a zombie hero under the zombie’s control and add to the problems the heroes face.
The turns are quick, with each hero moving together (or remaining within a building and searching instead), before exchanging items if on the same space as a friend and then fighting zombies – Shooting and hand to hand...With item and/or event cards being used to help along the way.
Next it’s the zombies turn, with zombie cards being drawn to aid them, zombies moving, potentially eating any victims they land on (zombies are ‘mostly’ better in hand to hand combat than the heroes), and then there is a chance of re-spawning new zombies and placing them onto the spawning pits at several locations on the board/in the town. And then the sun track marker moves and it’s the next turn.
The game time of 60 minutes is achievable on a couple of scenarios, but most games take closer to 90 minutes. As far as age range goes, I would say 10+ is well suited... However, as the heroes work together, with a little guidance from an older/more experienced player I would say 6+ works well.
I have enjoyed hunting down my six and eight-year-old kids as their mother tries to keep them alive. They enjoy searching through the buildings for pitchforks, flare guns, and similar goodies. Family fun packed with atmosphere.
Last Night on Earth - Final Thoughts
Personally, I think that Last Night on Earth is great. It works well on every level and makes it easy to create your own scenarios should you wish to. I have a friend who doesn’t like ‘all against all’ games (which is most games), but he loves this as he enjoys being part of a team working together. And the balance is good too – I have played dozens of games, and the heroes vs zombies victory ratio is about 50/50.
There’s an obvious element of luck to which cards are drawn from the deck, and how the dice resolves a combat, but tactics are also a big player for both the heroes and the zombie controller.
The core game box itself is good enough and will give many sessions of gameplay, and as I have said it’s easy enough to create your own scenarios. But the game does also have a nice selection of expansions, all of which add to the original game and give you more in-depth gameplay. I didn’t think the game needed anything extra until I got the Zombies with Grave Weapons Expansion and started controlling zombies with machetes or wrapped in barbed wire. Extra add-on rules for sewage tunnels, boarding up windows to keep the zombies out (for a while), special items cards, new heroes, and a whole new town/game board.
All expansions for Last Night on Earth are well thought out and make for perfect editions to this great game, but when I draw in new players and use the original game for their introduction I don’t feel anything is lacking. It is, and probably always will be, a big favourite for several of my board game group.
- One full-Colour rulebook.
- One town centre game board.
- Six L-shaped outer boards.
- Eight unique hero figures (Grey).
- 14 Zombie figures (Seven green, seven brown).
- 40 Card hero deck (Basic game).
- 40 Card zombie deck (Basic game).
- 20 Advanced cards for the hero deck.
- 20 Advanced cards for the zombie deck.
- Six reference cards.
- Eight large hero character sheets.
- Five large scenario cards.
- Two full-colour sheets of die-cut counters.
- 16 Dice (12mm D6).
- One CD soundtrack of original music.