Dec 7, 2012

Zombicide!: First playtest - Superb game!

Hello all,
Got to playtest the Zombicide! game yesterday evening with three friends and we were all  impressed bythe game.
I think we all (four players, of which three are very experienced board-gamers) rated the game near maximum - somewhere around the 9 out of 10 marks.

A few random words of praise:
* The rules are succinct and easily read and remembered. Although I was the only one to have read the rules (twice) and we spent about half an hour goofing around and learning the rules, once the game began I don' think we needed to consult the rulebook more than four or five times. Pretty impressive. In addition, the nifty summary on the backside of the rules? Well, I had made a few copies but after the first turn noone needed to consult them anymore. Even more impressive. Very intuitive.
* The game itself flows smoothly, is quite frankly intense. Very intense! I read somewhere a review which described the game as cinematic, and it really did feel like watching a zombie-survivor horror film at times. Quite scary to see a horde of zombies shuffling down the street towards your few survivors.
* The board is brilliant - great design, brilliant details etc.
* Great variety within the game - plenty of different items and gadgets. The Survivors are very diverse - some are fighters others are more akin to scouts or gatherers. Some are better than others but that doesn't really trouble me.
* The missions seem to be very diverse as well, and all in all I think the game has excellent replay value - even without any future additions.
* The experience system is brilliant - great fun getting better skills and at the same time intimidating to watch more and more zombies enter the game (as the amount scales to the best player in the game).
* The whole idea and mechanics of the zombies being controlled by the game rules is great and works almost perfectly.

And a few minor irritations:
*Game length - although it was our first game, difficult mission etc the game appears to be just a bit too long to squeeze two games into a single evening of leisurely gaming. Although this might change with more experience etc. Also a turn limit might increase the pressure even more, which could be fun....
* Perhaps a bit too few "surprises" - Although deadly and nasty, I felt there was a bit too long between special event-cards - i.e. when zombies suddenly pop up from manhole-covers etc.
* We quickly became supremely well-equipped (Sniper rifles, dual SMGs, etc) sue to intensive searching and the Survivor Ned's special abilities. This somehow felt to have happened a bit too quickly.
* A bit too much "micro"-management e.g. swapping items between players to create perfect combinations - but perhaps we were a bit too cooperative in our attempts at surviving.
* Minor rule issues: e.g. that a molotov cocktail makes noise when it is thrown not when it explodes :-).

But, apart from these few comments we were very pleased with the entire experience and heartily recommend the game. And to paint the minis - made the game a lot more fun that the zombies were painted (btw, one 'tray' of zombies was fine until we came into the 'orange' danger level).

Anyways, I'm so glad I bought this game!

All the best,

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