There are some things in this world that just don’t mix; fortunately, zombies and board games aren’t two of them.
In a genre where everything from Victorian-era wars to national espionage gets role-played, it’s not too surprising that zombies have earned a special place among board games as well.
There are literally dozens of zombie board games you’ve probably never heard of!
Here are five of our favorite Zombie Board Games to knock your friends out with at a party, or even a social setting with a stranger. Get munchin’!
Consummately reveled by enthusiasts as the zombie board game to play, Last Night On Earth is one of the more unique takes on strategy board games. While the game doesn’t exactly have the most novel of game mechanics, the artwork is jawdropping-ly gorgeous and the lore packs a mean punch story-wise. It even comes with a soundtrack to set the mood.
In the game, players take on the role of either the zombies or the heroes. Through rolling dice and drawing cards, heroes pick up an assortment of weapons which they use to blow holes in the zombies’ brains.
Zombies, on the other hand, can make use of their positions on the board to corner the heroes or even swarm them. This allows for an unlimited number of possible scenarios which makes every game feel new again – no doubt aided by the four L-shaped board pieces which are placed in randomized positions each time.
It’s perfect for new players because the rules are simple, so it’s easy to pick up and dive right into the heart of the action. Some might accuse it of being form over substance, but the form is so well-crafted you’d be hard-pressed not to forgive it.
City of Horror captures the true spirit of a zombie game.
Players are dropped into a forsaken backwater town overrun by zombies, and the survivors have to stay alive long enough for the rescue helicopter to reach them. As things get bleak, they slowly realize that there is only way to fend off the horde – to sacrifice one among their own each hour (turn) to keep the necrosis at bay.
The question is… who shall be sacrificed?
Players are dealt with a given number of survivor cards, and you’ll quickly find out why the choices are so conflicting. The survivors are helpless folks – a pregnant lady, a sick child, an old man – there are few easy choices.
Players then elect democratically among themselves who should be thrown to the wolves, and have some precious action cards at their disposal to ward off the ultimate betrayal. You can see why it quickly devolves into a fist fight.
If you need a visual for Zombicide, it’s like the video game Left 4 Dead used this as source material for its inspiration. In this game, players have to team up with each other to fight their way out of a zombified enclave to reach safety.
I’m not kidding when I say that this game feels identical to a video game. You have your colorful cast of characters who wield standard everyday items – baseball bat, chainsaw, fork – and fashion them into zombie-churning, gut-wrenching, organ-flailing weapons of mass destruction.
Each turn, players roll the die, which lead to their characters finding new upgraded weapons or levelling up to combat tougher zombies. It’s a game of survival of the fittest, where either you outlast the game or the game catches up with you.
This game in particular is unique in that it pits the players against the game, instead of each other. The game ends not when one player is left, but when all the zombies are destroyed or all the players are tapped out.
It’s possible for all players to win or for none of them to be left standing. It’s a fast-paced game with lots of replay value that will channel your inner Hannibal.
There’s a ton of rules and mishmash of details which crop up in the most unlikely of scenarios, no thanks to the complicated ‘Crossroads’ mechanic. It would literally take hours to explain all the rules of the game; so if you’re the kind of person that likes this type of game, more power to you.
The game involves a bunch of trapped folks who are barricaded in an abandoned lot filled with zombies.
There are quite a few objectives at your disposal, so instead of playing one game each player can play a different game at the same time. However, there’s a nefarious ‘betrayer’ who is hidden among the players and whose objective commands indecent intentions upon the group.
Players can exile up to two players to try and limit the betrayer’s actions; however if two good guys are exiled, the game ends for them.
The ‘Crossroad’ cards are similar to the ‘Chance’ cards in Monopoly – they interrupt the flow of the game and either confer advantages or sudden death upon the players. In essence, the game plays out like a real-life zombie scenario.
There is a Day and Night mechanic, where daytime is when the players are free to move around and head for the exits, while during nighttime they are forced to barricade themselves and repel the horde. It can be boiled down to a race for time – but that doesn’t mean that the game mechanics are lacking.
Players are given a set number of moves with which they can use to beat back the zombies. As time wears on, they take damage and the zombie horde gets stronger. You can win the game by defeating the Leviathan, but before that you have to conquer a set of four ‘Finales’, which are time-consuming and extremely difficult.
Or, you can also win by making a dash for one of three exits – crossing a bridge, swimming across a lagoon, or getting picked up by an airship.
While the strategic depth isn’t as diverse as in the other games, it’s still a fun game which deserves a mention on this list. It’s a game which can withstand repeated plays and is fun when played with different people.