Zombie Survival Reviewed

“Where fun comes to life” is the motto of Twilight Creations, the publishers of Zombie Survival. In the case of this particular zombie themed offering, fun has rather appropriately been brutally murdered and then clawed itself to the surface of its shallow grave to paw fitfully and ineffectually at our windows in the name of vengeance.

A note on zombies in general:

When being attacked by zombies it is, as you will be well aware; painfully slow, yet there is nothing you can do to prevent the inevitable. Death creeps inexorably closer, so in a fit of pique you throw yourself into the clawing, groaning undead in an attempt to spare yourself a lingering agony. But these are zombies, have you forgotten? They rip lumps of flesh away but cannot remember where their mouths are, so you lie there flailing in hideous torment as their rotting limbs flap at your bleeding face, too stupid to finish you off.

Will this nightmare never end? Kill me, kill me now!!

Now you have an idea of how I felt when playing this pitiful car-crash nightmare of a game, we can begin the review.

Theme:

Upon seeing a bunch of zombies shambling up your front path I imagine you would feel a hot ball of fear in your stomach at the prospect of being trapped and having to endure a slow descent into gibbering madness with little hope of salvation until your heart and soul are torn out before the blessed release of oblivion.

As the rules were explained to me, this is exactly the way I felt, so 10/10 for theme Twilight Creations, well done!

Gameplay:

Each player starts with a house they have to defend with a set number of squares that they fill with weapons, food, fuel and other things that they feel will be necessary to survive the zombie apocalypse. It feels a little like Galaxy Trucker and you’re half expecting your house to be torn to shreds almost immediately the zombies begin to attack.

Wrong. 4 zombies appear each turn and providing you have enough people and weapons, you can blast them to bits from the comfort of your living room. So their painfully slow shuffle across your patio is stopped dead (get it, dead? Never mind) by your heavy arsenal. Each weapon is assigned a number of dice which you fire by throwing the dice into the box lid containing a representation of a zombie. A die landing in the head area is a kill. Elsewhere they need to add up to 6 to ensure the zombie is barbecueued (barbecue – patio, get it? Never mind).

Whoooo!! A dexterity game!! Hardly; keep calm, there’s no point getting excited. Tossing dice into a box lid is far from fun. Throwing plastic knives at a cardboard zombie would have been fun. Even trying to lob a dice through a hoop would have been better. Rolling them into the box lid? Grit your teeth, there’s only another hour and three-quarters more of this shit before you can have a nice lie-down.

But wait, there’s an event deck: maybe that will spice things up. A person is ill; Spend a medkit. Here comes a neighbour; invite him in and gain a food.

Christ.

Surely there’s a “Raining Zombies” card here to liven things up?

Nope.

OK, let’s go shopping instead. You can send people out in the car to acquire provisions. Which basically means drawing a card with a picture of some batteries on it (for your torch when the zombies chew through the electricity cables at home – another boring event card). Shall we hurry home in case the zombies have got in? Nah, we barricaded the windows, it’ll take them months to figure that one out.

Basically this is a boring solo game which you have to force some other poor glomps into playing so you’re not miserable all by yourself. The only interaction with other players is when you fire a zombie into their garden, presumably by climbing up the chimney and grenade-tossing some sausages over the garden fence to be pursued by the slavering animated corpses.

Eventually, by sheer weight of numbers (i.e. there are no more free spaces on the patio), the zombies force their way in. Close combat is more risky and involves spending medkits. When the medkits run out the people begin to die and you know you’re in the home straight and that playing a fun game is mere minutes away.

This game has zero redeeming characteristics. There are no interesting mechanics, little chance of interaction with the other players and the components are drab and uninteresting. Also it’s slow. Like really slow. Two hours is too long to be bored out of my head when I’m supposed to be having fun (hence me dumping my Wigan Athletic season ticket).

This is a disgracefully bad game and starts my 2011 on a real bum note.

If you only have enough money to buy every single game in the entire universe apart from one, make sure that one game is Zombie Survival. It’s a dud.

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2 Comments to “Zombie Survival Reviewed”

  1. Nice review Alan.

    And there isn’t any stupid idiot on here being anal about your review because you happen to have a different opinion than them.

  2. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time Will!

    However it’s a free world wide web. All comments are welcome (apart from the ones about my monkey face).

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