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Thinking about my next move.
So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
About Card of the Dead:
1) What is it?
Card of the Dead is a card game about hand management, a metric ton of push your luck and loads of take that moments.
Gameplay is truly simple: draw a card and, if you want, play a card. That is it.
Card of the Dead is a game to the played in a carefree environment, as there is little room for antecipation or smart moves - luck will decide the result often, you will just be there for the ride.
2) How do you play?
Everyone has a starting hand of cards. The player's turn is:
- Draw a card (mandatory). If the card is a zombie card, it is put in the player area;
- Play a card (optional). The player can use action cards as actions, doing what is written, or as step, adding them to the player area. It isn't allowed to use cards as steps if there is 4 or more zombies in the player area - only as actions.
The goal is either be the last one alive (this person gains 3 points) or reach a certain number of steps (every player still alive, when this happen, will score equal to the number of steps they have on the table) - these end the round, and after a number of rounds equal to the number of players, the person with the most points will be the winner.
3) Which are the decisions made during play?
There is only one: if use a card for the action or for the step.
The game is very light in the decision department, not because they aren't there, but mostly because they simply matter little, as regardless of what you do, luck will decide if you will succeed in your goal. If you send zombies to chase others, this might have no importance due to the cards drawn by that player, or if you decide to use the cards as steps, this also matters little, as you can be surrounded first or even simply lose all the steps you have done.
4) What are the good things in the game?
- The art is nice;
- Actions are clearly definided and don't require consultations to the manual;
- Portable and the box fits the sleeved cards;
- Easy to teach and to play.
5) Which are the bad news?
- Low on decisions and high on luck;
- Has player elimination, "take that" and bash the leader - the big three of questionable design.
6) How do you feel while playing?
Surprisingly inside the theme: suffering from a strong sense of helpless alongside an overwhelming feeling of needlessness in front of the masses of zombies and the notion that the apocalypse has, indeed, arrived. So why bother? Sure, a small portion of the population will try to fight and survive, finding some reason to keep going in this new world, one not fit for humans, instead is now the kingdom of the mindless.
Overall, Card of the Dead has the bare minimum to give a light entertainment for the short time the play lasts - yet, in some rounds, is possible (likely, even), to be out of cards, and just play automatically, drawing cards and hoping they aren't zombies, and most of the time they will, and your turn will just be that: draw, grumble, put down the zombie card, and pass.
There are better options out there (Sushi Go!, Arboretum, Skull, etc), but for a quick and uncompromised occasional play, Card of the Dead can fit the bill - not the most terrible thing out there, if you know how to handle it, much like a zombie.
Image credit: W Eric Martin
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