Sigmund Freud is judging… Zombies!!!
Good day to you all; come, come, sit closer to your monitor as i, your ever faithful Dwalin Espressoshield III, lead you through streets infested with the foulest of creatures, the living dead, as we pass judgment on twilight creations’ Zombies!!!
This is a game which I’m sure a bunch of you have played; indeed this is a game I played about 8 years ago (a colleague had brought a copy into work) and had enjoyed. This, however, is why I wanted a copy… Has this game stood the test of time or, as I suspect many of you feel, does this game need a bullet to the head?
We grabbed a copy from the mighty internet and cracked open the box on one of our gaming days. Inside you get a selection of beautifully printed tiles which make up the game board, cards which represent bonus items or random events, some miniatures representing our intrepid survivors and handfuls of zombies to kill.
It’s a quick game and there’s a minimal amount of thinking required; you’re moving, you’re beating zombies and you’re pushing the hordes in front of your buddy in the hope that the zombies will feast ‘pon their plastic-y flesh. (Bif- mmmmm; sweet plastic-y, plastic-y, flesh…)
Sure, there are modifiers to pick up, cards which you can use to boost dice rolls, move faster or throw zombies at your opponents (Bif- … and chainsaws… ooo and skateboards. ) but, well, all that feels a little circumstantial… (Bif- no it doesn’t; Chainsaws and skateboards are JUST WHAT IS NEEDED IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSEl…)
The board for Zombies!!! is, and I choose my words correctly here, FUCKING AWESOME; it’s made up of tiles which are randomly drawn, one at a time, at the start of each players turn, and placed to make the board grow, turn by turn. This all adds to the frenetic ‘killy killy kill kill’ nature of the game; you get an ever evolving field of play in which players need to react quick-smart, either by trying to shift cool things closer to themselves or (and this is the majority of the placements Bif and I have hit up) push as many new zombies in the way of your opponent as possible or, you know, JUST TRYING TO NOT GET DEvOURED BY THOSE MOTHER FUCKING ZOMBIES.Moving away from the ‘strategy’ of the game and looking at it as a board game ‘experience’ Bif and I both agreed that the game makes ya feel like you’re frantically running around an unknown city, desperately trying to survive and escape- which is kinda the whole point of playing a Zombie themed game. No?
You know what else about the board? As a mechanic it makes the game massively re-playable , cos’… well, I’m sure you get why. (Bif- Dwalin is getting all condescending here; what I think he is inferring is that no two games of Zombies!!! are the same, as the board, or “ever evolving field of play” as he likes to say, is different every time.)
That’s basically it for this game; super simple mechanics, a super understandable end goal (kill shitloads of zombies or get to the helipad) and a distinct lack of quibbling over intricacies, totals or, well, anything for that matter.
In this age of complicated games with strategies and other such like nuances this game is, no doubt, looked down upon by most hardcore gamers… Us, well, we love it.
We were hungover as fuck when we first played it and, you know what, we laughed and shouted and blasted zombies to bits… We next played it with our ladies after a lovely roast dinner; know what happened? We laughed, shouted and blasted zombies to bits.
It does have a couple of downsides; there aren’t enough zombies in the box to satiate the kill frenzies involved in the game (more are available but at 10 quid for 100, the jury’s out on whether this is a worthwhile investment) and with four players the game seemed to drag on a little too long… Maybe some of the epic expansions need to get added to really open this up for more than two person gaming? I know there’s a Humans!!! expansion which flips the game on the head (you’re a zombie chowing down humans) and I like the idea of sticking that atop Zombies!!! to REALLY make a zany, whackball, devour-or-be-devoured-and-please-don’t-noooooooooo(….) game. I also like the look of the plastic zombie clowns you can get.
My final point about Zombies!!!? An allegory (Bif- AN ALLEGORY! For fuck sake Dwalin…); I’m not very good at most computer games. When I sit in front of a console to plough through some virtual worlds I’m doing so because my brain has decided it’s had enough of thinking about shit. Consequently those games that require thinking, well, I normally don’t do so well. Conversely, throw me in front of a side scrolling kill everything in your path game (Streets of Rage, Return of the Shinobi or Golden Axe) well, then I’m all over that shit like a rash. Zombies!!! feels like one of those games and after spending hours planning epic battles involving complex rules, strategising and detailed story-arcs that act as philosophical didactics for the capitalist modern age, its sometimes necessary to crack open the good times and purge some undead motherfuckers… 16 bit theme tunes are optional.
Biifur’s conclusion – Whilst I’m not claiming to be great at computer games I do enjoy a nice, complicated RPG (Dwalin- he doesn’t mean a dicey RPG like D & D, he means computer based thingies like Skyrim, Fallout or Inquisition- though Dicey RPG’s are something he loves. Me too for that matter).
I get massively obsessed with the complexities of the games, playing for days on end to try and reach 100% completion. I completely agree with Dwalin about Zombies!!! though; it’s never going to be a game where you play all day and try strategies you’ve spent a week thinking up (Dwalin- though knowing us, with a little tweaking, we could…), but it’s a shit ton of fun and when you’re looking for a fast paced fun game that involves a lot of shouting, well, then this is it.
Overall we would definitely recommend this game, especially if you have friends (or partners) you want to introduce into real gaming…
See how I did that there Dwalin; I put in a conclusion. Not one of your wistful ‘blah blah blah’ open ended pieces of bullshit… That’s why I’m the editor and you’re just a lackey…. Though I guess I’ve just ruined the conclusion by writing this.
Sigmund Freud has risen from the dead and has an obsession with brains… (Bif- seriously Dwalin. That is a shit pun)