Eaten by Zombies! – A Very Different Kind of Deck Builder

I love zombies.  I love the different lores.  I love the detailed geeky discussions of survival plans.  And I love the board game worlds embrace of the zombie themed game.  There are quite a few different zombie themed games to choose from now, so a zombie lover like myself can be far more selective.  Just off the top of my head there is:  “Zombies!”, “Zombie High School“, “Zombie State“, “Zombie Dice“, “Resident Evil:  The Deck Building Game“, “Mmmm… Brains” …. the list goes on and on.  Now we can add one more game to this long list, a new zombie deck building game that sums up your demise very nicely, “Eaten by Zombies!”.

First off, cast aside everything you know about the mechanics of deck building games.  This is one time where that knowledge base will be a huge hindrance.  If you have never played Dominion, or Thunderstone, or Nightfall, you’ll actually be ahead of the curve.  Here is a short list of mechanics that are vastly different in EbZ then other deck building games

Buying New Cards

Any other Deck Builder: When you buy cards, the new cards go into your discard pile.

Eaten By Zombies: When you buy cards, they go directly into your hand.

Clean-up Phase

Any other Deck Builder: On your clean-up phase you discard all cards that you played and any left in your hand, draw up to your hand limit

Eaten By Zombies: On your clean-up phase you discard all cards that you played, but hang on to all that are left in your hand.  Draw cards till you have six in hand, or discard till you have six left in hand.

“Decking” Yourself

Any other Deck Builder: You can’t draw any more cards, so you are done with your turn.

Eaten By Zombies: The zombies have you in their grasp!  You are munched on and have now joined the dark ranks of the living dead!

As you can see there are a lot of differences here, and there are even more I didn’t bother to outline.  Because of this, and some less then stellar instructions, our first game was a complete mess.  It seems like every other turn we were messing up and doing *something* wrong.  The consequences to this being that the game was long, dull, and we all left with a feeling of “huh?”.   But I couldn’t let that stand, so before game two I outlined, very carefully, all the rules to my next set of players.  This time I knew where the differences were and thus was able to do a little bit of “hand slapping” when people fell into old deck building habits.  Our second game went much better.

So why did we have so much trouble with the rules during that first game?  The rule book was less then clear.  Remember my “pet peeves of gaming” blog?  Yeah, this rule book broke number 3.  These are “Spaghetti Rules”, it continually references other parts of the rules.  Things are extremely disjointed.  It is also rather lacking in examples.  The player reference cards help a little with this, but leaves out key bits of information that would be extremely helpful (like what the penalty is for loosing a fight, or the penalty for fleeing).  These little details are what threw us for a loop during game number one.  But as I said, game number two was much better.  Want to read the rules for yourself? Check them out by clicking here.

What I found on that second game, and subsequent games, was that I really liked this games feel.  It has a different feel to it then any other deck building game I have played.  This one was filled with cheering and cursing as a player managed to squeak out one more round before being eaten by zombies.  This game also had an odd mix of camaraderie and back stabbing.  In one of my games the player before me killed a zombie on my behalf (using the “Dead Eye” card), which was a huge help, but only so she could have a nasty zombie in her hand to use on the next player, which was a much bigger threat.

I also really loved the losing and winning scenarios in this game, especially the “went crazy from killing too many zombies” rule.  You see, one of the ways you can be eaten by zombies is by going stark raving mad.  How do you get there?  By killing so many zombies that you end up with an entire hand of nothing but the undead vermin.  This forced the players to balance how many zombies they killed versus how many cards they bought.  It was an interesting and fun balancing act.

I’m sorry, I shouldn’t use the word “bought” when discussing how you get cards.  You don’t buy anything.  It’s the zombie apocalypse after all, it’s not like there is an attendant waiting for you to check out.  In this game you scavenge for supplies, rather then buy them.  However, it’s awfully hard to scavenge for stuff if you are being ravaged by zombies.   For that reason, you can only scavenge for cards when you have successfully killed all of them that are a threat, or have successfully run away from all of them.  Otherwise, you are just too busy to be worrying yourself with dumpster diving.  Because of this you will not be able to gain cards every turn, which is an interesting departure from Dominion.

One other interesting thing about scavenging for cards is that these cards go immediately into your hand, not into your discard pile.  Because of this you can gain cards that you know you are going to need immediately.  To me, this makes for a much more strategic game, because there is less “luck of the draw” occurring.

However, I do have one more significant complaint, and this one is about components.  I hate the box and it’s lack of dividers.  The box is small, which is awesome, but it is also very plain.  The box is designed to look like an old army ammo box, but all it really manages to do is be small, dark, and easily overlooked.  When presented with this game next to others, my players almost always choose the alternative, because this one didn’t look appealing.

Here is a look at the Eaten By Zombies box.  There are no pictures, no description, nothing that a clerk can point to in an order to sell the game.  This seems like extremely poor planning by the marketing department.

Here is a look at the "Eaten By Zombies" box. There are no pictures, no description, nothing that a clerk can point to in an effort to sell the game. This seems like extremely poor planning by the marketing department.

The second complaint about the box was the dividers.  Yes, the game comes with two foam blocks to use in your box as dividers, but that’s it.  The game did not come with nice labeled dividers like Thunderstone, or individual slots like Dominion, instead you just lump all your cards together and then are forced to dig through them all the next time you try to set up.  This was a major pain in my butt.   You could conceivably use the randomizer cards as the dividers, as they are taller then regular cards and would probably work well, however, then you are at a lack of a randomizer deck, and well, that seems problematic.  Please, for the love of your players and all that is holy, put some dividers in your next printing!

.

.

.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Brains!

Overall though, I have to give this game four out of five brains (Mmmm…. Braaaaiins!).  The game play is really good.  It’s engaging and keeps to the heart of the zombie theme.  You really do feel like the horde is closing in around you, choking you off.  And you get a rush when you narrowly escape disaster.  However, you only will ever get that if you stick with it and manage to get passed the bland look of the box, the annoying lack of dividers that makes the game harder to set up, and lastly (and probably most importantly) the not so great rule book.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Thursday, October 13th, 2011 at 7:58 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Deck Building Games, Resource Management Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

89 Comments

  1. Excellent web site. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also
    sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks in your effort!

  2. Arthur says:

    Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post
    is just excellent and i can assume you’re an expert on this
    subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab
    your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  3. Diane says:

    My brother recommended I may like this web site.
    He was once totally right. This submit actually made my day.
    You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  4. You are so cool! I don’t believe I’ve truly read through something
    like this before. So wonderful to find somebody with
    a few genuine thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting
    this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with
    some originality!

  5. We stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might as
    well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking over your web page again.

  6. Sommer says:

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this excellent blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates
    and will share this site with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  7. Raphael says:

    If you would like to grow your experience just keep visiting this
    web site and be updated with the most recent information posted
    here.

  8. Jonathon says:

    When I originally commented I seem to have clicked
    on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
    and from now on every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment.

    There has to be a way you can remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

  9. Zack says:

    For most recent news you have to go to see internet and on the web I found this website as a most excellent website
    for latest updates.

  10. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it
    for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your web site.

  11. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was
    wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options
    for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a
    good platform.

  12. Ina says:

    Helpful information. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I’m surprised why this coincidence
    didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  13. Very soon this web page will be famous among all blogging
    users, due to it’s fastidious posts

  14. What’s up, just wanted to say, I liked this blog post.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  15. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how
    could we communicate?

  16. Tremendous issues here. I’m very glad to peer
    your post. Thanks so much and I’m taking a look forward to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  17. I was recommended this blog via my cousin. I am not sure
    whether or not this submit is written by means of
    him as nobody else understand such precise about my problem.
    You’re amazing! Thank you!

  18. What’s up i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought i could
    also create comment due to this sensible piece of writing.

  19. Somebody necessarily assist to make critically articles I might state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your web page and up to now?
    I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular publish extraordinary.
    Wonderful process!

  20. Sophie says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on flashing bulk.
    Regards

  21. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any
    issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I
    ended up losing months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  22. apple ipad says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Ie.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post
    to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you
    get the problem solved soon. Thanks

  23. former chief says:

    Hi there to every , since I am truly eager of reading this blog’s post to be updated on a regular
    basis. It includes pleasant material.

  24. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the
    post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m
    definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  25. confer heart says:

    Greate post. Keep posting such kind of info on your blog.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hello there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg
    it and in my view suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  26. Leah says:

    What’s up mates, how is everything, and what you want to say about this
    piece of writing, in my view its actually
    awesome in favor of me.

  27. Ebony says:

    Hey! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog
    post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same
    subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you’re interested feel free to send me an email.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

  28. Its like you learn my mind! You appear to know so much about this,
    such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I think
    that you can do with some % to power the message house a
    bit, however other than that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read.
    I’ll definitely be back.

  29. I constantly emailed this webpage post page to all my associates, for the reason that if
    like to read it next my friends will too.

  30. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of
    exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but
    it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do
    you know any solutions to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  31. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much
    about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I
    think that you could do with a few pics to drive
    the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great
    blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  32. I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet users, its really really fastidious article on building up
    new webpage.

  33. Keep on writing, great job!

  34. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you
    actually know what you are speaking about! Bookmarked.

    Kindly also talk over with my website =). We will have a
    link alternate arrangement between us

  35. cards alone says:

    It’s going to be end of mine day, except before ending I am reading this fantastic post to improve my know-how.

  36. Madeline says:

    This article will assist the internet people for building up new weblog or even a weblog from start to end.

  37. real player says:

    Just desire to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your publish is just nice and i can suppose you’re
    an expert in this subject. Well together with your permission allow me
    to seize your RSS feed to keep updated with coming near near post.
    Thank you one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  38. I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading extremely slow for
    me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  39. certainly like your website but you have to take a look at
    the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling
    problems and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the reality however I will definitely come
    back again.

Leave a Reply

*