Zpocalypse v1

Zpocalypse

They’re coming to get you, Barbara … look, there comes one of them now!

Zpocalypse shambles into the Esoteric Order of Gamers game library!

I recently vowed I wouldn’t look at another zombie-themed game … but who was I kidding? Zpocalypse brings something new and fresh to the shambling undead (if ‘fresh’ is the right word) by finally devoting a good chunk of the game to the ‘survival’ half of the phrase ‘survival horror’. Each round takes players through one miserable day and night in this post-apocalyptic future dominated by deaders—from scavenging among the ruins, feeding your team of survivors, fortifying the area around your bunker, and finally, a night of desperate fighting against hordes of undead. And yes—each night it gets harder and harder to survive…

Thankfully it’s all leavened with a dry sense of humour and lots of popular culture references. And you’ll definitely need a sense of humour as you see your hastily built walls collapse and your band of survivors overrun and turned into zombies!

One thing this otherwise excellent game is lacking is a clear rulebook, but not only have I worked with the designers to create this rules summary (so it incorporates their latest rules changes), but I’ve been commissioned to write and design a new rulebook for the game.

8 Comments

  • Frank says:

    Sounds like something to check out, though the inevitable-death-score-points-along-the-way gameplay puts me off at first glance.

    Have you played Zombicide? It’s our current favorite at the moment to the point where I’m now painting the 200-something (I haven’t dared counting them) minis. It’s co-op, and you can expect to win about half the time. Zapocalypse is competitive so not really the same, but does winning actually feel like winning?

    • Universal Head says:

      Inevitable death? For our first game we all survived quite handily, though we got some lucky card draws. I like the way it’s co-operative but you still get a winner at the end—I must admit I’ve become bored with straight co-op, and a certain amount of ‘everyone for himself’ seems to fit the theme. But perhaps the win is far less satisfying if you all get wiped out!

      haven’t played Zombicide. I guess I’m not really keen to invest in yet another zombie game (unless the publishers send me a copy to review of course), though I hear it’s good.

      • Frank says:

        Oh, then it sounds more promising. Read a review who said the final night is so hard you always die but the fun comes from seeing how many zombies you can kill before that happends. Sounds like I should watch some more videos then.

        Zombicide is cool but a large investment if you want all the expansions. The next season promises team based competition, but currently it’s pure co-op. The minis are very nice though.

        • Universal Head says:

          That review was probably correct—the difficulty ramps up every night—but you probably don’t often play all four nights. Our first game we played 2 nights and it took over two hours (our first game and we were learning of course). I could also think of lots of ways of house ruling things to be a bit easier, if necessary.

          The minis are definitely better in Zombicide. Though I haven’t played Zombicide so can’t compare the two games, I do enjoy the pre-combat bits of Zpocalypse, where you scavenge, feed your survivors and fortify your area for the coming night.

  • Frank says:

    The pre-combat bits seems like a lot of fun, and it sounds like they will cater to my inner simulationalist. Also, I see there are two guys selling the entiere Zpocalypse Kickstarted package on Ebay, and I´m still kicking my ass over not getting in on the Zombicide Kickstarters.

    Would you say the minis in Zpocalypse are worth painting?

    • Universal Head says:

      The pre-combat bits are fun, but they’re not big on ‘simulation’—it’s mostly card draws and theme, but I enjoy it a lot. And you can do deals with other players while in the bunker to get food and items.

      The zombie minis are a bit bland (there are just two types in different coloured plastic), the survivor heroes better. I’d say they’re comparable in quality to Last Night on Earth figures. I’ll paint them all eventually, but they don’t cry out to be painted. Then there’s a huge step up in quality for the Z-Team Alpha expansion figures, which are great, though larger in scale.

      I should have a full review up in the next couple of weeks.

  • Brent says:

    I played Zpoc a bunch when it first came out. The game is prone to huge swings of a lucky card draw – especially early in the game.

    It also is a massive advantage to have a hero with high smarts due to the wonky Search Rules.

    I like the game – certainly don’t love it. I really wanted to love the idea of building a base and defending it against the hordes. The Secret Goals and stuff like the Nuclear event card just wreck the base building premise though. I do have a bit of an inside track and some of the new scenarios in the expansion fix a bunch of these things. I have my fingers crossed!

    Peace

    Peace

    • Universal Head says:

      Cheers Brent. Yep, for our first game we drew the card where the first combat phase is skipped, so that certainly helped! I guess you just have to go along with the random nature of these types of games, though it can sometimes be annoying. Good to hear they’ll be new scenarios on the way. They’ll also be a new rulebook—I’m writing it! :)

What do you think?