Zombies race across the cemetery, hoping to avoid crashing into mausoleums and falling into open graves as they escape through the gates while they remain open. The big gimmick in the game is that the zombies are wind-up toys. One can easily imagine that the game, released by Twilight Creations, was devised around these cute, albeit gruesome, toys.
As can be expected, the game involves winding-up the toys, and letting them race (well, “shuffle” would be more accurate) across the graveyard. The order of movement, as well as the number of twists a player may wind their zombie, is determined by a rather strange card switching mechanism. After receiving a hand of eight cards, players must then simultaneously pass four, then 3, then 2, then 1 card to the player on their left. Players try to build sets of identical cards, as the player with the most of each type of card will get to take that action. Cards include movement cards in values of 1 – 4, rotating cards (left or right) and rotating an opponent 180 degrees. The problem with the card switching mechanism as written is that players will tend to pass the cards they don’t desire, so each passing round you are likely being passed cards you don’t want. This mechanism, although relatively quick, was quite redundant.
Players then compare cards, and the player with the most of a particular card takes that action. When a zombie is moving, players must carefully watch the board to see if it wanders across an open grave or across a mausoleum. If so, the player either loses the rest of his turn (open grave) or returns to start (mausoleum). The board is quite congested with symbols, so players must carefully manage the number of twists they wind their zombies, as well as their direction, which is controlled by the “rotate” cards.
The game concludes when a player successfully navigates his zombie out of the cemetery gates. Playing with three players, this took about 30 minutes or so, but we were being a bit liberal when determining whether a zombie had touched an open grave or mausoleum. A stricter interpretation would have added more length to the game, which would NOT have been a good thing.
Truth-be-told, the game isn’t really very good. The only joy comes from watching the zombies waddle across the board, and some dark humor when they fall into graves and bump into one another. I wouldn’t own it, but will resign myself to playing it once a year on our annual “horror” night.
After pushing Gail’s zombie out of the way, I made a sharp turn and made my escape through the gates.
My Rating: 3