The sporadic yet seemingly harmonious cords of multiple organic pumps draw your interest as church bells on a Sunday morning… There are three of them!
As you raise yourself from the ground you hear gurgling of gasses pass from your decomposing chest cavity moving their way up through your thorax release via the half torn mandible that was once your jaw. A predatory growl.
The breathing stops momentarily. The prey squawks and becomes defensive.
Grasping a tuft of the first prey’s long fur it lets out a deafening screech as you pull its head towards your quivering lips. Had you been alive there may have been drool. Had you been alive you may have felt guilty. Had you been alive this may have been wrong.
But would the brains have tasted so sweet?
The second prey runs away out of your reach, but the third stands its ground. You lunge at it. The food pulls out a black rod from its side the end of which produces a bright flash and explosion.
Suddenly, finding it difficult to move forward, you notice one of your legs is missing.
You crawl forward to the living flesh.
One of your arms is gone, but you can still move, so you compulsively creep closer to your next meal.
It raises the rod again, but this time you will have nothing to do with it! Reaching forward you pull the rod, pulling the warm delicacy down with it. There is a struggle, but ultimately you get you just reward of gray matter.
Produced by the ever adventurous and outside the box thinking company Steve Jackson Games, Zombie Dice throws players into the role of zombies eating their way through an undead renaissance. Players each turn chase victims, eat Brains, and avoid getting Shotgunned before their next meal.
Zombie Dice comes in a simple cardboard tube which contains game rules and 13 custom dice. On each die there are three symbols: Brain, Footprints, and Shotgun. The dice are color coordinated to their difficulty: Greens are the easiest, Reds are the hardest and Yellows are those annoying middle ground types that never agree with you when you absolutely need them to. I’m not bitter… just experienced.
Game play is simple; each player takes a turn with the cup of dice randomly pulling out three dice at a time and rolls. Shotguns and Brains are set aside while Footprints are re-rolled as part of the next set of three. Players continue to roll until they decide to stop and add up all Brains rolled or they’re Shotgunned three times ending their turn without scoring any Brains… Figuratively that is. The winner is the first to score 13 or more brains before the other players. Though some strategy is needed to play, 70% of game play is luck, and that’s fine with me. Games go quick as from 10 to 15 minutes per play (depending on how many players you have).
There is an expansion, Zombie Dice 2 Double Feature, that is in fact two expansions in one! The first expansion Big Summer Action Movie brings two dice known as the Hunk (White) and the Hottie (Pink). Both replace two yellow dice and incorporate new rules such as Double Shotguns, Double Brains, and Rescued. The latter can be the most annoying as it enables the heroes to save one another from being eaten. This can prove to be troublesome especially when you chance to lose a Double Brains roll because of it.
The other expansion is called Santa Clause Meets the Zombies. It’s only one die… Santa! It’s a red and white that replaces a Green and brings with it a few new and game changing rules: The Helmet allows you to get Shotgunned up to four times instead of the normal three; and Energy Drinks allows you to convert all Green Footprints into brains. Yes, it truly is a Merry Christmas with good old Saint Nick helping along the zombie-pocalypse bringing cheer to all the good flesh eating walkers of the world.
The expansions are worth every penny as they can quickly change the dynamics of the game to be a whole lot more interesting. During one of our games one player rolled a new house record of 10 Brains in one turn due to the Energy Drink… And no, it wasn’t me… Grumble, grumble…
Admittedly, I love Zombie Dice; I like to use it as an early/late game. An early/late game is the kind of game that’s so simple to play anyone can learn and play it as ice breaker for a marathon game night, but is still fun enough to finish off a night of gaming when the players are a bit zombie-like themselves.
On a similar note: Zombie Dice will be one of the games played on Wil Wheaton’s web show Table Top May 4th so be sure to check them out to see how wild the brain eating frenzy can get!