Battle the Undead in Tiny Epic ZombiesOctober 8, 2018
The zombie apocalypse has become reality, as the undead have ravaged the country, threatening to wipe out human existence as we know it. Deep inside the Echo Ridge Mall, a few humans remain, hoping to survive long enough to find safe haven with other uninfected members of the human race.
Can you lead your group to safety? Or will you be infected and join the growing numbers of walking dead?
Tiny Epic Zombies is a game of surviving the zombie apocalypse. There are five modes that you can play: cooperative versus a zombie player, full cooperative, competitive versus a zombie player, full competitive, and solo.
In all modes, the human players’ goal is to complete three objectives. If you’re playing as the zombies, then you must either kill the human players and clear out any survivors in the courtyard or prevent the players from completing their objectives.
Human players get character cards with special abilities and tokens tracking their health and ammo supply. They also get the patented Gamelyn Games’ ITEMeeples which allow them to actually attach their weapons to their meeples.
The basic game flow is the same in all modes: you must move three times on the map and after each move you may do one action: kill a zombie, use a room’s ability and/or interact with a game token, or collect items. Finally, you must search the store you’re in.
Like any good zombie movie or game, survivors must keep moving. The undead are relentless! Killing zombies is easy, but sustaining your health and maintaining a weapons cache is not. At the end of your turn you’ll search the store where you may find weapons or supplies to help you in battle … but you may also find more zombies! On the zombies turn, they’ll check for any noise made by your party and spawn new zombies in those areas.
Play continues until the objectives have been completed or everyone’s dead.
Although a bit fiddly in setup and game play affected by the tiny text on the map cards, Tiny Epic Zombies has what zombie fans are looking for: a tense affair from the first move of the game. Like the best of full-size zombie games, it’s a race to accomplish goals before the undead finish off you and your party.
I preferred the competitive mode and it was fun when played with another player as the zombies. The cooperative mode was fine, but it’s susceptible to the alpha gamer/quarterbacking problems that most cooperative games suffer from. I liked that whenever a character died you got a new one, but your deceased character’s card would be flipped over to the zombie side and given to the zombie player for additional actions. It’s a great thematic twist for the recently deceased.
I also enjoyed the melee and ranged weapon attack rules. They were simple and put the focus on moving around the map to complete objectives. Because you choose only three of the nine objective cards for a game, there’s a good amount of replayability since there are also 14 character cards and the double-sided map cards.
While I love the Tiny Epic series of games, Tiny Epic Zombies didn’t live up to the greatness of Tiny Epic Galaxies or Tiny Epic Quest. It’s still a rock-solid game with lots of plays in it at this price point; it just didn’t feel quite as fresh or new as Galaxies or Quest.
However, like all of the Tiny Epic series it punches above its weight class and outshines bigger, more expensive board games. Tiny Epic Zombies takes the best parts of the zombie genre and shrinks them down into an easily portable package and fans will no doubt enjoy this latest offering from Gamelyn Games.