I love zombies, I love zombie movies, I even have my own zombie survival kit back at home, but I have never played the original Zombies!!! board game. Thanks to Babaroga who were kind enough to both create an iOS version of the game and send me one to review it, I am now a Zombies expert. I’ve got two wins under my belt!
In case that you are just like me and never played the original game, worry not: Zombies!!! comes with a quick tutorial that gets you through everything you must do in the game. Basically, the idea is very simple: you’re in a zombie infested town, there’s a helicopter coming to rescue a survivor and you have to do whatever it takes to be that survivor.
The fun part comes from making it happen. Playing against up to 4 players, be them CPU players with different characteristics (from chillaxed to hardcore Zombies!!! players) or human opponents, but only locally, each turn you sees you do all of the following: place a city tile (until they are no more), roll the die to move and kill any zombie you might encounter along the way then roll the die again to see how many zombies you can move on the board, generally aiming them at the brain-tasty opponents.
A much higher emphasis is placed on luck in Zombies!!! than in more hardcore board games, which is not something I necessarily like too much as I consider myself a flawless tactician, but this doesn’t mean that the game is not fun. On the contrary, it is this random element that makes it so charming and so challenging: you might find yourself just 1 tile and 1 zombie away from the helipad, go on a crazy unlucky rolling spree, lose your lives and be moved back to the starting point, letting the next player who was just a couple of tiles behind you win. Frustrating? Yes. Something that often happens in board games? Yes. Fun? If it doesn’t happen too often.
The interface and gameplay in Zombies!!! for iPhone and iPad are pretty straightforward and you will never have any problems navigating, keeping an eye on the positions of your opponents or having any sort of info you might need more than one or two taps away. The overall view over the playing board might at times seem a bit unnatural, but you know how to pinch and drag, so you should have no problems setting the map exactly as it fits your play style.
Even better, when playing against CPU opponents, to avoid the game from dragging for too long – which might actually occur in 4 player games – Babaroga came with a “fast forward” button that actually skips the visual representation of the selected player’s turn.
Visually, the game is a delight for the eye. I have no idea how the original tabletop game looks like and I don’t even care, because Zombies!!! looks amazing. It wouldn’t have hurt if there were actually more avatars to choose from and make things even easier to follow, but we can’t complain too much. But all the animations are sleek, the zombie combat is fun to watch (especially if you’re on a rolling spree) and the graphics are warm and fresh, exactly as brains for the zombies should be.
All in all, Zombies!!! is a brilliant game, with tasty brain juices oozing at every corner. It’s best played with friends and we can only complain about the fact that it lacks online multiplayer but somehow makes sense because some games can drag on and there’s no guarantee that all the 5 players will stick around to the end. But even if you play it in single player mode, this game has the looks, the style and the quality to keep you entertained. Recommended!
iTunes link: Zombies!!!
Final rating: 8.8 out of 10