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Eaten By Zombies! and In Cahoots Reviews

Eaten By Zombies! Eaten By Zombies! In Cahoots Eaten By Zombies! Promo Deck Eaten By Zombies Dice

Zombie lovers will dig the new zombie themed deck building game “Eaten By Zombies!”

With deck building games all the rage these days (and rightly so), it was inevitable that there would be a zombie themed one. Enter “Eaten By Zombies!” The game, which can best be described as “Dominion” with a touch of “Sentinels of the Multiverse,” is a fast paced 2-4 player deck builder in which players must survive a deck full of zombies (the number of which depends on how many players there are). Each turn, one zombie is revealed from the zombie deck and the player (who plays as one of 4 game characters) must either fight or flee the zombie or face dire consequences if unable to do either action. If you decide to fight the zombie, you must have the right number of cards with the fight symbols in order to combat it. If you have enough fight, you kill the zombie and it goes into your discard pile. Once the card reaches your hand down the line, you will then have the option of playing the zombie at any given time in order to create problems for your opponent(s). After all, the object of the game is to be the LONE survivor.

If a player chooses to flee a zombie, they must have enough flee symbol cards in order to successfully flee the zombie. Alas, even if you do happen to flee the zombie, you must still lose half the amount of cards of the zombie card’s attrition level. If you unsuccessfully flee the zombie, you lose the total amount of listed attrition on the zombie card.

Each player starts with a 12 card deck (comprised of 5 heavy stick cards, 5 hide cards, and 2 sandwich cards) and then shuffles the cards up before drawing a hand of 6. With these cards, you will not only be able to fight or flee, but you will also purchase other cards (also known as scavenging in this game). Scavenging is the deck building portion of this game. Whenever a player successfully fights or flees a zombie, players are able to scavenge cards from the swag pile (terrible name, I know). If you successfully fight a zombie, you get your fight value’s worth of scavenging points. If you successfully flee a zombie, you get your flee value’s worth of scavenging points. With these scavenging points, players turn their attention to the swag pile (which also varies in size depending on the number of players) which consists of piles of cards with different abilities. The 3 swag cards that are always in play in every game are binoculars, rifle, and a good book. Other items/cards to choose from include: crowbar, box of ammo, hunting rifle, shotgun, TV dinner, satchel, a good friend, Thompson typewriter, trash bin, but that’s my…, coffin nails, deadeye, fire on a stick, fistful of lead, grandma’s pantry, grandpa’s shed, gruddy ground grippers, I remember you…, I saw it first!, old slabsides, Saturday night special, and up a tree. All of these cards give players additional scavenge, fight, and flee symbols, extra card draws, and so forth.

Also included in this set are 28 divider cards (1 of which is for the bomb shelter promo deck), zombies of different levels (1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 to be exact), 4 character cards (Bob, Mary, June, and Barney), and a frustratingly vague rulebook that doesn’t include information about certain scenarios that may arise. Luckily, helpful tips can be secured on the internet if gamers encounter any problems.

As a sucker for unique packaging and card art, I was immediately drawn into  the game’s nifty ammo box package and the 50’s style zombie themed card artwork (think “Night of the Living Dead” meets “Pleasantville” meets “Grease”). From a presentation standpoint alone, this game unquestionably deserves a lot of praise. Equally praiseworthy here is the fact that this deck building game perfectly fits the zombie theme. Players will constantly feel like they are about to die at any moment as zombies are revealed one after the other. To say it’s an intense game is an understatement. Unfortunately, as intense and thematic as the game is, the gameplay can be very limited. Unlike a strategic deck building game like “Dominion,” “Eaten By Zombies!” offers very little in terms of strategy. The problem here is that you are always at the mercy of both the zombies and the cards in your hand. Granted, you can scavenge for cards that can help you in future turns, but whether or not you will be able to even use those cards is questionable due to attrition and or death. It would have been nice for players to have a little more freedom.

On the plus side, there is one stand-out gameplay mechanic that I found to be rather clever. In a 3 or 4 player game, if one player dies while everyone else is still alive, the dead player becomes a zombie and plays the game with a different set of rules. It’s a nice twist in the game and it’s fun that a player who lost the game can still seek some revenge against the other players instead of sitting the rest of the game out.

If you find yourself addicted to this game, you’ll be happy to know that there is a multitude of other “Eaten By Zombies!” products. First up, there’s a $5 nine card promo deck containing 8 bomb shelter cards and 1 We Have The Bomb card. These cards can definitely make the game more challenging as they both have their advantages and disadvantages if they are included in a game. Secondly, while not a part of the actual game, Mayday Games has put out some special “Eaten By Zombies!” dice that are available for $3 bucks each. The beautiful multi-colored 6 sided die contain 5 numbers with the sixth number being replaced by an “Eaten By Zombies!” logo. Third on the list is the upcoming “Weapons Of Mass Destruction” mini-expansion. While I did not receive a review copy of this as it has not yet been released, I figured gamers would like to know that about this $10 set due to be released in late August. Last, but not least, is the biggest expansion to date titled “Eaten By Zombies! In Cahoots.” This small box expansion contains 2 new character cards (Dean and Nancy), 13 new dividers, 10 heavy stick cards (with 2 new art designs), 10 new hide cards (also with 2 new designs), 4 sandwich cards (again, with 2 new designs), 7 level 1 zombies (you guessed it, with 2 new designs), 6 level 2 zombies (two new designs!), 3 level 4 zombies, 2 level 6 zombies, 1 level 8 zombies and a brand new type of zombie- a level 3 zombie. The majority of the new cards, however, are from the swag pile. These cards include: bandages, greaser’s key, I’ll be right back!, in cahoots, locker, medical journal, roller skates, smash and grab, sterling sten, take the side streets, and torch. A rulebook that doubles as a poster is also included here. At first glance the rulebook appears to be a vast improvement over the first one, but I noticed a glaring error here involving the scavenge for swag portion of the fight directions. The directions state “You may scavenge swag cards with a find value equal to the total flee” but it should say total fight instead of total flee. That could potentially be VERY confusing for gamers.

While these new cards can obviously be used as an expansion to the core game, the impressive thing about “In Cahoots” is that it can be played as a stand-alone 2 player game with players taking on the identity of Dean or Nancy. If you are a card gamer who tends to just play 2 player games, you may actually want to pick up the cheaper “In Cahoots” to see if you like the game and want to further invest in the core set.

Summary: While the gameplay may be a little too quick and clunky at times, there’s no denying that “Eaten By Zombies!” absolutely fits the zombie theme. With a large of number of cards, different gameplay mechanics (depending on the number of players), an affordable price, and a high replay value, it’s a no brainer that zombie lovers will eat this game up.

For more information and order forms to all of the above listed products, check out:

http://maydaygames.com/eaten-by-zombies/

July 27, 2013 - Posted by | Game Review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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