“Sorry we have to leave you here, but it just ain’t right to eat your wife’s and daughter’s brains. Plus you’re really disgusting and I don’t wanna spend any more time with you.”
– Luke, Undead or Alive (2007)
It’s not easy being a zombie. First of all since your undeath you’ve lost the motor skills that allowed you to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (the best you can hope for now is maybe fluking ChopSticks), you developed a bit of a body odour issue and the only thing that you consider could possibly satisfy the gnawing hunger in your rotting guts has a nasty habit of attacking you with chainsaws, shotguns and generally running away. That’s just not cricket.
Last night for the first time I tried Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games. I was surprised by just how intuitive, quick and addictive it was.
Let me explain how it works. In the pot you get 13 dice: 6 Green, 4 Yellow and 3 Red (as pictured). On the faces of the dice you will see one of three symbols: a brain, a set of footprints (which is supposed to represent fleeing victims) and a shotgun blast. On the green dice the brains appear on more faces, on the red dice the shotgun blasts are more common.
To start the first player shakes up the dice, randomly pulls three dice from the pot and rolls them. You remove any brains and shotgun blasts that appear and keep them in separate piles and then choose if you wish to roll again. If you do, you then take any footprints and add more random dice from the pot to build your hand back up to three and roll again. If during your turn you accumulate three shotgun blasts, your turn ends and you lose any brains you had collected. If you choose to not roll again and therefore avoid the risk of three shotgun blasts, you note how many brains you have collected and that is your score so far, which carries over into the next round. The next player then goes through the same procedure and so on.
Once a player has collected 13 brains you play to finish that round and the player with the highest score at the end wins.
We all had a great time playing this game, and much hooting and hollering was heard around the table. Some of the dice rolls can get tense despite it being such a simple premise. You find yourself weighing up the odds of being greedy for brains, which can end in disaster or glory and it’s slightly off-putting when everyone around you is trying to coerce you into risking one more roll. I think the best round any of us had been 9 brains in one round! This game has a good dose of “Just One More Go” Syndrome and we had quite a few games, luckily each game doesn’t take very long at all.
We were using the store copy of Zombie Dice, but I think I’ll probably be picking this up myself as it will be a great game to bust out when a bunch of us can’t be bothered to play anything more in-depth and it doesn’t take up much room! It retails for around the £10 mark. All the components seemed to be of good quality. The dice had a nice weight to them (maybe I’ll do a blog post about the importance of good dice one day? haha) and the pot seemed to be made of good sturdy card. The only issue I could possibly see would be maybe after years and years of use the lid of the pot my start to work loose, but this is a minor fear.
For any of you interested, you can also pick up a free version of the game for the iPhone and iPod Touch HERE.