Imagine a quiet town somewhere in the USA, with their own high school, a small goods store, a diner, a few farms and maybe an airstrip. Not dissimilar from your average Karoo town. Now, imagine that town when the Zombie Apocalypse happens. What you’re thinking of is Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Board Game.
The idea is relatively simple. With a full complement of 6 players, you’ll have 4 players controlling heroes and 2 players controlling the zombie horde. The heroes have a mission; the zombies have to prevent them from completing that objective.
If this sounds a little too simplistic, here come the details. The board is modular (a central piece with 4 corner pieces). There are many heroes to choose from, each hero having their own special skills. And there are many, MANY different missions (also called scenarios) to play.
On top of this, the zombies and heroes play vastly different. Heroes can run up to 6 spaces, zombies always shamble 1 space. Heroes search buildings to locate weapons and other useful items, while zombies have cards that affect the game directly such as locking doors or spawning new zombies.
All-in-all gameplay is intense and engaging, sometimes with hilarious consequences. Last Night on Earth has the ability to “accidentally” create the sort of moments you see in B-grade horror movies. Sheriff Anderson’s son turns into a zombie and the sheriff must decide whether to kill him or spare his life. Jenny the farmer’s daughter is trapped in the barn with all the doors locked and a bumbling zombie knocks over a lamp and sets the place ablaze. Johnny the high school quarterback comes charging out of the gym with the shotgun he found in the coach’s office, but when he points it at a zombie it just goes “click!”. No ammo.
This is the sort of game you’ll be telling stories about. I demonstrated the game at a convention once where the group cheered and laughed so loud, the people in the next room couldn’t play their game.
COMPONENTS: 4/5. The miniatures are very nicely made. The zombies all seem to strike poses from the Thriller music video. The board sections are detailed and thematic, though they can warp with time. The cards are very well made and easy to understand.
GAMEPLAY: 4/5. Can be a little tricky to get into, but as long as you follow the turn order reference card it goes smoothly. Because cards often modify game conditions there will be situations where rules aren’t clear on the course of action, but that’s quickly put to a vote.
COMPLEXITY VS. DEPTH: 4/5. Though the game feels very deep and pulls you into the story, the illusion is sometimes broken when game systems like playing cards or rolling dice interfere with the flow of the game. Not a problem for all, but may be for some.
THEME: 4/5. The game is brilliantly themed and well designed. It should get 5 out of 5… If it wasn’t for the horrible CD soundtrack. Whose idea was that!?
OVERALL: 4/5. If you like zombie things you should try this game at least once, even if you don’t like board games.
[button color=”red” link=”http://www.fanaticus.co.za/”]Available @ Fanaticus Hobbies and Games[/button]