What is it?
A survival horror game, objective and scenario based. Co-op against the game.
What do you get?
Zombicide is to my knowledge one of the first big board game kickstarters that started the trend of spending a lot of money at once to get tons of game at once. It is a premium priced game and comes with tons of stuff, boards, cards, dice and miniatures galore. The main big boxes are pretty good value for money, it’s the small box expansions that will really hurt your wallet. There is about 1000 expansions for this game now.
How does it work?
Zombicide concentrates on mission based effects from a scenario book. After setting up the mission the heroes have 2 actions each to do various things, open doors, run, attack or special actions like make sound. The zombies come into play via markers and are randomly drawn from a deck. In turn they all enter and slowly move. Typically if they have no target they will advance towards the last sound they heard. Play continues like this until the objective is met. Along the way however expect the enemies to get harder as the heroes progress, using their RPG stats gaining more actions and skills, the enemy cards will get tougher faster and stronger.
Is it any good?
This is a game of endurance. The one common occurance in every game I’ve played has been at certain stages of the game things can go out of hand at any moment. Its important to keep check on all the enemy types so they don’t start moving and attacking faster. But the more sound you make, the more it attracts them.
There is innocence to Zombicide that Cmon games got spot on for all sorts of gamers. The zombie apocalypse feeling is really there. There are some bad rules like the cars but equally there are super rules such as searching areas. The equipment is really interesting as you cannot guarantee what you will have in each game.
Every single standalone mission is a nice experience in itself. Now, what I have gripes about is how the game treats going from mission to mission. It feels a bit out to place going back to a rookie character after hitting max level. The beginning of most quests feel like they do the exact same thing all over again which is a shame because the individual nature of a mission is so good.
I understand that the limitations of the design was one or the other but it is in my opinion why its not a bigger and better game. Take Sword & Sorcery for example, to a large degree the two games share similar design space but S&S spans over entire campaigns to level up instead of a matter of killing a few creatures.
There is a divide in this approach as one is far more casual overall.
Zombicide is a really neat well executed game that really works. I love the idea of how characters level up but for me the missions don’t connect very well from a RPG narrative. It’s a great game to catch up with your mates and just play any solo mission though so as long as you treat it that way, you are onto a winner.