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Zpocalypse - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2013
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Zpocalypse is a survival board game set in a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland. Two to four players start in a cold war fallout shelter opening the hatch door to a world torn apart from the walking dead. Players work together to fortify their base by adding walls, sand bags, defense towers and more. However that wont hold the dead out for long, and you’re getting hungry.

As in any survival game one needs food, guns, ammo and more. Players go out into the wasteland and scavenge for supplies, maybe even find a new gun or melee weapon to fend off the next zombie attack.

Zpocalypse prototype components
images © GreenBrier Games

Characters receive victory points for killing zombies, building defenses, and using skills. Victory points dictate who wins the game, as well as act as experience points for leveling up their character.

The game combines combat, resource collecting, character development, team play, and strategy towards the goal of surviving in the Zpocalypse!

User Reviews (2)

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Player Avatar
Miniature Painter
Stone of the Sun
I'm Completely Obsessed
Novice Advisor
37 of 38 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Zpocalypse”

It was due to our affinity for all things zombie-themed that my husband and I first purchased Zpocalypse. We’d missed out on the Kickstarter, but were delighted when we managed to pick it up on eBay at a reasonable price. Now, my husband is usually the one to read through a game’s instructions and rules and teach me the mechanics later. But this time, I volunteered for the task. This game’s 22-page instruction manual reads more like an encyclopedia than a rule book, so for several days, I poured over the document trying to make sense of it. After one false start in the game, I realized I needed to go back to the rule book once more, because clearly, I must have missed something. Zombie Love gave me the strength I needed to master Zpocalypse – or more specifically – the rulebook. Once we did finally get to play the game, we had a blast – and played another game. So for your benefit, here are some things that worked for me, and those that didn’t…

What I liked

1. Theme: The zombie theme is carried out nicely throughout the game. From the dice (red with bullet holes and blue with bullets) to the zombie miniatures to the victory point tracker board that captures the feel of a destroyed city being ravaged by a zombie outbreak, the theme in Zpocalypse is not simply “pasted on,” rather, it permeates every aspect of the game. Furthermore, the dread that comes with battling against this horde of undead zombies mounts as the game goes on, adding to the tone of the game.

2. Components: What can I say? I love a game where I feel like I am getting a lot of stuff. When the box is overflowing with goodies, I’m like a kid in a candy store as I’m unboxing it. Zpocalypse does not disappoint when it comes to the “what’s in the box” factor:
20 board tiles
80 build tokens
135 standard cards; 27 non-standard goal cards
1 point tracker; 4 colored point tracker tokens
12 dice (8 red, 4 blue)
22 page rule booklet
30 zombie miniatures; 9 hero miniatures
4 squad boards; 4 squad miniatures with unique base colors

3. Originality: I really dig the overall approach of the game. Sure, there are a lot of zombie-themed games on the market (and I own many of them), but Zpocalypse brings something new to the table. Each player is controlling a squad of survivors, rather than just one individual, and there is strength in numbers. The squad statistics are managed with a heavy duty board that has handy dials to make updating those stats a cinch. Also, rather than simply rolling the dice and fighting zombies until the bitter end, this game incorporates other survival aspects, such as scavenging for food and supplies, and building fortifications.

What I didn’t like

1. The Rule book!!! – This to me was almost a deal-breaker, as the rule book was detailed, but very often unclear. Typos present often made the instructions hard to follow (the numbered list starts at 6 and the user is directed to repeat steps 3-7 again, but where are steps 3-5 located?). Words were replaced with tiny icons so that I felt as though I was reading ancient hieroglyphics or a Highlights magazine. Pages were cluttered with examples that were hard to read and complete with images for examples that had unclear descriptions, if any. Ample pages were spent outlining the different elements of the game separately; however, there wasn’t a decent job providing a simple, straightforward turn summary or player reference sheet. Certain actions happen multiple times in the game, and it isn’t clear when exactly the action needs to take place, so having a more holistic narrative would have helped clarify the game play. Minutia was explained thoroughly; however, game basics were glossed over.

2. The art work- I do think that the art work goes fine with the theme; however, the art itself is a bit messy. It isn’t horrible, but it isn’t consistent throughout. It looks like different artists were used for the board and the cards, and when looking at the board, it is hard to tell what is on there, which leads me to…

3. The board design – While I like that the board segments are sturdy and lock together to keep from shifting, I find the design of the board to be problematic. Everything is a bit too cluttered to be able to tell what you are seeing, where the spaces are, which spaces can be landed on, and other information about the tiles. The confusing jumble of images is overwhelming to take in, and while that may be the affect the designer was attempting to achieve, I found it slightly off-putting and an obstacle to be dealt with.

Final Verdict
To really understand the game, IMO you’ll have to hit YouTube and watch a game play video. That, combined with our first failed attempt to play the game, seemed to work for us. Now, we are able to play the game easily. We find it to be very enjoyable and it is now a regular at our table. In summary, it can be hard to learn, but is well worth it for the new aspects the game incorporates (e.g., searching for resources, building fortifications) as well as the zombie-killing mayhem.

Player Avatar
Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader
33 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“Relentless assault of the dead!”

Game Components:

Survival Manual (20-page rulebook)
20 map tiles
Lots of tokens!
21 goal cards
6 scenario cards
135 poker-sized cards (types include Armory, Food, Item, Scavenge, Something’s Happening, and Survivors)
1 point tracker
12 dice (8 red, 4 blue)
30 zombie miniatures (10 singles, 20 doubles)
4 squad sheets
8 player miniatures (male & female pairs) with unique base colors and German Shepherd
4 colored point tracker tokens (4 meeples)
Bunker card

Game Description:

Zpocalypse is set AFTER the zombie apocalypse. The world’s largest cities have been nuked to help slow the spread of the zombies and you start as a group of 2-4 players in a bunker. As you foray out, tiles are laid out and the world is explored.

Players gather food, guns & ammo, and other items using a squad the player controls. In addition, players must fortify their base against a relentless assault of the undead.

Player’s receive points for killing zombies, finishing goals, and building defenses. Players level up as points are gained and also determine the final winner.

Final Evaluation:

FUN! But before getting into that, some background. Our group treated this game as a continuation of a larger Zombicide campaign. First, the world went to heck with Zombicide (playing up to at least Mission 8). After that, the nukes were unleashed and Zpocalypse became available to us.

Where Zombicide is a free-for-all, hack-and-slash fest, Zpocalypse is much more tactical. Care has to be put into your choices around defenses and items and your plans for them. However, both games are about killing as many zombies as you possibly can and both games have a lot of ways to do that. I love both games and they fill two different styles of play. If you like a tactical challenge Zpocalypse is worth a try!


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