Just when we had one dice game from Steve Jackson Games, another follows closely on its heels. Thus following on from Cthulhu Dice, we have Zombie Dice. This though, is not a “take that” game, but a “push your luck” game. Its rules are just as simple and easy to learn, it plays almost as fast, but it comes better packaged with its own means of storage. Designed for two or more players, aged ten and up, in Zombie Dice you are a zombie out for braiiinnsss...
The game comes in a short thick tube that also doubles as the rolling cup. Inside can be found the rules leaflet which takes a minute to read and just as long to teach – we had a quick game whilst Dave set up Battlestar Galactica for a two hour marathon. Also inside the tube are thirteen six-sided dice. These come in three colours and are marked with three symbols: “Brain,” “Shotgun (Blast),” and “Footprints.” Each die represents a human victim. Some dice represent harder victims and have more “Shotgun (Blast)” than “Brain” symbols on them – these are the red dice. The green dice have more “Brain” than “Shotgun (Blast)” symbols on and indicate easier victims. The yellow dice are more balanced, but all dice have two “Footprint” symbols.
When rolled the “Brain” symbol indicates the successful munching of a victim’s noggin. The “Shotgun (Blast)” indicates that he fought back and the “Footprints” that he got away from a zombie’s clutches.
On his turn a zombie rolls all thirteen dice in the cup and draws the first of three dice. He rolls these and puts aside any that roll “Brain” or “Shotgun (Blast)” symbols. If any “Footprints” symbols are rolled, the zombie he can top these dice back up to a total of three and re-roll them. He can keep doing this until he accumulates three “Shotgun (Blast)” symbols, in which case he is driven off and his turn is over. Accumulating three “Shotgun (Blast)” symbols also means that the zombie loses all of the “Brain” symbols rolled on his turn and he scores nothing! If after any dice have been rolled and counted and the zombie has less than three “Shotgun (Blast)” symbols before him, he can choose to end his turn and add any “Brain” symbols rolled to his total. Play passes to the next zombie with all of the dice returned to the cup.
Once a zombie has accumulated a score of thirteen brains, he wins.
Zombie Dice is not entirely luck based as a zombie can decide when to stop rolling, based on either his number of “Shotgun (Blast)” symbols or the dice colours already rolled. It does lack mechanical interaction, but the personal interaction comes from watching or egging your fellow zombies in to pushing their luck and rolling more dice. From its rules Zombie Dice is obviously simple enough, but that it is more fun the rules suggest is a surprise. Zombie Dice is a fun filler.