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Dead Panic

| Published: 2013
64 4 0

The zombie apocalypse has begun, and you and your friends take on the roles of various characters who are all working to survive.

In Dead Panic, each player takes on the role of one of eight unique characters, which have special abilities. Players work together to survive in a remote cabin, at the center of the board, against waves of the undead that close in from the edges of the board. If the players can hold out, survivors bring pieces of the radio needed to call for rescue. Once rescue arrives, it's up to each player to leave the safety of the cabin and make it out alive!

To fight the zombies, players use cabin cards, some of which are weapons that help players attack zombies at a distance or in hand-to-hand combat. If characters take too many injuries during combat, they die and return to the game as a zombie with customized rules as a member of the undead! Other cabin cards are items, which give the players various benefits and a better chance at survival. The supply of items and weapons is limited, however. Once the cabin deck is exhausted, it is not reshuffled. A separate deck of cards, called event cards, allow the zombies to have their turn. This deck not only brings a variety of zombies into play but each card also has a special effect when drawn.

Can you survive Dead Panic?

User Reviews (2)

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12 of 13 gamers found this helpful
“Castle Panic + Last Night on Earth = Dead Panic”

Being a fan of both Castle Panic and Last Night On Earth, I was instantly excited when I learned that it was a zombie game that borrowed the same design mechanics as Castle Panic plus the adding a few elements from Last Night On Earth.

Dead Panic is definitely not Castle Panic with zombies. It is much more. This time around, it feels like it is more frantic because zombies will keep on coming non-stop. And no matter how you play your cards, you will have your cabin walls broken down no matter what. It doesn’t matter how often you try to repair the walls, the zombies will break through and you will have to fight them. So it is definitely a lot more challenging than Castle Panic.

This time around, they have included a story element to it. It is not just about tower defense and clearing out the enemy horde. Instead, what you trying to do is obtain the 3 radio pieces from the survivors and then put the radio together, call for a rescue van and then get inside the van. That’s pretty straight forward.

Unfortunately, the only obstacle is of course trying to get past all those zombies because there are a lot of them and they don’t stop.

As a fan of Castle Panic, I have to say that I still like Castle Panic more. I find Castle Panic to be more of a fast paced game and is more action packed but Dead Panic feels just very different. It really depends on what you are into because this game is more about movement and making decisions using your limited amount of action points. In some cases, you just might spend all 2 actions moving around the cabin. In some rounds, there might be very little zombie killing because the zombies are out of range or you just don’t have the weapons for it. It also makes things more difficult when your ranged weapons come with VERY limited ammo.

Now all these disadvantages to the players are not necessarily a bad thing. But it definitely makes for a longer gaming experience. You can finish a game of Castle Panic in less than an hour if everyone knows what they’re doing. For Dead Panic, there is a lot of time spent figuring out your moves. And that is totally fine because it is that type of game. But if you’re expecting Castle Panic, you won’t get that.

It is still more like Last Night on Earth but with the movement mechanics of Castle Panic. That is the only real similarity I can make because otherwise it is a totally different game.

I would say get this game if you are a fan of both zombies and Castle Panic. But if you are not a fan of Castle Panic, then you are better of playing Last Night On Earth because Dead Panic is technically the same game but on a more scaled down version with only 1 scenario whereas Last Night on Earth is that game but with so much more variation.

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25 of 31 gamers found this helpful
“You'll Have Plenty of Time to Panic When You're Dead.”

Dead Panic plays very similar to its older sibling, Castle Panic. It’s a cooperative game in which you and your team defend against hordes of enemies from your base, located in the center of the board. The enemies are drawn and placed on the outermost of concentric rings that surround your base. You then must prevent the enemies from reaching your base or risk losing the walls separating you from them.

So What’s Different?

1. The base in the center is now larger and a cabin rather than a castle. The interior of the cabin is divided into six pie-slice-shaped spaces, much like the rest of the board.

2. Each player plays as a character that moves about inside (and, when you have to, outside) the cabin.

3. Rather than simply using cards that are dealt to you each turn to damage enemies, you must search the cabin for weapons and use them to eliminate the approaching horde.

4. You are limited to 2 actions per turn, which may include moving, repairing cracked walls, using items, and searching for items.

5. When there are no enemies left in the bag, you don’t win. Instead, you place all the defeated enemies back in the bag. You lose when all players die. A player dies when he or she takes 3 wounds from zombies. He/she then turns into a zombie and attempts to infect his/her former allies.

6. You win by collecting all 3 radio pieces to call the van token, and then making it to the van token alive. These radio pieces are carried to the cabin by NPC survivors, which are drawn out of the same deck zombies are drawn. However, if an NPC survivor dies trying to make it to the cabin, he turns into a zombie and the radio piece is placed where he died. One of the players must then venture outside the cabin to retrieve it.

7. You’re not required to keep the cabin standing while fighting the horde, but it is very helpful.

Dead Panic is an improvement over its predecessor in that every player has their own entity in the game. In Castle Panic, I always felt the game was playing me because I didn’t have any significant decisions to make; I always played what I had on whatever was closest. Dead panic does away with this mechanical way of play because you are often faced with choices: “Do I help Billy or Sally? Do I fix walls or search for weapons? Who’s going to go get that radio piece outside the cabin?”

Also, Dead Panic adds new elements that makes it possible for only a few of the players may win, giving the game some competitive qualities. This is especially evident when an ally becomes infected and some players are working against others.

Overall, I’d say this game competes with Zombicide as the best zombie game, largely due to the fact it has a faster playthrough time. My only gripe about the game is the character stands don’t stick to the character tokens very well, so when you pick up your dude, the stand often stays behind. I’d strongly recommend this game to Castle Panic fans, fans of zombie games, and people who want to try cooperative games, but don’t like the all or nothing aspect of most coops.


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