Are You Feeling Lucky Punk?
Push-your-luck games have been around as long as you can imagine. The entire gambling industry is built on the satisfaction of pushing your luck as far as you can and not going bust. Yahtzee is a real household name when it comes to games and all it is is rolling dice, pushing yourself to try and score as much as you can. So it is no wonder that it is one of the most popular board game mechanics. We are awash with modern board games that explore this idea. From Yahtzee’s grandbaby King of Tokyo to the bag-building wonder, Quacks of Quedlinburg or the family gem chasing classic, Diamant. It’s exciting! Egging on friends and family members only to watch them crash and burn is the ultimate schadenfeuer.
Well in 2010, Steve Jackson, of Munchkin fame, wandered into the push your luck market with Zombie Dice.
Zombie Dice is exactly as it sounds. It is a very small game which consists of 13 custom dice and a cup from which to roll them. You take on the role of the undead as you roam around the streets looking for those tasty brains, whilst trying to avoid your own head being blown off. Zombies (more the cartoon type) are always a classic theme for younger players and with The Walking Dead TV show starting in the same year, the Zombie love was about to explode with older audiences too.
Each dice represents a possible human/meal and each has a mix of three different symbols. There are brains (yummy), footprints (your victim has fled) and a shotgun blast (you’ve been hit). On your turn you will take three random dice and roll. Any brains and put to one side, along with any shotgun blasts. You then decide whether you want to roll again. If you do you draw back up to three, footprints are rerolled, and go again. If you ever hit three or more shotgun blasts you lose any brains you have collected that turn. The other option is to score the brains you have accrued and pass the dice to the next player.
To win, you need to be the first to reach thirteen brains. Easy right? But to spice it up, the dice come in three colours. Green, red and yellow. It probably won't demand too much brain power to figure out that green dice have more brains, yellow, more feet and red have more gun shots. However, you won’t be able to change your mind after you have drawn so pray you don’t draw three reds in one go!
Zombie Dice is such a small game it is impossible to dislike. Yes it is simple. Yes it is stupid. But there is so much satisfaction in rolling those bones and watching those around you go bust as you luck out and race your way to success. And if you really enjoy the game then you can also check out Horde Edition which introduces some other dice that change up the game.