Chase Humans, Eat Brains with Zombie Dice

Zombie Dice is Steve Jackson’s fast playing, push-your-luck dice game in which players take on the role of zombies hunting human prey.

The mechanics are straightforward. The game’s namesake dice represent the not-so-helpless humans and have three possible faces: brains, feet, and shotgun. On each player’s turn they throw three dice. If they get a brain, they score a point. If they get a shotgun, they take a wound. If they get feet, then the humans ran away. They can re-roll that die (and as many more new dice as it takes to get them to three) and the process repeats.

There are three different kinds of dice. Green dice are the easiest (more brains, fewer shot guns) while red are the toughest (more shotguns, less brains). Yellow fall in between. If players take three wounds, their turn is over and they lose an brains they gained that turn. Play passes to the next player. The first person to acquire 13 brains wins.

It’s a fast game and despite the morbid theme, my eight year old had a hell of a lot of fun playing it (it helped that he beat me repeatedly, ultimately wracking up six victories to my two). He took to chanting “shotgun! shotgun! shotgun!” every time I was about to roll the dice. I got the game for Christmas, and the two of us had great fun playing the game during the holiday vacation.

It didn’t take us long to add in the dice from Zombie Dice 2: Double Feature, which I got at the same time as the original game. It introduces three new dice: The Hunk (which has a double shotguns and a double brain), the Hottie (double brains AND more speed), and Santa Claus (who can gift your zombie with extra toughness, the ability to XX, or two brains). The Hunk and the Hottie are particularly cool because they can rescue one another — if the Hunk comes up brains, but the Hottie shows shotgun, she saves him. He can do the same in the opposite scenario.

We particularly liked the Hunk and the Hottie because they added some variety to the outcomes. Seeing the Hunk show up in your dice pool meant that things just got really dangerous, while the Hottie meant you were that much less likely to get that savory brain. My son enjoyed it so much that it was the first game he showed to his cousins when they stopped by for a Christmas visit.

That said … it’s understandable that some parents might not want to introduce their kids to the undead apocalypse thing. That’s ok — Steve Jackson also released Dino Hunt, which is the same basic concept as Zombie Dice but with the players acting as dinosaur hunters rather than brain-loving undead.

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