Zombies!!! Review | Board Games | Zatu Games UK

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Awards

50%

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Cheaper than rivals.
  • Easy way to get figures.
  • Plenty of expansions.

Might Not Like

  • A slog that can bore.
  • Tension easily lost.
  • Awfully simple and not in the good way
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Zombies!!! Board Game Review

Zombies!!!

Journeymen Press produced Zombies!!! in 2001, and this design by Todd and Kerry Breitenstein became that rarest of things: a successful, niche board game in the days before Kickstarter. It birthed Twilight Creations and multiple expansions, before Todd sadly died of cancer.

Twilight continued, and Zombies!!! is still available in a vastly changed gaming scene where it has to compete with the behemoth that is Zombicide.

Inside the Box

We don’t just mean compete thematically. Open the box in 2001 and you found a pile of plastic zombies which, while small, were a far more cost effective and quality horde than anything else on the market. You found six versions of the same male playing piece with a shotgun, which wasn’t ideal but was all your Evil Dead fantasies in one go.

The cards had great and funny artwork courtesy of Dave Aikins, and the little tokens were sufficient. It was a small box but for the price a great package, and although there have been changes to art, and the sex of the figures, you still get that. It’s considerably cheaper than Zombicide, which has much better figures but no better art.

And then we get to how it plays....

How Zombies!!! Works

All players start on the Town Square tile, which is the first played. The rest of the map tiles are then shuffled and the Helipad is put at the bottom. Every player begins their turn by drawing a map tile and placing it on the edges of an ever growing town, populating it with zombies. You win the game by being the first player to the middle of the Helipad tile, which is actually placed by the player who has collected the least zombies.

Winning means you’ve both escaped on your own like the caring person you are, and you’ve managed to carefully position yourself near to whoever gets that last tile. You can also win by collecting 25 zombies, and I didn’t say killing because, well more on that later.

So, every player starts on the Town Square with a little plastic figure that’s a step up from your normal Meeple

After taking their map tile they have to fight any zombies who have been moved onto their space, draw enough events cards to get back to three, and then they can roll the movement dice and, well, move.

Winning means you’ve both escaped on your own like the caring person you are, and you’ve managed to carefully position yourself near to whoever gets that last tile. You can also win by collecting 25 zombies, and I didn’t say killing because, well more on that later.

So, every player starts on the Town Square with a little plastic figure that’s a step up from your normal Meeple.

After taking their map tile they have to fight any zombies who have been moved onto their space, draw enough events cards to get back to three, and then they can roll the movement dice and, well, move.

You can move one space per pip on the die and you can move anywhere that has a space on the map, be it a road or inside a building. If you enter the same space as a zombie you have to fight it before it eats you, whereas if you find ammo or health tokens you can collect those. At the end of this movement and fighting, you roll a dice and can move that many zombies a square. At any time you could play events cards, but now you can discard them, and then it’s onto the next player.

Combat is simple: roll a 4-5 to kill a zombie (this changes in expansions and with certain equipment like shotguns, and you can add bullet tokens to up the roll), and on a 1-3 you lose a health token, lose them all and you end up with a new version of you at the Town Square with no equipment and losing half the zombies you’ve killed. You may die a lot, and your zombie total can get frustratingly close to 25 and then end up back as 12 again. If you missed but you’re alive, you roll again until someone, ideally not you, is dead.

Zombies!!!

The Things That Will Kill You

It's been 16 years since I first played Zombies!!!, and no game has been a better illustration of how expansions can be necessary. The first few plays of Zombies!!! can be fun, but it soon becomes a slog with little tactics, killing time to expand the board enough to get a Helipad (or get the 25 zombies), a game of getting killed, rising again even though you’re the hero and ploughing on.

When an expansion came along that offered a Mall, or super zombies in a military base, or the many, many other expansions, the game had a little extra flavour for a few plays, before it became a slog again. However, there’s a twist.

The event cards contain weapons like shotguns, or movement boosts like car keys. But by far the most fun cards allow you to harass your opponents, by moving them or putting zombies around them.

If you find the game a slog you might have the sort of gaming group that appreciates pulling the rug from under your friends and ruining their plans. If you do, Zombies!!! lasts a bit longer, can last a lot longer. If you don’t, there is little here for you long term. House rules are common, such as two dice for movement.

The event cards contain weapons like shotguns, or movement boosts like car keys. But by far the most fun cards allow you to harass your opponents, by moving them or putting zombies around them.

If you find the game a slog you might have the sort of gaming group that appreciates pulling the rug from under your friends and ruining their plans. If you do, Zombies!!! lasts a bit longer, can last a lot longer. If you don’t, there is little here for you long term. House rules are common, such as two dice for movement.

Final Thoughts on Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! is a simple game that’s well implemented in everything except long term fun, which is a problem, because that’s what you spend money for. The figures are good for the price, the art is superb, the sense of humour is sly, but you might get bored during the first game, and if you don’t you probably will by game 10, unless you spend out on the wrinkles of expansions.

It’s important to point out that I’ve mentioned Zombicide a lot because it dominates the field of zombie gaming, not because I think it’s great. To me Zombicide is a terribly flawed game, and Zombies!!! is too, but the former comes with much better figures at a much higher cost and gives a greater sense of immersion in the world.

Zombies!!! feels like a simple game, with the emphasis on like a game. Although I feel the weight of nostalgia on me, I can’t recommend Zombies!!! for anything more than light, curio play with the right group of friends, a quick zombie assault in the middle of an Evil Dead marathon. That is just be worth the asking price.

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

Might Not Like

Zatu Score

50%

Buy Now

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Excellent
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Zatu Games is rated 4.90 based on 9917
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Good value for money, and fast delivery; will be using again.

Good value for money, and fast delivery; will be using again.

Great games for great prices I'm new to the board game scene and am delighted with my purchases would definitely recommend zatu and can't wait to get my next game.

Great games for great prices I'm new to the board game scene and am delighted with my purchases would definitely recommend zatu and can't wait to get my next game.

Me and my friend have gotten into gaming as a hobby now over the past couple years and whenever we've sought to increase our little collection, we've always hit up Zatu first. Solid prices and fast shipping, these fine folks will always have your back for new (and old!) games. Really hope I can get an opportunity to visit the physical store one day, looks proper cosy.

Me and my friend have gotten into gaming as a hobby now over the past couple years and whenever we've sought to increase our little collection, we've always hit up Zatu first. Solid prices and fast shipping, these fine folks will always have your back for new (and old!) games. Really hope I can get an opportunity to visit the physical store one day, looks proper cosy.

Excellent, speedy delivery, arrived in perfect condition 👍🏼

Excellent, speedy delivery, arrived in perfect condition 👍🏼

Overall everything was great: I’m from Argentina and my product was shipped fast and was what I ordered. The only problem was that the shipping box wasn’t very protected so it was a bit broken but the game was perfect. Totally recommended

Overall everything was great: I’m from Argentina and my product was shipped fast and was what I ordered. The only problem was that the shipping box wasn’t very protected so it was a bit broken but the game was perfect. Totally recommended

Easy to find stuff on your website and not a bad price. Postage was quick and everything packed well, thank you

Easy to find stuff on your website and not a bad price. Postage was quick and everything packed well, thank you

Great customer service!

Great customer service!

Super fast service, great selection of games and a very knowledgeable team. Keep up the good work!

Super fast service, great selection of games and a very knowledgeable team. Keep up the good work!

great board game supplier. always great prices and service. used several times already

great board game supplier. always great prices and service. used several times already

very good transaction I will use Zatu Games again Allan.

very good transaction I will use Zatu Games again Allan.

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