Zombicide: Rue Morgue is the third season and final standalone set in the Zombicide series, following the original game and the Prison Outbreak boxes alongside the myriad of expansions and additional sets.
It’s a co-operative game for up to 12 players, recommended for ages 13 and above with a basic objective of killing zombies, collecting equipment and staying alive. The more zombies you kill, the more powerful your survivor characters become, and the more powerful your survivors become, the more zombies come shambling, drooling and scratching out of every conceivable hiding place to murder and eat you.
It’s a huge amount of fun, and having played all previous versions I was very keen to see what the third (and final, if we count Black Plague as the new game it is) season would offer to an experienced player like myself. Zombicide: Rue Morgue is compatible with all the other boxes and bits that came before it, offering the committed collector endless possibilities and permutations.
Whilst complimenting the earlier sets, Rue Morgue obviously offers plenty of differences which keep the overall Zombicide atmosphere, whilst in some aspects feeling like a totally different game.
What's in the Box?
Well, it's packed full. 90 hard plastic miniatures, nine double-sided modular game tiles, a pile of tokens, dice, cards, and survivor character sheets make this a big set. The rule book is the biggest of the standalone season box sets, incorporating not only the basic Zombicide rules but the extensive new rules that are specific to this box.
The equipment and spawn cards are, once again, tiny, but I’ m used to that annoyance by now! My interest was immediately drawn to the tent and helicopter tokens, alongside the ‘Team Action’ cards, and all the contents were up to the very high standard I’m accustomed to from previous boxes from the Zombicide franchise.
All the components are interchangeable with other sets, so the 12 new survivors and a new type of Skinner zombie (more about those horrors below!) will offer plenty of new options for mixing and matching should you already own any of the Season one or two sets.
More of the Same? Or a new breed of Zombicide?
Zombicide: Rue Morgue retains a lot of the elements that have made this series so popular, but also has a few major changes to gameplay. The biggest alteration is the introduction of Competitive Mode, allowing players to control a group of Survivors and play against each other as well as the zombies.
This changes things massively as the co-operative nature of the game has always been at its core, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fun! Rue Morgue's 14 scenarios can support up to 12 players, and the 12 survivors included in the set are a varied bunch that add plenty to the game.
Having been used to zooming around the apocalyptic maps in cars over the last two seasons, Zombicide: Rue Morgue introduces helicopters to the mix, another exciting twist when you’re desperately fleeing the shambling hordes by racing to the waiting chopper!
Speaking of zombies, a fresh horde of new gribblies are included in the box, and we see the introduction of Skinner zombies alongside the foes from previous sets. Skinners are feral in appearance having been infected for a while, and are relentless in their pursuit of fresh meat. Kill a Skinner, and he might come back as a Crawler, half a zombie that will drag itself along the ground to continue the hunt.
Skinners are a tough foe, but the Abomination in this set is even more of a threat, combining the usual A-Bomb toughness with the ability to reach, grab and drag your survivors around with is freakishly long arms.
The set also includes a new deck of Team Action cards allowing players to better synchronise their Survivors to fight together, and tent tokens allowing you to stash equipment or recover wounds. But remember, zombies can be anywhere! Forgetting that zombies like camping too was the last mistake of many an unwary survivor…..
The huge amount of new equipment cards makes the weapons arsenal available to your survivors truly epic , from good old favourites like the humble pan (Quick Note: If you kill a zombie with a pan, you join Pan Club. Elites only.) to new, more powerful weapons like the AK-47 and the brutal Sabre.
The weapons in game are very similar and limited to degree within the confines of the combat system, but they do allow for a great level of personalisation for your survivors, and everyone has a ‘lucky weapon’ that they just love pulling out of the search pile!
Final Thoughts on Zombicide: Rue Morgue
Zombicide: Rue Morgue is a much grander version of Zombicide, catering for larger, longer games involving more players and many survivors. The inclusion of new rules and the Competitive Mode of gameplay does give it a very different feel to the previous iterations whilst staying true to the fantastic random nature of Zombicide that has made it so popular.
Being able to select and field your own team of survivors offers up a new challenge of its own. Choosing a group that compliments each other can be tough, and with the appeal of competing against your friends added into the mix Zombicide: Rue Morgue offers a very different gaming experience.
Overall, it's highly enjoyable and will appeal to anyone with a larger gaming group due to the scale of some of the levels, those in smaller gaming circles wanting to try duking it out against each other, or Zombicide collectors wanting to add more fantastic minis, tiles and tokens to enhance their options on game night.
The player vs player mode is fun, new and offers a brand new element to gameplay. It also will appeal to people to whom co-operative play has run its course, or just to chase down and kill your mates in zombie-infested alleyways for fun. The box is incredibly good value for the contents and with 14 included scenarios, should keep you busy for a while with even an extended gaming group.