Zombicide, or Zombicide Season 1 as it is affectionately called, is the first offering by Guillotine Games. It’s a zombie survival board game that recreates the feeling of being swarmed by dozens of zombies with tons of replay value. There are ten missions inside the game’s instruction booklet and even more offered on the official Zombicide website. Each mission rearranges the tiles in different ways to create new maps. Typically the missions – chosen to accommodate the number of players – involve surviving and making it to an exit after certain conditions are met.
Players start with one of six characters, each which has a different set of skills that can help players survive the zombie hoards. Each time a zombie is killed, or when certain mission objects are completed, characters earn experience points that open up new skills. However, character cards have different color increments on their experience chart. This makes leveling a double-edged sword. Each mission has different zombie spawning points. At the end of every round zombies will spawn at these points. One of the zombie cards is flipped up for each spawning point, and the second any player goes into warmer color increments then the instructions for that color are followed. The warmer the color, the deadlier the circumstances as tougher and more copious amounts of zombies will appear.
In addition to leveling mechanics, characters get weapons/items that help them kill zombies by doing searches of buildings, and cars if they’re on the board. Weapons have varying damage capabilities and increase the chances to hit a zombie as combat is resolved with a six-sided die; the weapon determines the lowest number a player needs to win the encounter. Typically, if a zombie ends up in the same space as a player, that person will end up injured if the undead entity is still up. Players want to take out the zombies as soon as they can because after that first hit they’re dead. This creates not only a sense of urgency to complete the mission, but to make sure any zombie threats are dealt with.
When people win Zombicide, the victory is so very sweet because it is easy to lose within six rounds with some scenarios. Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is one card. Hearing something like, “If it wasn’t for that last zombie card, we would have won,” is common for this game. That difference of one card will keep people playing over and over again, having fun while they do it but desperate to get that victory. – Kris Ganske