Zombies. They’re one of the most overused themes in the 21st century so far, but they make up for some of the most fun entertainment around. For our first game, we tried our hand at Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson and Alex Fernandez. We also tried playing Carcassonne, but didn’t have enough time to finish. I felt that since we didn’t traditionally finish the game in its entirety, so I do the session report for Zombie Dice. The concept and mechanics are relatively simple. The game runs off a press-your-luck, dice rolling mechanic. Each player assumes the role of a zombie, and what do zombies love most? Brains. The goal of the game is roll 13 brains and eat the most brains possible. There are 13 dice in total and out of those, you choose three dice at a time. On each die, there are there possible outcomes: run away, brains, and shotgun shots. Obviously you want to avoid the shotgun, because that leads to death, and death is not very good as a zombie. The footsteps indicate that the human has ran away and you can re-roll the die and try to get brains. There’s no limit to how many times you roll, but you cannot re-roll shotgun shots. Once you roll three of those, you lose all accumulated brains for the turn and die for the round. Once someone rolls 13 brains, the rest of the turn order is done for one more round to give the others an opportunity to catch up.
My opponents for this session were Mike Phe, Andrew Soto, and Peter Pham. It was the first time Mike and I played the game, but we picked up the game pretty easily. For my first turn, I rolled five brains while Mike rolled seven, Peter rolled six, and Andrew ended up getting shotgunned. This first turn ended up giving us a false sense of how quick the game was going to finish. For our subsequent turned, we tried to play aggressively and died from the shotgun. We ended up rolling small amounts for the rest of the game and ending our turn in order to shield ourselves from the blast. It taught us to know when to play safe and when to try to gamble. Luck was not on my side. I rolled many brains, but lost them all from shotguns. I didn’t stray far from my original roll I seemed to attract bullets. Mike was a classic safe player. He tried to roll a couple brains, then end his turn each time. Peter and Andrew were both a mixture of safe and aggressive. When they saw an opportunity to roll more safely, they tried for it, but more times than not the shotgun caught up with them. Eventually Andrew ended up winning even though we all had the chance to catch up, which was surprising since he ended up dying the first turn. It shows us that the game is heavily influenced by chance and gambling.
The game itself was pretty fun and I would love to play it again. It does give off the vibe as not a very serious game. It doesn’t require as much of a time commitment as most board games and can be played very lightheartedly.
Board Game Geeks link: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/62871/zombie-dice