The zombies are coming! Slowly! Quite slowly! Run away!
Run, Fight or Die: Reloaded is a simple, push-your-luck dice chucking survival game where outrunning the endless waves of zombies means you don’t die. And you get to leave town with all your limbs intact.
How to play
Setting up to four player boards, each player takes the role of a movie character (such as the prom queen, coach or an ex-cop) with the aim of making it to the edge of town, all the while, exploring for helpful items, recruiting followers and constantly ‘managing’ waves of zombies.
Each player board has three zones, each progressively further away and in a Tetris or Space Invaders style, those waves of zombies continually advance (or fall – if you go with the video game simile) towards you.
The game consists of three phases: firstly the ‘Action’ phase..
During the Action phase, each player rolls six Yahtzee style dice and like Yahtzee (or King Of Tokyo) the idea is to roll the best ‘hand’ you can. Whilst trying to avoid rolling too many ‘zombie’ faces as these must be set to one side and count as additional zombies to be added to your next oncoming wave.
Rolling a ‘bat’ allows you to attack and kill zombies in zone 1 (the closest to ‘you’) the ‘gun’ allows you to kill zombies in any zone, the ‘backpack’ allows you to search, rolling a ‘book’ allows you to explore a location and execute the bad (1) both (2) or good (3) effects and finally the ‘sprinter’ allows you to put distance between you and the zombies (represented by moving a zombie back a single zone) even pushing them off your board entirely – and onto someone else’s board! Mwahahah!
The more of each face you roll, the more of that action you can perform – with the exception of ‘search’ which allows you to upgrade the quality of the search from item (1) to follower (2) to both (3).
Items, such as Book of the Dead, Lucky Charm, Medical Supplies, etc are as you expect and allow you to eliminate zombies, heal wound or re-roll a die whilst ‘Followers’ can add both negative or positive effects to your turn as well as acting as potential zombie food, should you take any damage (poor Todd never did anything but he was great as a snack!)
The second phase is the ‘Mutant’ phase.
In Run, Fight or Die: Reloaded, the most powerful foe is the Mutant Zombie – awakening him can be done by rolling 5+ zombie faces on the dice or through a location card. Doing so means that each round you must draw a ‘Mutant’ card and resolve the negative effect, making the game harder, as you’d expect although he can be shot and doing so awards extra Leadership points – the unit used to calculate your final score.
The third and final phase is the ‘Advance zombies’ phase.
This speaks for itself and is where each character and followers health points are thrown to the undead wolves and should you survive the wave – rinse and repeat.
To trigger the game end effect, a player must either reach the edge of town (found in the Location deck), die or the supply of (30) zombie tokens runs out.
Tally up the Leadership points, the player with the most wins – except if you died – which means you can’t win, regardless of how many Leadership points you have.
Run Fight or Die: Reloaded is a fairly simple game but it’s fast, interactive turns make it a of fun – particularly when ‘pushing’ zombies onto other players boards, meaning they have to pay attention on other players turns. The dice rolling mechanic adds a nice push-your-luck element, whilst the continual waves of zombies vs the end game trigger means they must be managed (Dead of Winter!) or else it could be all over. Whilst the three different win conditions means keeping an eye on both yourself and each other.
The art style is good, in keeping with the theme and style of gameplay – being the right side of cartoony, that you know it’s not a dreary or bleak survival game.
It’s very easy to teach and a good introduction to slightly more in depth game mechanics - like the step you might take, after King Of Tokyo - with the dice chucking and zombie shoving adding a fun, party element and the overall game time being around half an hour, meaning it’s not too overwhelming or big of a commitment to those who haven’t played a lot of board games.
Overall – it’s a lot of fun.