Before we start I have to make a confession, I am not a huge Zombie or horror fan in general. Reason being, they scare the sh;! out of me and I rather relax when watching TV or playing games.
With this out of the way, it was just natural for me to disregard the Zombicide games when I was looking for a new role-playing game; A game which has character progression, offers different scenarios, items and treasures to collect and all this combined with cool miniatures. There aren’t that many of these games on the market and all research led back to the Zombicide franchise. So I went for it and boy, I never regretted this purchase.
After picking a mission and setting up the map tiles, you pick your character card, tracking pegs and favourite starting equipment and place everything on the very handy character board. Now grab the matching mini and place it in the starting area of the map.
Every round each champion takes up to two actions, which can be walk, attack, search, use an item or trade. Pretty straightforward and rewarding when you search a room and find a powerful broadsword or a longbow. But as I mentioned, it is not all happy fantasy when zombies are involved. There are plenty of them and every round they move, attack and most importantly, spawn more of their undead friends on each spawning point. When you are caught up in the search for new and shiny items, they will quickly crawl all over the map and the nice treasure hunt turns into a frenetic battle.
Combat follows pretty straightforward and familiar dice rolling rules, which makes Black Plague an easy game to pick up. Besides the minimum number you have to roll to score a hit, each weapon has its unique damage value. A basic sword, for example, does 1 damage per hit, which kills a normal Walker (the most common and weakest type of enemy). The Fatty and Abomination have 2 to 3 hit points and you will need more powerful weapons to defeat them. The last resort is rare Dragon Bile, a kind of medieval molotov cocktail. Throw the vile and a torch onto an adjacent square and burn everything and anyone who stands there.
Another very cool mechanic is the level up system. With every kill or mini quest achievement, your champion earns experience points and hitting certain thresholds, he or she gains a level. This unlocks new skills, which alter movement, increase combat abilities and even add new abilities. To bring the enemies at the same level again, they level up as well! Not by becoming stronger, but by spawning more of enemies each round and causing more madness.
If you like co-operative miniature and roleplaying games, you should definitely try Zombicide: Black Plague! Watch a few playthrough videos, try and play a quest or two at a local board game cafe or borrow a friends copy. I am pretty certain that you will fall in love with the mechanics, the level up system and the tense battles. And if you prefer the modern age over medieval times, have a look at the original Zombicide. It doesn’t come with the cool player boards and misses a few other parts, but the general feel is as good. And if you are still not convinced, wait a few more month and check out Green Horde.
“A top game with cool mechanic, frenetic battles and an awesome level up system.”
- Players: 1-6
- Age: 10+
- Playtime: 90+ minutes
- Setup Time: Average – long
- Publisher: CMON
- Try this if you like: Massive Darkness
Zombicide: Black Plague
Component Quality9.0 /10
Rules Quality8.0 /10
Value for Money8.0 /10
- True fantasy miniatures
- Tons of enemies
- Plenty of missions
- Unique level up system
- Clever enemy AI to allow full coop play
- Helpful guide/sticker to put minis back in the box
- Level progress doesn't carry over to the next mission
- Long setup time
- Hard if Abomination spawns too early
- Expensive if you want more than just the base game