Simply stated, Zombicide is the quintessential zombie board game!

go to: Who would enjoy this game?

Overview

One to six players take on the role of survivors in a world overcome with zombies and must work together to scavenge for food, reach objectives and try to stay alive!

Even though books, comics, movies, video games and board games have been flooded with the zombie theme, there are still successful franchises that raise the bar and stand out above the rest. Zombicide is one of those. Zombicide has the perfect balance of gameplay depth and easy-to-learn rules that allow players to feel the tension of facing an unending flood of zombies, while having an absolute blast whether they win or lose.

It also should be stated that Zombicide was crowd-funded via the site kickstarter.com, and it was backed with an impressive $781,597! One of the most funded tabeltop games on kickstarter.com.

Set Up

Zombicide is scenario based, and the rules come with 11 scenarios to choose from. If no one in the group knows how to play, you can start with the first tutorial scenario that takes very little time to set up and play, and is just right for learning the rules.

Each scenario tells you how to set up the board, what the winning conditions are and what special rules there may be.

Zombicide game in play

Setting up the board
The board is modular and can be made with up to 9 tiles that measure just under 10×10 inches square each. The tiles have multiple “zones” (or spaces) on them like rooms and street areas. After the tiles are arranged you then place the zombie spawn points, doors, objective markers and any other scenario based tokens.

Preparing your survivors
You will want to have 4-6 survivors on the board, so depending on how many players there are, you’ll possibly be controlling multiple survivors. For example, in a 2 player game the rules recommend each player control 3 survivors.

Once the players have chosen their survivors, you divvy out the starting equipment. You’ll have an axe, pistol, crowbar and some frying pans of which each survivor randomly gets one. As you can imagine, the frying pan is purely meant as a last resort!

Since we’re on the topic of survivors, a big part of the game involves searching for better equipment and gaining XP by killing zombies so that your survivors can gain extra actions and special abilities. You won’t spend the entire game hitting zombies over the head with frying pans!

Each survivor can carry five items, two of which can be equipped. The XP bar is a two edged sword. You can gain up to 43 XP which are divided into four “danger levels.” The higher the XP, the more special abilities your survivors have at their disposal. The higher the danger level, the more zombies (and tougher zombies) will spawn each turn.

Zombicide character card

Gameplay

Your objectives are typically to collect objective tokens and stay alive. This involves exploring the buildings and streets, collecting what you need before things get too crazy!

Survivors Actions
Each survivor will have at least three actions that they can spend during their turn. Actions can be moving, searching a room, opening a door, reorganizing your equipment, trading with another survivor, attacking zombies, collecting an objective or making noise. As you gain XP you’ll unlock abilities, some of which give you additional actions to spend during your turn.

All the actions are straight forward, so we’ll focus on the last one; making noise. If a zombie on the board is going to move, but can’t see any survivors, it will move towards the loudest noise. You will definitely want to use this to your advantage.

Zombicide noise

Each survivor counts as one noise, so if the survivors didn’t do anything to make a commotion, a zombie would move towards the zone with the most survivors in it. But why would your survivors just stand there, they’ve got objectives to reach and zombies to kill! All the doors on the board start locked, and you’ve got three options to open them; a crowbar, axe or chainsaw! The crowbar is the only way to open the door quietly. When attacking zombies, the chainsaw and any firearm will make noise as well. Shoot your pistol 3 times and you’ve got 3 noise tokens in your zone along with the one noise your survivor makes. So be careful that survivors that are alone or injured don’t draw too much attention.

We should also bring up one of the funnest parts of Zombicide; killing zombies! The survivor first chooses which weapon or combo of weapons they’ll attack with, and then rolls a number of dice based on how many dice the weapon tells you to roll. Each weapon has a “success” roll number to say which dice rolls count as successes. Then you determine the amount of damage dealt and divvy it out amongst the zombies in the target zone. The zombies called Fatties can be a bit tricky to take down because if your weapon doesn’t do a base damage of two it won’t hurt them. So your pistol or sawed off shotgun are useless against them, but a fire axe or chainsaw will definitely do the trick.

Zombicide item cards

If you’re lucky enough to have found gasoline and a glass bottle during your searching you can trade those in for the most powerful weapon in the game; the molotov. Throw this into a zone and everything in it dies, no dice rolling needed, just make sure a survivor isn’t in the same zone because they’ll be eliminated as well!

Zombie Actions
After all the survivors have completed their actions, it’s now the zombies’ turn. You’ve got Walkers, Runners, Fatties and an Abomination. All the zombies get one action on their turn with exception to the Runners that get two actions. Zombies either attack or move. If a zombie is in the same zone as a survivor it will attack (players choose who if there are multiple options). If the zombie isn’t next to a survivor it will move towards the survivor(s) it can see or the most noise it has heard. If there is ever a tie to where the zombies would move, they will split up. If there are an odd number of zombies, you will have to add a zombie so they can split up… so you’ll want to make sure that doesn’t happen!

Zombicide wounded card

It’s those pesky Runners you really need to watch out for because they can move twice, or move into your zone with one action and attack with the second.

It doesn’t take much for the zombies to kill a survivor. You don’t roll to defend an attack, so if you are attacked twice you’re toast. And don’t count on healing your survivors because there aren’t any healing items to be found, and only one character can heal other survivors, but only after she’s reached the max 43 XP!

Zombicide zombie spawn card
Zombie Spawning
After all the zombies on the board have performed their action(s), it’s now time to spawn more zombies! You’ll draw a zombie card for each spawning zone. The zombie cards have 4 danger levels on them which show what zombie type and how many will spawn based on the danger level your survivor with the most XP is in. After you’ve spawned zombies for each spawning zone it’s now the survivors’ turn.

Components

The components are all high quality in this game. What really stands out are the professionally sculpted miniatures. If you’re into painting miniatures, the survivors and zombies are definitely worthy, though you’ll have quite the task since there are 71 miniatures included in the game!

Zombicide miniatures on white

Downloadable content & companion app

We usually don’t mention this type of thing, but the online support for Zombicide is amazing! Their website is constantly being updated with free scenarios (created by the publisher as well as user submitted contest winners). You can download blank printable item, weapon and survivor ID cards. There is a free campaign, “Switch City,” made up of 6 scenarios available to download. Also available is a free map editor for PC and Mac.

They’ve even created a companion app for iPad and Android devices that allows you to track your survivor’s stats and equipment as well as aid you in attacking zombies by “digitally” rolling the dice. Definitely take a look at these extra resources to get the most out of your copy of Zombicide!

Learning Curve

The rules are very intuitive and easy to learn which is a huge strength for Zombicide. This allows players to jump right in and have fun reaching objectives and attacking zombies as a team without being bogged down with the endless technicalities and rulebook checking that some games have.

Who would enjoy this game?

Family Gamer {maybe}
This is a maybe due to the theme and graphic violence in the artwork. For young children, there is too much blood and killing. For teenagers, this might be a game you could actually convince them to play with you. It is also a cooperative game, so you’ll have the opportunity to work together… so if surviving and killing zombies can aid you in having a bonding moment with your kids, so be it!
Strategy Gamer {no}
There is a lot of luck of the draw and dice rolling involved in this game. It adds a lot of fun and unpredictability that makes sense with the theme, but is the main reason this isn’t recommended for a strategy purest.
Casual Gamer {yes}
Don’t let the price tag on this game deter you. The game is easy to learn, and if exploration, cooperation, survival and zombie killing sound fun, Zombicide is worth every penny.
Avid Gamer {yes}
A must have. The replayability is extremely high with this game, especially with the constant flow of free scenarios available online. You get a ton of awesome miniatures, and when you have all nine board tiles out full of zombies you’ll be smiling from ear to ear!
Power Gamer {yes}
Yes the rules are very simplified when compared to the typical miniatures game, but Power Gamers will love the ability to create their own characters and equipment as well as create their own maps and scenarios with the free downloadable map editor. And don’t forget the 71 professionally sculpted miniatures just asking to be painted!

Final Thoughts…

About Strategies
The key to winning Zombicide lies almost primarily in how well the survivors balance the actions they take and the number of zombies they kill. It only takes one survivor to raise the danger level for spawning zombies so you’ll want to spread the zombie killing around for everyone, trying to keep the game in the lowest danger level possible for the longest amount of time.

Another big part of the game involves walking the fine line of how close your survivors are to the zombies and whether you split the group up or stay together. If you’re close to the zombies, you can spend your actions on attacking them rather than waisting actions on moving. But if you’re too close, there’s a good chance they can quickly catch your survivors and begin their feasting.

Staying together as a group is a sure way to keep each other safe from harm, but also means it can take longer to reach the various objectives. Unless you’re Wanda (the girl with roller skates who can move very quickly), we wouldn’t recommend sending survivors off solo. At least follow the buddy system!

The difficulty level quickly escalates, so if you’ve left certain survivors with low XP and wimpy equipment, they’ll soon meet their demise. The number of zombies that spawn doesn’t scale with the number of players, so you’d be wise to keep everyone alive!

About The Game As A Whole
We absolutely love this game! What really proved to us that this is an excellent game is the fact that whenever we find ourselves a few turns from reaching the final objective, rather than beating the game we’ll continue searching the board for better equipment and fighting off more and more zombies… we just don’t want the game to end!

Another proving point is that it’s a blast even if you loose. You’ll find yourself fighting to the bitter end, and then coming back for more!

Zombicide’s replayability and cusotomization is endless. You can adjust the difficulty by customizing the zombie card deck (click here to learn more about deck difficulty) If you’ve played all the scenarios in the rulebook (which are fun to play over and over), you can go onto the publisher’s website and download new campaigns and scenarios. If you want to make your own characters, equipment, maps and scenarios, the publisher provides free resources for that!

This is a game that is worth every penny, and then continues to keep giving with awesome free downloadable content!

User Reviews (32)

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8
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness
8
143 of 148 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“The Best Game I'll Hide From my Children”

To me, Night of the Living Dead is an all-time classic. I also loved Shaun of the Dead and Warm Bodies. But nearly every zombie-themed movie that came between the 1960s masterpiece and the 2000s advent of the zom-com left a bad taste in my mouth. I approached Zombicide with a little trepidation, as the theme is very hit-and-miss for me. I’m happy to report that I have enjoyed my 30 or so plays; here is what I’ve found:

Observed Set-Up and Play Time
Lots of pieces here. While the miniatures, variable board and cards are ready to go out of the box, there are still several sheets of cardboard to carefully punch. However, the rulebook is pretty well-written and straightforward, and prior experience with any phase-driven co-op game makes this easy to pick up. All told, I was beginning my first game around 2 hours after opening the box. Competence came pretty quickly… the easier missions (oddly, not mission #2, which is the first real mission after the tutorial) were winnable within a game or two, and the more difficult ones could be tackled after 5 or so games. Easy to teach as well; even people who haven’t played co-op games have picked this up during the first game with me. It helps greatly that they can focus on their characters while I worry about opening doors, zombie spawning and movement.

Group Sizes and Dynamics
This game works as well solo as it does with 6 people, with one major rule change: regardless of the number of players you have, use all 6 survivors. It’s not too daunting to manage all 6 alone, and if you have an awkward number like 4 or 5 just have the most experienced players pull double duty. The rulebook states that 4 players should only use 4 survivors, but you will likely be zombie food before you can form a strategy. As for group types, I have only played this game with adults who enjoy board games. I feel like I will have a hard time recruiting anybody else for this unless they just happen to be zombie movie freaks.

Objectionable Material
Um… just a little. You can build Molotov cocktails. You can loot a car that literally has “PIMP” written on it for weapons sans serial numbers. There are brains and blood strewn all over the game tiles. The female zombies appear to have had less-than-reputable human vocations. But you weren’t planning on playing this with children after getting a peek at the box art, were you?

Comparable Titles
There are just too many zombie-themed games to list. You have your choice of dice games, co-op games and competitive games, nearly all of them with the word “zombie” in the title (the notable exception is Last Night on Earth, but they couldn’t resist putting “The Zombie Game” right on the cover). However, none have been reviewed better than Zombicide, and for good reason. This game is insanely re-playable and always challenging.

There wasn’t much reason for me to expect to like this game other than the rave reviews. The zombie genre has obviously moved beyond me. I’m one of the last hold-outs of the plodding, lumbering zombie purists, and Zombicide is built around the 28 Days Later style runners. But man is this fun. Even seemingly tedious aspects of the game – like hiding in a just-emptied building for 3 rounds to search for better weapons and trading them to other players so that everybody has a nice assortment – end up highly enjoyable. I can recommend this to anybody who has a high tolerance for horror and violence. I just wish I could play it with my kid sometime this decade.

 
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5
Greater Than Games fan
1A Games fan
8
79 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“The most fun I've ever had with zombies!”

My gateway game into tabletop games was Last Night on Earth. I played that game a lot! However, one thing always bothered me about the zombies in that game. They were what I like to call “smart” zombies. They weren’t the classic zombie that was a creature with instincts to eat anything in sight. Zombicide has more realistic zombies. (At least if you compare them to what everyone thinks is the “classic” zombie.) The game also offers a co-op which is what you would anticipate in a zombie apocalypse.

SET UP
Pick a scenario in the book and lay out the board with doors, objectives, etc. accordingly. There are nice diagrams that show you how to set it up. Then give everyone a hero and a starting item. Determine first player, we usually roll off.

GAMEPLAY
SURVIVOR’S TURN
You get 3 actions.
Choose from: Move, Fight zombies, Trade items, Search (only once per turn.)

ZOMBIE’S TURN
Move zombies. They move by sight first or by sound.
Spawn zombies.

WIN/LOSE
The game ends when either all survivor’s are dead or the scenario’s objective has been met.

GOOD
-realistic zombies
-co-op
-survivor’s special abilities
-leveling up system
-high quality components
-customize some weapons

BAD
-shooting order is senseless (If you shoot into an area that has a survivor and a zombie and you hit, you hit the survivor first.)
-abomination is almost impossible to kill (unless you have a moltov)

FINAL THOUGHTS
My husband and I backed this game on Kickstarter so we have a ton of stuff for it! I don’t regret our decision to back this game. Its a thrilling way to play a zombie apocalypse. As the game progresses you can get easily swarmed with zombies, much like what you would imagine would happen. We play this game with my in-laws often and it was relatively easy to teach them (they aren’t really gamers) because the mechanics made sense for the most part. This is a ton of fun and the board looks awesome when it is swarmed with tons of zombie figures!

 
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5
USA
Cross Hares fan
8
96 of 100 gamers found this helpful
“The Best Zombie Game I Have Ever Played”

The world has descended into chaos, as a zombie outbreak has occurred. It is just you and your small band of survivors against the endless hordes that want nothing more than your tasty, tasty brains. Time to gear up, go out and smash some zombie heads in a cooperative slugfest and commit some Zombicide!
Gameplay
In Zombicide, players will have to work together to defeat the hordes of the undead and complete their objective. Objectives can range from finding certain items to leveling up to the max with a character or even just getting out of Dodge! These objectives are determined by the scenario that the players decide to play.
After the scenario has been set up, the first player takes up to three actions. These actions could be to move a zone, search (if in a building or the same zone with a vehicle in it and no zombies), open a door, enter a vehicle or fight zombies. If the player decides to open a door to a building that has not yet been explored, they will then have to populate the entirety of that building, drawing a zombie card for each room and placing the appropriate type and number of zombies based upon the highest player level (if one player is in the orange zone, place by using the orange zone on the card). If they search, they draw from the equipment deck.
Combat between a human and a zombie is done using equipment cards. Each card that can be used as a weapon has a series of images on the bottom, depicting range, amount of dice rolled, the target number for successes and the amount of damage done by that weapon. For each success, you do the amount of damage listed on the card to a single zombie. Most that you come up against can be taken out fairly easily, but a few require more damaging weapons to end their undead existence.
After each player has taken their turn, it then becomes the zombies turn to act. Each zombie gets a single action to either attack or move, except for the runner who gets two. Any survivor unlucky enough to be in a zone with a zombie will be attacked, which makes the survivor discard one item of their choice (if any) and they have to place a wound card in their inventory. Any player that would receive a second has been overwhelmed by the undead. After all the zombies have either moved or attacked, any active spawning zones placed around the board spawn new zombies, using the same method as with populating the rooms in a building. The game continues like this until either the players have met the victory conditions or all have fallen to the undead.
Pros
- High quality components
- Varied gameplay through the use of scenarios and a map editor, available on the games website
- Level up system, giving customization to characters
- Easy to teach and learn
- Cooperative gameplay
- Some of the weapons can be customized
Cons
- Rule for shooting into a space with a survivor seems counter-productive (I shoot into your space to hit the zombie. I hit you first, then the zombie)
- The Abomination is nearly impossible to kill, unless you have a Molotov or a skill that can buff up your damage
Conclusion
I love this game. It takes aspects of games like Last Night on Earth and Left 4 Dead and combines them into one game. The co-op nature of the game fits very well with the theme and the rules are easy to teach to new players. My wife and I had the good fortune of being able to back this on Kickstarter and get all the bonuses along with it. If you are a fan of cooperative and zombie games, look up Zombicde. You won’t be disappointed!

 
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3
Australia
9
33 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“Insanely replayable. Amazing Co-Op strategy!”

I won’t bore you with the details of setting up or my thoughts of each individual little piece and artwork. I will simply give my overall impressions of the game.

I’m not sure whether or not it’s because i’ve been getting into co-op games lately, however this must be one of the most stylistic and immersive games i’ve ever played. Most things seem to make sense in this game (except certain balance tweaks, such as only being able to search once per turn); all the best games also do this, however I feel this is important to mention.

The dice rolling (to attack zombies) is always balanced (per weapon), and you feel like you must utilise the best weapon for every situation, and they all have their perks (except fricken Pan). However since ‘chance’ is a reasonably big part of this game it puts a lot of focus on the actual strategy and movement. Straight off the bat on our very first game (after tutorial) we were discussing options and planning our tactics together as a team. This is the cooperative taste that you just cannot get from most competitive games.

The real beauty for me was the zombie mechanic. Each of the basic 4 zombie types are scary and unique. The runners can catch you quick, the fatties require better weapons and there are just so many fricken walkers all the time. The shuffled zombie deck will decide which zombies will spawn before your next turn. I absolutely love the way the zombies ‘clump’ together to form bigger groups. This makes it a realistic simulation of how zombies will react to different physicalities such as sound, sight and their own movement. Have a giant clump of zombies together on your tail means that you’ll need to keep moving forward, and fast (be wary of the runners!), however a split group either side of you means you’ll have to decide whether to fight, run, bust open a door or all of the above.

You also can’t argue with the constant flow of new maps which are exciting and well thought-out. Everything about this game makes me excited to play more. I want to try harder levels and even design a level myself, because there’s nothing cooler than fighting your way through a level to the exit, then on the very next level finding yourself completely surrounded which then changes your objectives.

Overall a very, very cool game that’s replayable and feels quite realistic.

 
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3
Went to Gen Con 2012
9
175 of 187 gamers found this helpful
“Zombicide has yet to fail me.”

In Zombicide you take the role of a unique survivor of a zombie apocalypse. It’s a co-operative game, and it means it. Often I stay away from co-op games because I’m a very competitive gamer, and I also don’t feel the threat of failure is there enough in these games. Zombicide definitely takes care of that for you.

Components
The game comes with a large array of zombies, of course, as well as six unique survivors. The plastic is of good quality, but not superb. Where the minis really shine is in the sculpts. The amount of detail that has been put into them shows a true passion for making a great game. And while there are only four types of zombies (Walker, Runner, Fatty and Abomination) there are multiple sculpts of both the walker and runner variations, so the horde shambling on the board never looks identical.

The cardboard punch outs are of nice, thicker stock and the dice are … well, dice. The only fault I have here is you will likely want to invest in an alternative storage method than the plastic trays. Each sculpt has a specific spot on the tray and can make breakdown of the game take some time. Battlefoam does offer a set of trays that will fit inside the box, likely the best course if you plan on painting the minis. Else some ziplock bags would do.

Gameplay
The game comes with 10 scenarios and downloadable scenario generator is supposed to be on the way. You lay out up to 9 double-sided tiles according to scenario that the survivors and zombies will move about. As well as some closed doors, zombie spawn spots and possibly even cars and objectives.

Each player takes their turn, doing various actions such as moving, attacking, searching or opening doors. Certain actions performed with specific items may create noise. For example, a crowbar is able to jimmy open a door silently but the fire axe makes a nice clang when doing the same. This comes important on the zombie turn.

After all the survivors have completed their turns, then the zombies on the board go. They follow simple rules: if they are in the same zone as you they *will* eat you. In that, they automatically hit and take one of your items and replace it with a wound. Two wounds and you’re dead. These are lethal zombies, folks.

If they can’t attack they will move towards the closest survivor they can see, or failing that the loudest noise on the board (that’s where the noise created on the player turns comes in).

After all of the zombies have acted, then a spawn card is flipped for each spawn zone. As players kill zombies, they will level up gaining skills. Each spawn card has a different result for each of the four levels. You use whichever level is the highest reached by any survivor. And the difficulty ramps up quickly once you start leveling up.

Each scenario has its own goals and can even allow for things like getting into cars and running over zombies and doing drive-bys.

Conclusion

I backed the Kickstarter of Zombicide and by the end of my first playthrough I had zero question that my money had been well spent. The survivors each have their own unique playstyle, with different abilities as they level up. Plus many of them are modeled after actual media characters/actor likenesses which is a huge play benefit. Want to play as Machete (Danny Trejos)? Done, El Cholo the dual machete wielding survivor. Sheldon from Big Bang Theory? Dave the Geek. Bruce Willis in … almost any of his tough guy roles? Nick the Bad Cop. Michael Douglas from Falling Down, Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, you get the picture. And there are just more promo survivors on the way in Quarter 2 of next year. I don’t know if they’ll be made available to non-Kickstarters, but I surely hope so.

Anyways, this is a great game that has challenged every time and great fun to boot. The tension builds great and survival is never assured. Best zombie game I’ve ever played.

 
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6
Canada
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
9
186 of 199 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“The dead walk...and run!”

After months of anticipation and researching this title I was finally able to pick up a copy of Zombicide at my local FLGS here in Montreal. Zombie games? Been there done that but this is on a whole different level. The standard was set by LNoE but (as great as it is) after a few plays it starts to feel confined and left my gaming group relying on expansions to keep it fresh. We still pull out LNoE on a regular basis but since Zombicide there has been no looking back. Open ended and tons of possibility right out of the core set.

So whats under the hood of Zombicide? First off, tons of minis. Amazingly great minis. So good that when you have the inevitable crazy huge horde on the modular game board you can actually tell the difference between the different zombies (walkers, runners, fatties and The Abomination) which visually adds loads of dynamic punch and a frightening realism to the game. Not just brown or green sculpts of the same figures. This game looks too cool when it’s fully populated with zombies! You can see where the the most troublesome zombies are and adjust your groups strategy accordingly. The hero minis are color coded to the player sheets as well which is a huge bonus. Only gripe on the hero minis is that one is gray in color and when there are 70 zombies on the board, which are gray, he’s hard to find. Minor gripe. The modular board is adorned with great artwork and the art direction on a whole is fresh and very welcomed. From the cards to the chits every bit of this game has amazing theme. Well thought out and well executed. The double sided modular board tiles lead to a myriad of game board layouts. Unfortunately my game board tiles have warped. Not too badly but enough to be a slight nuisance. This game also sports the BEST EVER packaging/storage configuration I’ve come across. Pulls out in minutes and is put back just as fast which after a long night of Walker, Runner, Fattie and Abomination killing is very refreshing. Components and packaging get a 10! And yes there are Runners! Double movement for these bad boys.

Game play! Here’s where Zombicide really shines. You get a bunch of different scenarios with the rule book that start from a tutorial level and progresses to more and more difficult. The scenarios that come with core set seemed to start out challenging but became easier as we progressed through them and got better at playing the game but sure enough there were some erratas posted on guillotines website which helped make the core scenarios become more challenging. They also posted a ton of new scenarios and a fan made scenario which is one of the best and toughest we’ve played yet. There’s also a scenario generator available for download that gives you, the player, the power to create your own vision of the zombie apocalypse! This is the biggest draw for me as a gamer. Endless possibilities, endless playability and so many options available without having to spend your hard earned dough on expansions just to get some life out of your nearly $100 purchase. The core set will keep you going for some time to come. A great investment for sure! Tweakability my gaming friends.

The rule book is pretty straight forward and the game was a breeze to pick up on. Any questions we had were answered by the FAQs posted by the manufacturer and by the amazing wealth of knowledge available on-line. The noise rule is super unique and adds a ton of realism. It keeps you on your toes. Populating the board with zombies is also a huge rush in Zombicide. Open a door and you’re in for trouble! Strategy is a huge part of the game even though role of the dice is the outcome decider. Some of the rules such as if you are armed with a ranged weapon and shooting at zombies in a “zone” with another hero present, the hero takes damage first, seemed a little bizarre but in the realm of reality the hero would take a shot! No? Open a door… can’t close the door! We questioned that but agreed that closing doors you had to bust open would make the game too easy. As far as the games rules go I suggest you read them on-line before you buy Zombicide. If I was to go into the rules here you’d be reading for days but rest assured that you’re not looking at a mind numbing, rule reading how the heck do we play this game situation.

PROS… Fresh approach to a zombie game, amazing artwork, great game play, tons of variant, easy to learn, tweakability! and crazy cool minis! Tons of minis. Did I mention the minis? No joke, your heart will get a good jolt when you are faced with the horde that you will eventually be battling. You will feel hopeless and that is what a zombie game/apocalypse should feel like! Every roll will matter and your co-op skills will be challenged.

CONS… The price tag (well worth the $ but still up there cost wise), tile warping, another zombie game and how much time you will spend neglecting your job, children or family once you get bitten by Zombicide.

All in all a really solid game with so much replay value. Not something us gamers are used to in this day and age with core set purchases giving you a taste then requiring an expansion buy to kick the dead horse core set. If you hate this game you gotta tell me why. My weekly game group has become a 2 day a week game group because of Zombicide.

 
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4
Rated 25 Games
9
210 of 225 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“Well worth the cost!”

Zombicide, by Guillotine Games, joins the popular trend of cooperative board games that are designed to allow friends to play towards a common goal instead of being at odds with one another. In this case, you’re banding together in a post-apocalyptic world for mutual survival, holding the hordes of undead at bay just long enough to salvage some supplies or a cache of weapons. Cooperative games like Zombicide are not necessarily a new concept, but I’m finding that cooperative games with geek-friendly themes like zombies, space aliens, and hobbits are incredibly accessible for wives, husbands, and the significant others of hardcore gamer geeks. I’ve found that the invitation to play a game with your spouse and not against them makes a big difference in the overall fun factor for everybody involved.

After several playthroughs and a number of conversations with a few veteran players of Zombicide, I’ve come to a number of conclusions about the game and how best to keep your brain out of the clutches of ravenous undead.

Zombicide is a board game that has a high replay value due to its modular nature. The board is laid out according to the mission you’ve chosen to play from within the rulebook using tiles with artwork of various interconnected city streets and abandoned buildings. Each scenario has its own specific set of victory conditions that need to be met, each mission ranging from some simple escapes to more involved supply runs. For example, our first mission was to break down the doors of each building and collect five ‘objective markers’ and then make it off the board’s edge that contained the exit marker. The second mission had us searching the buildings for supplies (bottled water, bags of rice, and canned goods) and loading them up into a car on the far end of the map. We then had to drive that car off the board via exit marker with as many survivors as the car could hold.

The Odds Are Against You

Having a win ratio around 33% is about the right odds that you will find in a good co-op game. According to our host, they typically play with four players and things are incredibly deadly with a win ratio of roughly one-third. Whereas we played with eight players, which put enough firepower on the board to deal with the swarms of zombies through sheer volume of fire in both of the games we played. The basic game normally does not support this many players, but due to the Kickstarter stretch-goal rewards our host got a stack of three extra player characters and a bunch of extra zombie models which made it possible to play with eight players.

The more players you have, the easier the missions will become.
Playing together as a team is the only way to survive the zombie apocalypse.
Avoid get so wrapped up in killing zombies that you forget the actual victory conditions.
Never split up the party (universal truth).

Survival Tip #1 – Level Up Simultaneously

The overall strategy that was identified early in the game is that there is an experience track for each of the characters. You earn experience for killing zombies and picking up objective markers. There are four experience tracks (blue, yellow, orange, and red). As noted in the photo of a zombie spawning card, the number of zombies that are spawned are based on the highest level character within the party. If you don’t plan your level-ups right, you could end up with one player racking up a lot of experience points from kills and objective tokens while the rest of the party struggles with the beefed up waves of baddies. Watch your experience track and talk it out with the rest of the group; if you play things right you can all level up within the same turn and keep the threat level down longer.

Survival Tip #2 – Open Doors Early and Often

Opening the doors to the buildings early in the game will help manage the threat level whilst searching buildings and collecting objective tokens. Each time a door is opened into a new building the cards are drawn to determine the undead population for each room within that building. If you can manage to keep the party experience at the lower levels while you explore, the buildings will spawn fewer zombies. There are characters that have high speed values that can help take advantage of this trick early in the game.

Survival Tip #3 – Get a Gun if You’re Going Last

Get a gun if you are the last player in the turn order, because after every player has gone it’s the zombies turn. It will be too risky to run into a room full of zombies with a machete or a chainsaw. You see, zombies will always attack a player that is in the same tile as the player – so running wildly into a room of zombies with a fire-axe screaming at the top of your lungs is risky – if you don’t kill all of the zombies in your room you’re going to die. Once you take two hits, you’re dead.

Increased Fun Factor – Character Randomization

It’s easy to gravitate towards some of the characters that are clearly built for putting bullets into the undead at thirty paces or putting a machete between their eyes. To really appreciate the danger and keep the game fresh, my suggestion is to randomize the character you get. This is a great way to try new things without having to think too hard about it.

In Conclusion

In the process of writing this review I asked some of the regular players for additional tips, tricks, and strategy. Sean, the owner of the game, says that making noise is always a good option when you run out of zombies to shoot. He declares that his character points his shotgun up to the air and fires off a few more blasts and places noise counters next to his model and says with a look of mischief on his face, “See? It’s a thing.” It’s important to point out that noise attracts the undead. At this remark the rest of the players sternly correct him including his wife, who says, “no, it’s really not a thing.”

Wired: The production value of the game is high, the game mechanics are simple, and with the number of missions and different characters you get with the box set there is plenty of replay value. Definitely a beer and pretzels game that encourages players to work together.

Tired: Some of the dice that come with the game are slightly confusing, with a zombie head icon for a 1 and a molotov cocktail icon for a 6. The only other drawback is that the game does not scale beyond 4-5 players very well without needing some additional house rules to make sure things remain challenging enough.

Verdict: The game has officially gone onto the buy-list for my personal game collection.

 
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9
My First Heart
My First Wish!
My First Favorite!
Gave My First Grade
10
39 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Doesn't Need the "Zombie" Qualifier to Be One of My Favorite Games”

Plenty of other folks have covered the rules, so I’m going to cover why I like this game so much that I’ve spent more on it than any other game in my collection (excluding RPGs, because D&D totally wins for all time).

First off, let’s talk zombies. Zombies have become such a hot theme choice for board games, video games, movies, and TV to the point that it’s almost impossible to not be just a little bit done with them as a theme. For me, the reason Zombicide doesn’t wear out that path even more is the same reason so many people love The Walking Dead – quality. If something is made with true quality it doesn’t matter if the parts used seem passé or clichéd elsewhere. When it’s done right, it transcends the stigmas and Zombicide can certainly be put into that category. This isn’t a just a good zombie game, it’s a good game. (That’s that qualifier thing I was talking about.)

Now we gotta talk about why it’s considered quality by me. I’m still not going to explain them, but the rules are fantastic. They make sense, are easy to learn, and the rulebook is laid out well with a good index for easy lookup. I just played this game with some first timers and we had to look up several things because it had been a while since I’d played. It was quick, easy, and got us right back into the game. And, it’s not just a boring rulebook either, it’s designed well in the visuals too with cool artwork and colorful, yet not distracting page backgrounds and borders.

Another quality thing here is the way the theme plays out. I’ve got two zombie games I’m almost always willing to play – the other being Last Night on Earth. If Last Night on Earth is the campy, cheesy B movie zombie game, Zombicide is the sweaty palms, no escape, we’re all gonna die zombie game. It’s not that Zombicide is a super difficult game, but the way the zombies just keep coming and in larger and larger swarms throughout the game is just wonderful. By the end of the game you’ve usually got a board absolutely packed with zombies with the heroes running for their lives killing just enough to have a path to the exit. It’s wonderful.

Can’t really talking about quality if we don’t talk about the components. I’m taking this is two stints because the minis really do need their own focus. But first, the board and bits.

In what is wonderfully becoming a very common trait, the board is modular. You have a number of double-sided tiles that make up your game board which is reminiscent of city blocks and buildings in a downtown area – but no high rises. The artwork is good, but not so good that it’s something worth really getting into. It gets the job done and doesn’t detract in the slightest. The game board then has a bunch of tokens and markers for pretty much anything you can think of – giving your already highly modular map a ton more variance and scenario tweaking possibilities with those cool set dressings. The rest of the chits and cards do what they need to in a good way and everything is well made.

The minis, made by Cool Mini or Not, are good stuff. While not the best game minis I’ve seen (looking at you Space Hulk) they are definitely high quality. And there’s tons of minis in there. I got in on the second season Kickstarter campaign, so I’ve got a number of bonus sculpts and whatnot, but the little expansions give you tons of sculpt variance beyond what the main game does. And there’s just a ton of heroes available through the various big releases, a few little expansions, and the Kickstarter exclusives. – IMPORTANT – though they won’t ever sell the Kickstarter exclusives, Guillotine Games has made every single hero’s card available for free download on the Zombicide website. You’ll need to find a figure proxy, but there’s not one single figure you can’t use that way, including the ones in the big expansions and base game.

Finally, I wish that the last thing I could tell you about was how much the quality this game brings to the table is such a great deal and easily affordable.

It’s not.

Zombicide is expensive, especially as you round up all those big and little releases they’ve had for it. By my last count there were nine little expansions, one big expansion (Toxic City Mall), and two base game releases. They call the base game releases ‘seasons’ with season 1 being the original Zombicide release and season 2 being Prison Outbreak. If you’re going to really get into this game, the expansions are worth it. They add more hero and zombie sculpts, additional game cards, maps, tokens, and scenarios, and even zombie and non-zombie dogs (with minis for them). But shop around unless you’re planning on getting just one base game. Getting just one release (and I’d recommend the original base game) isn’t too bad if you’re looking to support your local game shop or favorite online store.

In the end, I can’t really recommend Zombicide any more than to say it’s one of my favorite games. That big box of bits is as much a tool box to create your own scenarios as it is to play out the ones written out in the booklet in the box. Guillotine Games does a great job supporting the game online with tons of resources including a bunch of additional scenarios to play out and even a downloadable scenario editor program. Top notch stuff right there.

Definitely worth your time, and almost definitely worth your money. (I get the not everybody likes the same thing.) Check it out as soon as you are able.

The High Points:
Lots of Fun
Tons of Variety
Easy to learn and reference rules
Cool Minis
Modular in the Extreme
Boatload of Online Stuff for Free
A Bunch of Expansions that all add something cool

 
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3
Filth - Summoner Wars
10
77 of 93 gamers found this helpful
“Amazingly good. The abomination was a photographer :)”

So, I wanted to add a zombie game to my boardgame collection. After a few reviews and some more research I was between ZPocalypse and Zombicide. Since I am writing this review, obviously I went for Zombicide.
The game is so good! The figurines are very very detailed(the abomination has a small camera on his neck, probably he was a photographer :) ).
The rules are very easy and straight forward. Even though there are some with which people do not agree, like shooting survivors first, then zombies, everything feels logical and intuitive.
If you like the zombie theme then this is going to be a treat. Through out the whole game you really feel like you are in a zombie movie and you have to survive somehow. It is a feeling hard to describe but the conclusion is that the game is rich in atmosphere.
The expansions are really nice also, so you can always improve the experience. There are 10 scenarios in the rule book you receive and many more online and the nice thing is that each scenario makes things way different. Like, sometimes you will have to neutralize zombie spawn points, sometimes get out of an area, sometimes gather food, etc etc. This adds a lot of diversity to the game.
To keep this short: if you want a great game, with cool, detailed miniatures, easy to learn and with lots of zombies, this is the one :).

 
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5
Pick a Favorite LGS
I Love Playin' Games
9
41 of 51 gamers found this helpful
“Excellent Pacing”

This weekend was the first time our dedicated board game group played Zombicide. Although I would consider the members of our group “avid gamers”, I was still impressed by the relatively short amount of time it took to cover the rules and set up the game.

The miniatures look great and match the character artwork perfectly. The painter of our group can’t wait to get started on the core characters!

The different character abilities lend to the cooperative nature of the game brilliantly. Players can strike out and explore the board in various groupings. For instance, the team could split into 2 groups, each consisting of a runner who dashes quickly to objectives, a ranged fighter who keeps waves of zombies off your backs, and a bruiser who busts down doors and paves the way on the backs of slayed zombies.
Communication between players is paramount, and imminent death feels more like martyrdom.

Pacing! The leveling system for players and zombie spawns keeps the game challenging and exciting. While you know the clock is ticking and that in time you’ll be overrun and overpowered by zombies, you still feel like your character is powerful enough to have a say in exactly when and how it will happen. At it’s best, you will find your team winning Zombicide feeling that you couldn’t have possibly survived another turn.

 
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7
Football Fan
MERCS fan
Canada
The Gold Heart
9
96 of 121 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“It almost feels real, hard to explain.”

My Thoughts
Zombicide is a co-operative game, where for once if you don’t want to work co-operatively… you will fail. Also lots of co-op games tend to be on the bland easy side… Zombicide took that mentality and flipped it on its head. This game can kick your *** really quick if you aren’t on top of your game. The big thing is how many people you play with, if you play with 1, 4, or 5 you don’t get to utilize all your characters… without breaking the rules that is. For every character you don’t use you are at a disadvantage. All that being said, this game is awesome and one of my favorites.

My Story
I did some research on which zombie game I thought would be my best option, I then decided on Zombicide and found it at my FLGS and then saw the price tag. I had coincidentally chosen the most expensive zombie game as well as the best, weird how that works. Well I ponied up and paid the nice lady at the till and brought it home to check it out. Sadly I had some yard work with the wife to do before I could open it up. The anticipation was killing me so when I finally got to it and open it up I was stoked. I got the plastic off and open the box and thoroughly inspected all the components… they were pretty awesome. I then opened up the rulebook and started reading. After getting slightly confused about something’s I went online and discovered this game had so much more to offer as well as clarifications of all the rules. Scenarios galore, character printouts, the works… I was impressed. I then started playing a solo game to test it out I went through the tutorial and the first scenario; and that’s when I knew I had gotten my money’s worth I knew there was so much more to see and I was already in love with the game.

Components
The game comes with four different types of zombies, as well as six unique survivors. The plastic is of pretty good quality, but the detail on them is phenomenal. There are a couple decks of cards, but they are tiny. The good news is you don’t have to hold them one pile just flips to spawn zombies and the others sit on your player board as your items.
There are lots of card board cut outs that are of pretty thick quality so they are pretty nice the game board is 9 large cardboard pieces that are double sided. The player board is nice but it is kind of a pain to slide the level up bar as it can wreck the player card and you have to pick it up and move your cards to do so. There are some standard red D6 dice, nothing to report there. The last thing to mention is the box, you can’t nicely put everything back in the box, and you will have to figure out a way to store your components nicely.

Setup
In the rule book there are 10 scenarios and as I mentioned earlier a plethora of downloadable scenarios, as well as a scenario generator program that you can install and make your own scenarios.
To start the game you find the scenario you want to do and layout the corresponding tiles, doors, zombie spawn points, cars, and whatever else the scenario holds.
Each person selects a character:
1 Player – 4 Characters = 4 Character Total
2 Players – 3 Characters Each = 6 Characters Total
3 Players – 2 Characters Each = 6 Characters Total
4 Players – 1 Character Each = 4 Characters Total
5 Players – 1 Character Each = 5 Characters Total
6 Players – 1 Character Each = 6 Characters Total
So as you can see 2, 3, and 6 players are the best options.

Gameplay
Each player takes their turn in order utilizing three actions (depending on their characters level). Their available actions are move one space, attack, opening a door or searching (Within a building or car once per turn). Certain actions and items create noise. For example, a crowbar is silent and doesn’t attract zombies, the chainsaw… well it’s a little louder. This is important on the zombie turn and directs them to where they are gonna go/eat.
Once everyone is done their turn the fun starts and the zombies get a turn.
The zombies turn is broken up into two major parts, the move/attack part, and the spawning part.
First the zombies will either move towards the closest survivor/loudest noise or attack them if they are already there. Each zombie only gets one action with the exception of the runner who gets two. (Two wounds and you die)
The spawning starts by drawing cards from the zombie deck and they tell you how many zombies spawn where.
This concludes the zombies turn and starts the next players turn.
As each character kills a zombie they get experience which is tracked on the player card. Once a character has enough experience they level up. This unlocks a new ability for the character, but it also changes how many zombies spawn from this point forward. This means you have to be careful that one character doesn’t level up faster than the others or the rest of the team will be bait before you know it.

Also as you go you will have to open up doors on buildings, when this happens you spawn every room depending on the cads flipped over. This should be considered earlier rather than later as you want the doors open before you are spawning the highest level of zombies.

Conclusion

This is by far the best co-op game I have played to date and has a new feel every time I play. The best part is the tension actually builds and you are never sure if you are going to make it out alive or not. This game draws everyone together but is kind of lame when someone dies early as they have to sit and watch. I’m trying to figure out a new variant that you could find a new survivor in another building when opened but not sure if that would break the game or not. Also there is a dumb rule where if a survivor is in a space with a zombie you can’t shoot the zombie until after you have shot your friend. This should be changed, but once you are aware of it you can avoid the situation and do alright. All in all this game is fantastic, and worth trying out.

 
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2
8
88 of 112 gamers found this helpful
“Zombies aside-this is a great co-op game”

I’m not a huge zombie fan, I don’t go out and buy everything zombie the moment it comes out. However, my wife and I are always looking for great co-op games. Zombicide shines in this area of “co-op-ed-ness”.
You play as a survivor and there are times you may have to sacrifice one to save the group, or change tactics due to too many zombies in the area you are trying to head to. The game has a sorta dungeon crawler mentality to it, you can level up…this is done by killing zombies and each zombie gives out a certain amount of experience, and also obtaining objectives which are placed during setup depending on which mission you choose. You can also perform a search action which enables The other fun component of the game are the survivors and like snow flakes, no two are the same. One might be able to start the game with a pistol but the other can move more per action point. The game in of it self is very easy to learn and get this….the instructions make sense! There is already an F.A.Q. on the website guillotinegames.com, they also have many, many more missions that are print and play.

Overall this is a great game, the weapons you obtain work well with the game and the different zombie types add a balanced complexity level as well. Some missions last a lot longer then others and each seem to need a different type of strategy to win. If you like the whole zombie theme you should buy this game, if your looking for a very fun team oriented co-op game-this game is a must buy. If you enjoy boardgames with miniatures, this is also a great game to own, since it comes with many miniatures in the box. My wife and I enjoy this game and we are excited to see what expansions will add to this already very fun game.

 
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8
Watcher
Novice Advisor
Count / Countess
Advanced Reviewer
8
77 of 98 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“The Best Zombie Experience in a Tabletop Game”

INTRO:
Zombicide is a cooperative game in which you and your comrades each play as a survivor attempting to achieve an objective before you are overwhelmed by the undead.

IN THE BOX:
The game comes with 6 minis representing the survivors and 65 minis representing zombies. Also in the box are Nine double-sided board tiles, 6 character cards, 6 “wounded” cards, 6 dice, a 42-card zombie deck, a 62-card equipment deck, and several tokens for use during gameplay.

SETUP:
First, you place any number of the 9 tiles in any configuration you wish. Any place on your board where there is a door, you place a closed door token and place any cars anywhere on the street you wish and any objective tokens in any room of a building you wish. You determine the win conditions of the game: collect all the objective tokens, collect any one objective token and escape in a car, etc. Each player chooses a character and takes that character’s character card and places their character’s mini somewhere in the street. Initial equipment is handed out randomly to the players.

GAMEPLAY:
The survivors go first each round and they each get three actions and can activate one skill. The three actions a player can take are: move, search for equipment, open a door and attack. These actions may create noise, in which case noise tokens are placed in the space the action occurred. The zombies then take their turn. First they attack any players in their space. Then, if there are no players in their space, they move toward any players in their line of sight. If there are no players in sight, they move toward where the most noise tokens are (each character mini counts as a noise token). Then, a card from the zombie deck is drawn and followed. The game ends when either the win conditions are met, or the survivors are eliminated.

VERDICT:
One of the best parts of this game is how creative it can be. Sure, the rulebook comes with a few scenarios for you, but there are so many ways you can set up the board and objectives. Plus, you get to make up the backstory for the scenario too, which is a bonus. I love how your character “levels up” for killing zombies and collects more equipment so it feels like you are getting more and more powerful as the game goes on. Of course, this balances out because the difficulty of the zombies scales to the player with the highest level. The way your group collaborates feels like how you would actually handle the situation (you know, without the screaming).

Overall, this is a very cool game. For the price of $80 though, you may want to demo it before you pick it up, because there are several great alternatives for $80.

 
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1
I Am What I Am
9
29 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Hack, chop, shoot, and burn your way through a zombie infested city!”

This game rocks. The quality of the miniatures,the boards, and everything in general is superb. I’m not one to play most games with miniatures, but I will keep coming back to this one and (gasp!) might even spend some time painting all the zombies.

The gameplay is smooth and the experience/danger level mechanics add a lot to would otherwise be a decent game about zombies. I’ve had a blast each of the four times I’ve played Zombicide so far with various friends, and I can tell it won’t be getting old for a long, long time. With a decent amount of missions included in the rulebook and what may be hundreds more available online, the replay value for this game is insane.

My biggest complaint is thi:
There are some rules that swing the advantage a bit too far in the game’s/zombies’ favor. The clearest example being that if you run out of zombies to put on the board, you give all the zombies an extra turn. This will lose you games. The 65 zombies that you are given just aren’t enough to appease the game’s needs.Luckily, there are expansion packs and miniatures sets you can buy which will clear up that issue a bit.

Zombicide is a whopper of a game with a whopper of a price tag. Given the amount of fun you’ll have with the ever-increasing amount of missions and the quality of the pieces, it’s worth buying along with the expansions and miniatures sets.

 
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5
Canada
I'm a Real Person
8
39 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“I never want to have to fight zombies, but if I have to...this is the way I want to”

I bought this game because I wanted a new game that was co-op. I was definitely pleased with it, from all the (excellent) miniatures and the (multi piece) board itself. I jumped in and played the tutorial scenario with a friend. We both enjoyed the co-op part as well as the difficulty levels offered.

There are 6 survivors available out of the box, but there are more in the expansions and there are more on the website. Also like the different types of zombies you might fight.

You can create your own scenarios and/or download the free scenarios from the website itself. There are also expansions for this game as well as some extra miniatures available as well.

I definitely recommend this game for those that love to fight zombies and work together to survive and complete goals.

 

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