When I opened All Things Zombie from Lock 'N Load Publishing, the first of many games awaiting review, my wife said I looked like a kid in a candy shop. Clearly, she has never seen me in a candy shop! I was very excited about this one; the box alone looked like it had a lot of work put into it: it was sturdy, with great artwork. Of course, this meant I expected the same of the game pieces and board.
Inside the box were 90 large zombie and survivor counters; 88 smaller counters representing some loot items, wounds, searched tiles for buildings, etc.; four back-printed 11" x 17" maps; a 24-page rulebook, survivor status cards, a players' aid card and 6 dice. While I am still in the middle of play, I am confident I can give a fair review.
I started by analyzing the manual, which at first was very confusing (especially to a new gamer), so I decided to set up the game and learn by playing. I would suggest this to any new player, as sometimes seeing the rules played out makes the game clearer. Once you have figured it out, it's quite a fun game. That being said, I still don't know all the rules, but I am catching on much quicker now that I have been playing it.
This game can be played alone or with up to 6 friends. You can play against or versus your friends based on which game scenario you choose. There is a campaign with championship round and skirmish scenarios; the campaign depends on what items and survivors are played, while the skirmish allows players to randomize and pick weapons and survivors based on a point system. While learning, I would suggest playing with friends instead of versus, as the ensuing zombies are enough competition for a beginner. Solitaire playability 10/10 due to the scenario games.
I would suggest to the publishers to add in a little more detail on the game board, though not necessarily details such as cars blocking roadways, fires blocking areas, etc.; overall, you need not focus on these items, but for a detailed fanatic, it does add to the realism. The rules could be made simpler by adding some general information for new gamers such as a terms glossary, as some of the terms would only be familiar to experienced gamers. I found some of the rules to be vague and in need of fleshing out. The rulebook is in colour and has some pictures; the inclusion of more picture demonstrations would add to the game's personality. I would also suggest placing the campaign scenarios on the same type of cards as the survivor status cards, rather then in the rulebook, for easy reference back and forth between the two. Complexity scores a 6/10.
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