|Play Time:||15 - 45 minutes|
|Our Recommended Age:||8+ (Parental approval and guidance)|
|Contents:||4 Oversized Character Cards, 4 Character Pawns with Bases, 24 Search Cards, 7 Dice, 1 Game Board, 4 Large Location Tiles, 1 Escape Route Token, 24 Walker Tokens, 1 Scorepad|
If you watch TV or part of the social media world at all you have watched (and loved) or at least heard about the Walking Dead on AMC. Did you know they have tons of board games based off the show and comics? Cryptozoic has a few and Walking Dead: Don’t Look Back is a great game to start with. Play as Rick, Daryl, Michonne or Carl as you escape locations, kill walkers and use various weapons and the luck of the dice to score the most points.
You can only choose from the four characters and I know, Carl (sniff) I won’t spoil anything! We are going to focus on the game…not the show…The game does take elements from the show including locations from the first few seasons so you might recognize them. It is recommended for ages 15+ but any age can play as long as they can handle the content.
That being said zombies have become so mainstream that kids of all ages play pretend with zombies and they are not as scary as they once were. My son at age 8 was able to play and was fine. He doesn’t watch the show as he should definitely be a bit older for that but the game he was fine with. The mechanics are not too hard to learn and we helped when it came to strategy.
It comes in a standard lift top lid box that has a chipboard game board, location tiles, character tiles and walker tokens. The base for the characters, so they stand up on the board, are the standard plastic pieces and the dice are pretty standard as well.
Over all the game is well made and able to withstand game play with teens…unless they are the kind that throw things when they lose. Let’s learn how to play!
Be the survivor with the most points after a survivor escapes the final location…not necessarily the same survivor.
Everyone picks a survivor and puts their card in front of them. Each character has special abilities to help them survive. As a group decide how many locations you are going to play with. Each one takes about 15 ish minutes so for your very first game the instructions recommend starting with 2 so that is how I will explain it. Shuffle all four locations face down and flip the top one over and put it in the middle of the game board. Put the board in the middle of everyone.
Take the score pad and write the survivors who are playing in and their starting health. This depends on how many locations so in our case 10 each. Notice the 6 sectors on the board? You get to put walkers in each of those sections! Mwahahaha! wait…I’m trying to survive too..
So to do this, point to a sector, or we just start with 1 and go around to 6, and roll a die and put that many walkers in that sector. The walkers on the tokens with the 1 and 3 on them. Keep in mind the Farm and the Camp have special rules for walkers so read locations carefully and out loud once you place them. After you have the walkers in place, shuffle the search deck and put it nearby the board. Everyone puts their character on the location but not on the text and then roll two dice and the highest roller goes first!
I am not going to explain every detail cause at this point you probably like the game enough to buy it and play it on your own…or at least I hope you do. Each player has a special ability and an “Improvised Weapon” ability that they can use even if they have no weapon card on walkers in their sector. You can only use it once per turn but it comes in handy and has saved me a time or two.
Make sure you know the Locations abilities as well because some of them are in effect no matter where the survivors are on the board. Also keep in mind that if too many walkers are in a sector they can and will spill into the Location which up to that point was safe. Kill walkers!
On your turn you do things in a certain order. First draw a search card. If you draw a weapon, lucky you, put it face up by your character card. If it is not a weapon do what it says on the card and discard it. Now you get to choose to either move, pass or kill walkers.
Moving is just moving to a new space. It has to be either the Central Location or a space next to you. This is great to escape walkers or at least take less damage. If you want to fight walkers, which is always a good idea unless you will die, it involves dice and luck.
In order to kill walkers in sectors you have to roll multiples of a number and to kill them in the central location you have to roll a straight! Weapons have different abilities and rules and some are ranged so read what they say first. Also you don’t get to choose walkers to attack the dice decide that as well. There are a lot of components to the dice and cards and combat so read everything in the rules carefully. I don’t want to add TOO much to the post and it can get complicated so I don’t want to confuse you…which I can easily do.
I will say that you only score points for walkers you kill so you might want to take some risks on your turn in order to get more points. Especially if you are falling behind. Keep in mind that if your health reaches 0 you die and are out so…choose carefully.
Passing is just that. You pass your turn to the next player and move to the end of turn part. Once this choice is made and actions taken or not you get attacked by walkers if you are in a sector with them. If you are in a sector you lose 1 health regardless of the amount of walkers. You can hide outside. If you are in the central location, however, you lose 1 health per walker! No where to run or hide in doors! Only the survivor whose turn it is gets attacked.
If there is an Overload in a sector put the correct number of walkers in the Central Location. Now the player to the left gets to go. Your goal is to score as many points as possible and escape the Location. To do this the Escape Route card must be drawn played and then the sector it is in must be cleared. Then in clockwise order everyone escapes but there are rules for that as well…which I won’t explain here.
Once everyone has escaped the location, or died trying you begin the new location by wiping the board of the walkers there. Yay! However, now each survivor can choose only ONE weapon card to keep and discard the rest, shuffle all the remaining cards and create the Search deck again, take a new Location Tile from the stack of un-used ones and put it in its place and then read it out loud.
Add walkers based on the Location and standard play rules and the player with the fewest points decides who goes first. In the event of a tie the one with the lowest combat dice weapon chooses. Going first could be good or bad..depending on walkers of course.
When a survivor is first to escape the last location the game is over. They don’t necessarily win, but the game ends. Now it is time to add up those points you should have been collecting. You can win even if you die! If you had the most points and you are dead you still win….I LOVE that rule! If there is a tie you share in the victory!
Once again I may have managed to make a game sound more complicated than it is but it isn’t really that hard to learn and is a lot of fun to play. We have had a lot of fun playing just a couple Locations and then even more fun playing all four. Someone, usually me, dies when we play all four almost every time. I take too many risks I think but then again I also have the lowest points a lot of the time so I think I need to. I might be impatient….
This is a great game to get Teens to the Family Game Night table and even if you have slightly younger kids who can handle zombies this is a great game. Since it is every survivor for themselves but NOT a screw your neighbor kind of game you can even help by giving tips to younger kids or teens or even adults like me who don’t always make the best choices on my turn….patience is key. Also, there is a Solo variant that the instructions show you how to play. You can play this game by yourself!
Show us your survivors or your favorite #WalkingDead character! @MyGeeklings #DontLookBack @Cryptozoic