Turns move quickly for the heroes, who can use their allocated actions (few in number at the beginning of the game, but more later on) to move, use weapons, or search for new items. All manner of weapons can be found, from melee (fire axe, machete, and crowbar) to ranged (shotgun, pistol, and rifle). You can also find ammunition to make your guns more efficient, or obtain protective items like a hockey mask (a nice touch for any horror fan). Survival items like food or water are required to complete certain scenarios, so a big part of the game is knowing when to search and when to move on and fight.
Once all the players have taken their turns, the zombies attack (if in the same space as a hero) then move. Walkers and fatties (which are more difficult to kill than standard zombies) move one space, while nimble runners advance two. Lastly, new zombies are spawned from certain areas around the board. Early on in the game, only a few show up each turn, but as characters earn experience, more and tougher zombies spawn each time. At high difficulty levels, the mighty Abomination, immune to every weapon save the molotov cocktail, can appear to make the heroes really sweat it out. The relentless spawn and advance of the horde is exciting and you truly feel the pressure of staying alive long enough to complete your mission. It’s just like being in a zombie movie!
Zombicide originated on Kickstarter last year, and is one of the most successful launches via the crowdfunding platform to date. The original base set is available online or at your friendly local gaming store, but as of this writing, another Kickstarter is in place. Dubbed Zombicide Season 2, the project is composed of two parts: another base game set in a prison, and a smaller expansion called Toxic City Mall with new tiles and minis compatible with either base set. These look to be worthy additions to the Zombicide experience, particularly the intriguing new sculpts of the miniatures.
Some gamers might be getting weary of the zombie trend, but there’s no denying that the tale of a small group of humans struggling to outlast a horde of undead attackers is highly thematic and cooperative. Zombicide is an excellent game, from the easy to learn rules to the appeal of the components to the high degree of replayability. If you are looking for a good tabletop game, like co-op, and aren’t queasy about shotgunning a shambling walker in the face, give Zombicide a try.