What is it?
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game is a Zombie themed survival game with a strong emphasis on cooperative play and betrayal.
What do you get?
Dead of Winter comes with character figures, dice, cardboard tokens for the zombies, a nice board and decks of cards with results for various actions.
How does it work?
Taking it in turns players must fortify the building or go out on scavenging runs. Just like Battlestar Galactica there is an event phase which forces people to contribute or suffer the consequences of a failed event. What the players don’t know are each other’s secret winning conditions which can often point to players needing excuses or reasons to lie for their ultimate goal. How much you hide or disclose is up to you and that is what makes the game fascinating. The big threat is the zombies at the door but what is everyone else up to.
Is it any good?
Dead of Winter is a really well sidestep of Battlestar Galactica the board game. Shadows Over Camelot is another game in this similar betrayal series with slight differences. They work really well to be honest. On my two play through’s of Dead of Winter I noticed it has a nice timing rhythm to it, something that BSG could suffer with and go on all night. Dead of Winter pitches a very threatening theme right away, and one that is very popular and easy to get to grips with. The secrecy going on is where the replayability comes in. It’s a really nice mechanic and your secret mission ultimately decides what sort of character you are.
I’ve not played the expansions and I’d hope that they just add more randomness to the game and not time length. More is always better unless it adds confusion and a stack of complex uninteresting rules. Dead of Winter is a great game and Plaid Hat should be proud to have it in their library.