This is a review of an early copy and therefore the artwork was not finalised fully. This in no way reflects on my review of this game.
Just a normal day. Mummy drops you at your nursery and says goodbye. Later your taken for a nap. There are screams! Your grown up drops you into the cot and runs to the door. She screams “They are ALL dead!!”
You hear thumping on the stairs…then nothing. Gugling and giggling makes you hide. You see one of the babies covered in blood green skin and yellow eyes a ZOMBIE!
The nursery is overrun with Zombie Babies. You need to act now. If mummy comes they will eat her as well.ou must Kill the Zombie Babies to save your mummy!
Your mission is to clear the nursery of Zombie Babies earning experience along the way in this head to head battle for survival and your mummy. Most experience at the end wins the game and saves their mum from a fate worse than death.
What’s in the box?
25 Special cards
14 Item cards
25 Quest cards
5 Boss cards
4 Hero cards
4 Player Star Chart cards
4 Player XP Tracker tokens
4 Reference cards
42 Health/Energy tokens
Rules who need Rules?
Each player starts with 2 special action cards, a Hero, 3 Energy and 3 Health.
A random boss is placed at the bottom of the Quest deck (the remaining bosses are not used in the game).
Reveal a number of quest cards based on the number of players.
On your turn you can
Draw Special cards back up to 2.
Choose a quest to attempt. If you succeed quest goes under your Hero possibly increasing your stats, Giving you items and some valuable experience. But if you fail you face losing energy or health or worse.
You can go for a sleep (hey all babies need nap time).
This will allow you to regain either 1 energy or 1 health.
Discard special action cards and redraw.
Discard some or all of the current revealed quests to redraw new ones.
N.B If the boss is in play you cannot nap tough!
When the Boss card is revealed all other quests are discarded and it is a fight to the death to save your mummy and everyone else.
Hero cards have quite a bit of information on them. Which although daunting at first glance is actually very intuitive and easy to follow.
Strength (clenched fist).
Each stat will have a number of images these indicate your initial number of dice to roll. This can change with the completion of quests, addition of items or even the use of the Special action cards (your opponants can use those cards against you so watch out!)
Down one side are your experience level achievements. When you reach certain amounts of experience you might get an extra re-roll or more health or energy.
Item cards. Will give you extra dice to roll or more re-rolls some will give you more than one bonus. But be careful you can only carry two items. So if you collect another you will need to discard.
Quest cards. These are either Zombie babies for you to defeat or activities for your hero to attempt. Examples include, Searching through the nappy bin or climbing the bookshelf. All of these will have items, re-rolls or stat bonuses for success as well as experience. With penalties of health or energy loss for failure some will even cause you to lose stats!
Boss cards. These are essentially tough versions of the Zombies you face in the quest cards. They provide you with a lot more experience as a reward for defeating them. Which can turn the course of a game in your favour.
So how does this all come together? Well this is a very light and tongue in cheek look at the Zombie genre which will definitely appeal to the younger audience. The creators have been clever in their choice of artwork. Presenting you with gentle images which even the most nervous disposition would not find upsetting. When I first picked up Zombie Babies to review I did wonder how the theme would be handeled. I say this because it would be very easy for it to come across in a tasteless and cheap way. I was quickly reassured by a quick read of the cards. All the flavour text was written in a child friendly manner. That being said whilst playing with my 9 year old son. I did get a little too into character while reading some of the flavour text and he said it was a little scary but in an exciting way.
The iconography is very easy to understand with only a quick read of the rules required to ensure set-up was done correctly.
This is a game which can come to the table and be played without worrying about AP (action paralysis) as the options available to you are very straightforward. Unfortunately it is this simplicity which can actually become an issue. Everything is based on Dice rolling and if you have had bad luck with your dice rolls you can quickly fall behind on experience. The special action cards do give you a chance to mitigate this. But only having 2 available means your options are limited especially in a two player game. So much so that in five 2 player games we had runaway leader situation happen 3 times. With higher player counts this is much less of a problem as the amount of “take that” that goes on increases exponentially.
What are you telling me?
Zombie Babies is best played with 3 or 4 players.
I cannot really recommend it for 2 players, because it is a game that does rely a lot on the luck of the roll. Zombie Babies needs the extra player counts for the take that to really impact.
It is a light gentle filler game that is very suited for the family game session as something to play in between the bigger box games.
It is definitely a nice into gateway game for the younger audience with some nice touches and some nice artwork.
I think that the average game group would possibly find it to be a little light on depth for meet-up play (but amongst the right group it could work well).
I hope the creators look at getting the CE testing done as being able to put 7+ on the game box will make the game much more appealing to the right audience.
I look forward to seeing this do well on Kickstarter in July-August It will be interesting to see what some of the stretch goals the creators have up their sleeves.
Check out their Boardgamegeek listing for artwork and information
Back them from the 6th July on Kickstarter