Work together. Find safety. Make a stand. You have 15 minutes in Zombie 15.

Recommended Age:14+
Play Time:15 minutes (doing Campaign will take longer)
Our Recommended Age:8+ (ONLY if child can handle them and a panicky rushed feeling. parents should play first to determine if appropriate for their child)
Contents:Survival Guide rulebook, Death at Your Heels campaign book, 32 double-sided Terrain tiles, 1 CD, 8 Hero figures, 99 Zombie figures & 1 Alpha Zombie figure, 8 Hero sheets, 1 Horde box, 25 Ammo/Sturdiness tokens, 15 Life Point tokens, 59 Search cards, 48 Zombie cards, 18 Special Item cards, 33 Scenario cards, 40 Search tokens, Various other tokens
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Zombie 15 has you fighting for your life during the zombie apocalypse. The fun catch to that is you are one of a handful of 15 year old survivors and you have 15 minutes to complete your goal. Find safety, fight zombies and complete the scenario goal to win…or don’t and join the ranks of the undead!

IELLO has a wide range of games and we have loved all that we have played. Zombie 15 is no exception and is now one of my son’s favorite games ever. With zombie games popping up all over it’s nice to find one with a new take on it that makes it stand out.

zombie15reviewNot only are you one of a few 15 year old survivors, but you only have 15 minutes to complete the scenario’s goal. 15 minutes! I’ve played zombie games that take hours…well at least one but this is 15 minutes! The game is actually pretty easy to learn but with the pressure of having to win in just 15 minutes…THAT is a fantastic twist!

It says recommended for 14+ but I feel like an 8 year old would be able to play and keep their attention on the game. However, due to zombies and the feeling of panic you have to make sure your child can handle the them, the pressure of the time and losing a bit.

12 years old is probably a safer age but once again you know your child best. My is 7 soon and did great except he wasn’t used to the time frame.

He panicked but in a fun way and while his attention span was there he was NOT used to the time limit on the game. He is getting used to it but the fact that you have to think VERY quickly is a learning process which is probably why they recommend 14+. Well that and zombies…

The box is a lift top type that is sturdy and doesn’t do that slow-never-going-to-come-off thing so that is a bonus. Neat and organized just how I like it on the inside. The “board” tiles are in their own spot with the cd (yep it has a soundtrack! more on that in a sec). The character cards sit on top of these in a nice spot perfect for them.zombie15review (2)

None of the cards need a bag either as they have their own spot and the Horde box sits nicely over the hole that holds the bags of game board tokens like Search Tokens and Scenario Tokens.

One last spot is perfect for all the zombies and the instructions sit on top of everything. So organized! No…I don’t have OCD…but I do think I could some day.

The Game Board Tiles are made out of chipboard (I believe) and are double sided and numbered for easy assembly.The artwork on them is of a city…or what’s left of one with a street that you have to maneuver though. Sort of cartoon comicy style that works well for the game.

The Character cards are thin and easily bent and torn so be careful. However, the artwork of the characters is beautiful. I love the variety of them and that each Teen has their own special abilities and quarks…like in real life. The cards are a little thicker but pretty standard card material and once again the artwork is to be admired.

 Each token is (I think) made out of chipboard and has artwork that works well with the rest of the game and the Zombie and Character tokens are made out of plastic. Each Character has their own color so their token is solidly that color and all the zombies are Gray and vary in size. They all equal the same except for the BIG one…but more on that later.

Some of the zombies came with missing limbs and while we feel like that wasn’t done on purpose it adds more creepiness and fun to the game so we like it. I am pretty sure you could paint them if you wanted…which we might do some day. Over all the game is very well made, organized and easy to put together and learn.

There are several scenarios that you could play and each one has different elements and use different tokens and things. I will explain how to play the starter scenario and show an example here and there of the difference between that and the Horde scenarios…it is fun but more intense! Let’s begin!


Meet the scenario objective in 15 minutes. Yes all of you. You work together in this one.zombie15review (3)


First you have to pick a scenario. I would recommend using the Scenario 1 if you have never played before or are playing with younger children. We usually play with my son and if you want to ease them into the game you always play without the soundtrack until they get the hang of the game and then add it in.

You will need something to play the CD on but a computer works just fine. My iTunes automatically pulled it and so I use my iPod and a speaker a lot when we play.

Rules vary depending on which scenario you choose but I will explain as if you chose the first scenario…with a few “this part is different” bits thrown in.

Each scenario gives you all the information you need to play. The Tiles you need for your game board, how to lay them out for the map and the positions of all the zombies and items for it. There is a specific goal for each scenario as well as special rules. Finally it tells you what soundtrack to use.

zombie15review (4)Again, you don’t have to use one if you are playing with younger kids but it does add an important element to the game so anyone who has played a time or two should follow those rules…it’s so much fun.

Now you have to set up the map, put out all the pieces in the right places, zombies in their places (Normally you would set up the Horde box but in Scenario 1 there is no Horde box) and shuffle the search cards.

Each player picks a Hero (if you are playing with just two players then each player takes 2 Heroes) and finds their matching token and gets all of their starting cards. Grab a Life Token for yourself and the Ammo/Durability tokens for your weapons.


Depending on the Scenario you will either use the Prologue side of your Character Sheet or the other side.

Prepare the Zombie Draw Pile and place the Players in their starting positions. Make sure to set up the Draw piles per the scenario and you are finally ready to begin!

The person who ate raw meat last gets to go first…it will NEVER be me…ewww.zombie15review (5)


The players take turns that are divided into 3 phases, Hero Actions, Zombie Attack, Next Player and they have to be played in that order. When you are the active Hero you will get 4 Actions (in a 3 Player game you get 5) but you don’t have to use them all. Your options for Hero Actions are:

No Zombies in Your Area:

Move – Each move costs 1 Action and you can either enter a Search Area from your Tile or move to the next or previous Street Tile.

Search  If you are in an area with a little magnifying glass icon, this is Search Area. You can Quick Search or Careful Search (ONLY if there are NO zombies in your area). Quick Search is where you draw 3 cards from the Search deck, add whatever zombies they tell you to and choose any items you want and put the rest in the discard pile. You get to reorganize items you are carrying.

zombie15review (8)If you Careful Search you choose one Item from the Search discard pile. If the Item you want is not at the top all the cards that were on top of that Item get removed from the game, however, not choosing an item means no cards get removed but you still lost the Action. (In some scenarios you can take or flip a Search Token from the area or an unconscious Hero).

Use an Object – Every time  you use an Object you have to move the Durability Token to the left one space until it becomes destroyed. Use them wisely…my likes to use them to kill zombies all the time but soon realized he might not find a weapon while searching and be left with no weapons! He didn’t like that much and now is a bit more careful…and does careful search when he can. Each use costs 1 Action.

Pick up or Drop a Heavy Object – You can do this even if there are zombies in your area. Basically remove the token from you area, put the objects card on your character sheet

If There ARE Zombies in Your Area:

Fight – Guns have Ammo Tokens and when they run out you cannot use that weapon to attack but can still fend off zombies with it. Melee weapons use Durability Tokens and when a weapon becomes broken it can no longer be used to fight but can be used to fend off zombies.zombie15review (7)

If you are playing a scenario with the Horde and  you use a weapon that makes noise you have to add an amount of zombies to the Horde boxed that the card shows. Try to use that weapon carefully…that Horde is nasty business!

You can also fight bare-handed. You lose a life point but you kill a zombie…it’s a trade off best used wisely. The Gentleman doesn’t usually like to do that…but when he does he starts making zombie noises to show he was bitten. Just adding to the fun!

Use an Object – See above. Same thing.

Pick up or Drop a Heavy Object – See above. Same thing.

If you are lying down you simply Get Up as an Action. You cannot fend off a zombie if you are laying down and you cannot do anything else until you Get Up….so don’t get knocked down…if you can help it.

zombie15review (6)Zombie Attack: If you are in an area with zombies at the end of your turn you HAVE to either fend them off or get knocked down and lose a Life Point. This applies to the Active Hero only, however any other player in the same area can help you fend off zombies with their weapons. It becomes a matter of which is higher the number of zombies or the number of zombies your combined weapons can fend off.

When using the Soundtrack be quick so as not to add in new zombies at that moment…it sucks. My son took too long for a few games and wound up dying very very quickly…it was a brutal lesson on quick thinking. It also uses the Horde which changes the game entirely by adding zombies based on growls on the Soundtrack and noise.

There is another option of play called Campaign where you play through all the Scenarios. Your decisions can effect the other scenarios but you get a sort of reset in between..unless you fail…don’t fail in a Campaign…it gets ugly quick. My son does not play this option but my 14 year old nephew loves the challenge!zombie15review (10)


You have to complete the objective of the Scenario to win and you have to do it before the Soundtrack (or 15 minutes) ends! When playing Scenario 1 this means that all players have to make it to the Police Station. Sometimes  you make it…and somtimes you die horribly halfway through…the game my son played for the pictures (well the non Scenario 1 version) they died halfway through.

They had what they needed to win…but the Horde consumed them. They did the Scenario 1 play through for this post though…which is a lot easier of a version than any others. Even with the 15 minutes.

zombie15review (9)The game has a LOT of information and I didn’t include some of it but the instructions cover everything. They go through how to generally play, each possible option for actions and zombie fighting and objects. They even go into detail about special objects at the end.

There is separate booklet for Scenarios that has several to choose from or Campaign through and you can even make up your own. I love the flexibility of this game versus other zombie games out there.

Not only do add the panic element with only giving you 15 minutes but they add replay-ability by having multiple scenarios and the ability to make your own.

Each Scenario play through is different as well because you can use different Characters, the cards change the game as do the amount of players. You will never play the same game twice…which is awesome.

Zombie 15 has everything a great zombie game should have and is perfect for older kids and teens. Especially if you are trying to find that one game to bring your tween or teen to family game night without a fight. Be prepared to play this one a lot though…I know we do and mine is only 7!iellozombie15review2Show us your victories over the Horde! Or your horrific death due to the Horde…that too. @MyGeeklings #Zombie15 @IelloGames

“I don’t think anyone wants to cuddle a zombie.”
~ Norman Reedus

Author: sandyz