The second in a occassional series about playing family games in Chinese restaurant. Our last episode was playing the game CHAOS MARAUDERS (Fantasy Flight) at this very restaurant. This time evil Anne and Garrett joined me for Mongolian beef and a game of ZOMBIE RALLY (2005, Snarling Badger Games).
From the publisher, via Boardgamegeek:
Unbeknownst to most living humans, zombies enjoy the competitive atmosphere of racing. Frequently shown in movies as masses of undead seeking nourishment, these zombies actually depict a group participating in a no-holds-barred zombie marathon. At other times, it’s just another example of humans intruding in a private sporting event at a local graveyard – just a couple of zombies trying to improve themselves by reaching the ghoul-line. After all, what self-respecting zombie doesn’t dream of becoming a ghoul?
Zombie Rally depicts zombies at their competitive best.
Zombie Rally is a non-collectible card game of zombie foot racing to two to six players ages 10 and up. It includes 54 cards and instructions. You will probably need a pen or pencil and some sort of scrap paper to keep score. Games can last from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on players.
Zombie rally is a very simple card-based racing game– the players are the racers (zombies) and they have to arrive at a certain threshold (30 steps) to win. As usual, we had some of the restaurant staff join in, and I ended up giving them a copy of the game as a prize.
How did it play? Well, I think I’ll tell the story through interpertative dance…
(click on all of these images to see full sized cartoon)
Zombie Rally is played entirely with cards, without a track or map, so it’s important to keep track of the relative positions of the “racers” to each other. We used a couple of peas, a carrot and a piece of chicken from the stir fry to mark the relative position of the racers to each other, and give everyone an idea of where they were in the game. I also maintained a score sheet on the Apple Ipod Touch I got for Christmas. As one of our players was a non-native English speaker, it took a moment or two to get started, but once it was started, it moved along at a fast clip. Zombie Rally is all about moving YOUR zombie ahead and playing cards that hurt other zombie racers– There are holds, kicks, punches, skull-chucking and cartwheels of doom to play on other unsuspecting zombie racers. Cards do a range of things, the most common being causing the target to lose a limb. Lose your limb, and your movement rate goes down, and so on. Play went relatively quickly, and lasted long enough to reshuffle the discard pile twice.
I played a couple of “gotcha cards” early, but mainly tried to shamble my racer onward. Annie had other ideas, and arranged for me to get three or four callamities in a row, causing me to be lose a turn four turns in a row, scotching my chances to win. Oh well, such are the tendencies when a father chooses to play a game with his kid.
Summary: A fun little filler game. Easy to teach, very amusing, very good attention to theme, easy “gotcha” race mechanics. Tends to foster a “kill the leader” mentality, but that’s hard to avoid in a racing game, I’ve found.