Zombicide is the name in zombie-based games. With a massive back catalogue, you are well catered for in terms of zombies set in various scenarios. Zombicide Invader shakes up the formula by moving the game to space (specifically planet PK-L7) and the zombies become Alien Invaders. However, there are other small differences and improvements on the formula that make this the most streamlined and immediate Zombicide yet.
One of the major differences is that you now require an oxygen tank to go outside. Also, your pesky bullet-based weapons will not work out there! Other changes include the ability to 'concentrate' your attack on one enemy, potentially doing more damage. This is vital as it is the only way to kill some of the bigger enemies. Having this extra choice in combat works well and makes sense thematically - you are always going to target the biggest threat first.
Players track their weapons and progress on smart plastic player boards that store everything and house movable pegs that track your new skills as you level up. The levelling up is not as flexible as CMON’s dungeon crawl Massive Darkness, but it is more streamlined fitting in with Invaders' quicker set-up and play time.
Characters are different in terms of:
• How they level up.
• What skills they earn.
Even though the retail box doesn’t have the almost gluttonous choice in heroes of the Kickstarter version, there is more than enough here. Except for maybe the Abomination figure, of which there is only one. This might not be noticeable but for the fact that quite a lot of the cards seem to expect there being at least one already on the board. I’m sure this can be resolved by an expansion pack but it was the only place where buying the retail version really felt like missing something important from the Kickstarter version.
One of the big highlights of Invader is how easy it is to get going and how few ‘check the rules’ moments there are, especially if you have played a Zombicide before. As with all CMON games, the production is mostly excellent with quality minis and cards, the mold is a little thin, but there are practical gameplay reasons for this so they get a pass there.
So, if you missed out on the Kickstarter then don’t worry. This retail version is 99% enough, and I’m sure you have some other minis in your collection you can proxy for Abominations until you inevitably buy the expansions...
Player Count: 1-6
Time: 60 Minutes