Mark Burke (The Chubby Meeple)
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Zombies. They are absolutely everywhere these days. Movies. Television. And, yes, even in our games. Zombies have become a staple in today’s modern culture, and quite a number of designers, developers, producers, writers, etc. use them to attract the hordes of zombie fans in the world today. Along those lines comes Survive The Horde Party Game, designed by Evan Johnson (with art by Santi Jurado) and published by Laffgasm Games.
Survive The Horde is a character-driven zombie survival game for 2-8 players that can be played in 20-30 minutes and is intended for a 17+ audience. In the game, each player takes on the role of one of eight characters and fights through waves of ridiculous zombies that seem to have taken on the stereotypes of their occupations and interests. As the game progresses, some players will become undead and will play as zombified versions of their character. The last player with a healthy brain is declared the winner.
Each player will select a character card and places it in front of them, living side up. They will also take a certain number of brain chips (based on the number of players). If playing with 2 or 3 players, start with 5 brain chips each. In a 4 or 5 player game, each player should start with 4 brain chips. Finally, with 6 to 8 players, give each player 3 brain chips. These brain chips are placed in front of the player, healthy side up, and are left visible to other players at all times. Then shuffle the Zombie and Survivor decks separately and place them in the center of the table, within reach of all players, making sure to leave room next to each for a discard pile.
Determine who goes first by rolling a die. High roll becomes first player. On your turn, you will draw the top card of the Zombie deck and read it out loud. Anyone can then play a Survivor card or activate their character’s Player Power. Most Zombie cards have a number in the upper right corner. These Zombies need to be fought by rolling dice. To defeat a Zombie, you must roll equal to or higher than the number on the Zombie’s card. Zombies come from specific zones (rural, suburban, or infection). If you character card shows a matching zone symbol on it, add 1 to your die roll. Anytime you successfully defeat a Zombie, you will draw the top card of the Survivor deck and add it to your hand. Survivor cards help you fight Zombies or give you ways to sabotage other players. Survivor cards are kept secret from other players, and you can have a maximum of five of them in your hand. If you were to ever draw a sixth Survivor card, you must either immediately play or discard one in order to get down to the hand maximum.
Some cards in the Zombie deck do not have a number in the upper right corner. These cards will, instead, contain either a Curse or a Challenge. Curse and Challenge cards will explain how to resolve the card. Challenge cards can only be defeated by successfully completing the challenge printed on the card. If you defeat a Challenge, draw a Survivor card. If you draw a Curse card from the top of the Zombie deck, the Curse is placed next to your character card and our turn ends. On your next turn, if you do not roll high enough to break the Curse, the penalty shown on the Curse card is applied. If you become undead while cursed, the curse is lifted and is discarded. When you roll high enough to break a Curse, you do not draw a Survivor card. Simply discard the broken Curse and continue play as normal.
If you fail to defeat a Zombie or you do not complete a Challenge, you will turn one of your brain chips to the undead side. If all of your brain chips are flipped to the undead side, you will flip your character card to its undead side and continue playing as the undead version of your character. Playing as undead will give you a penalty of some kind. The winner is the last player to have at least one healthy brain chip remaining when all other players have become undead.
The Kickstarter campaign for Survive The Horde Party Game launches on Friday, October 21, 2016 at 10am ET (7am PT). You can take a look at the preview page at http://kck.st/2ebLpA9, where you’ll find more information and images from the game. When the campaign launches, you’ll be able to grab a copy of the game and all unlocked stretch goals for $25. For $30, your pledge will also include the Adult Apocalypse add-on. This add-on contains 10 additional cards that add more adult humor and challenges to the game. Shipping to the US is estimated to be $5 ($10 to Canada; $15 to the EU). The game has an expected delivery date of April 2017.
The team from Laffgasm Games demoed Survive The Horde Party Game at Gen Con in Indianapolis this past August. The game was very well received by those who stopped by the booth. More than 500 people signed up for the email notification list, including more than 90% of the people who played the game. The team was given high praise in terms of humor, gameplay, and fun by those who had the privilege of demoing the game.
Coming Soon ...
The Chubby Meeple Review of Survive The Horde Party Game will be posted in the very near future. Evan was kind enough to provide me with a prototype copy of the game. However, I have not had a chance to play it as of this posting. I plan to post a full review (with new photos!) in the coming weeks. Until then, check out their Kickstarter page, and get ready to Survive The Horde!