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Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Two-Minute Review: Last Night on Earth rss

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Kurt R
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All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.
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The 2MR is designed to be a quick summary of my thoughts on a game written in an easy to read Q&A format without delving into the rules and/or mechanics.

The Two-Minute Review Series:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/31672

Didn’t you already review this game? You trolling for GG?
No, I wrote an article on the learning curve, but I thought I’d use the 2MR to share some other thoughts on the game. Sheesh, just trying to contribute here, gimme a break.

Sorry. So where would you like to start?
OK, I’m a BIG fan of this game, and I’ve had some crazy fun playing it. At the same time, I can understand how some people can wonder just what all the fuss is about. I hope to clarify a bit of that as I’ve experienced both sides.

Sounds good. Why don’t we start with the “crazy fun” you mention. What’s that about?
Well, first off, let’s start with the number of players. I – and others – contend that 5 players (4 Heroes, 1 Zombies) is the sweet spot for this game because with the Hero players having one character each, you really feel invested in your character. That’s me out there, and I don’t want to die! Plus, it’s a lot of fun to work as a team – in my group’s case that means trying to shout over each other – to decide what to do.

Since the game is designed to feel like a zombie movie, you’re always on the run and zombies are ever close. There’s a lot of groaning on the Heroes’ part about overwhelming odds, lack of weapons, poor die rolls, etc. That makes it even more fun when you turn the tide and start blowing zombies away as the sun goes down.

I’m still not getting the crazy fun part.
Well, if you have people who are into the whole zombie thing and get into the mood, it really adds to the experience. We like to use our character’s catch-phrase, e.g., “I ain’t goin’ out like a chump!” as much as possible and scream, “I’ll see you in hellllllllll!” when throwing the dynamite. We’ve had more than one game where a character sacrificed himself by running into a crowd of zombies and getting blown up by the dynamite or held off zombies while a wounded character ran into the barn for safety only to miraculously appear later. “My God! You made it! Yeah, baby, now just rest here and heal…”

Then there’s the “It could be our last night on earth card” which forces a male and female player in the same space to lose a turn as they make good use of what could be their last night. We played two games in a row and John and Ryan played two different male/female characters each game and their characters, ahem, “lost a turn” each game. Much ribbing ensued.

Furthermore, the game has often come down to the very last turn (talking about the Die Zombies Die scenario). I lost as the Zombie player on the very last die roll when the heroes rolled double 6s. Dammit! Much shouting and hand-slapping ensued.

So it’s a theme game?

I’m saying that the game really does play like a movie and you can experience those zombie movie moments for yourself. So yeah, theme is a big part of it. It makes for tension and humor. Plus, as you can see, the session reports really lend themselves to being written like a movie. Here’s mine, for example: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/301956

OK, so is this game for everyone?
I’ve found some people who just aren’t engaged by the game and seem to wonder what all the fuss is about. I read one comment where someone said this is the most over-rated game on BGG. I think I know where they’re coming from.

I’ve played the game with people who aren’t really into zombie movies and who are looking at the game solely from a game play perspective, and it fell flat. This game isn't for them. Puerto Rico is not an experience, it's a game. This is an experience first and then a game.

I’m not knocking the game play, I think it’s fine, but I want to play this game with other zombie-philes who are ready to get into the mood, shoot some zombies in the head, and get a little silly. It’s a theme game and you have to be into the theme to get the most out of it. We put on zombie movies so there’s lots of screaming in the background. Oh, that’s fun.

Pause – I’d like to plug my favorite zombie movie: “Zombie”, the Italian movie where a zombie walking along the bottom of the ocean gets attacked by a shark and he fights it. It’s biting his arm and he’s punching it. And it’s a real shark. One of the best scenes on film EVAR. I hope they paid that guy a lot.

OK, this is getting long for a 2MR. Any parting thoughts?
I don’t recommend buying this as a 2P game, though it does play fine with two people if that’s all you got. Think of it as a real social experience that’s best enjoyed with a group of the right people. Otherwise, move along to something else and let the rest of us have our zombie fun without pooh-poohing it.

Bottome Line?
Buy, with the reservation that you need the right group of people.
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Justin Morse
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Great review style, great review, and great game.

Just wanted to add that "Zombie" contains one of the greatest eye mutilations of all time. Any fan of Zombie cinema should see this movie!
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Kurt R
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Thanks for the kind words... and yes, that scene is not for the squeamish!
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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My first 10 game or so was with just 2 people and I really really enjoyed it, rated it a 10, then I played with 4 of us - having the 3 heros all contol one guy and they split the control of the 4th guy till someone died, and that was very early in the game.

WOW - the more people added so much more fun into the game. It was great seeing them all argue about what everyone should do each turn. This made the game so much better, it was amazing. Like in Spinal tap I feel we need a knob to rate it a 11

My wife won´t play this one because of the zombie theme, which is fine with me, but like you said - with the right group of people this is oh so much fun.
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Matt Hoskins
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Great review and great review format. thumbsup

I struggled with this game at first, so I relate to the gameplay-focused vs. experience-focused groups you mentioned in your summary.

Mechanics-wise, the game is flawed. As a story engine it is superb.
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Adam Deverell
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Quote:
I’ve played the game with people who aren’t really into zombie movies and who are looking at the game solely from a game play perspective, and it fell flat. This game isn't for them. Puerto Rico is not an experience, it's a game. This is an experience first and then a game.


Perceptive comment, and it shows why the AT v euro gameplay debate it is sort of useless. They're played for two completely different reasons.

When our group played Zombies!!! it totally fell flat. Now, it's not a good game, but I noticed the "experience" was totally missing for one thing. There was some half-assed laughs about shotguns and exploding zombie heads, but that died quickly. Not one of the four as far as I know has watched a zombie movie apart from "Shaun of the Dead" (two of the guys). So there was no love for the theme in the first place. There needed to be. We gave up half way through.

I really don't read or watch pulp anymore - horror, fantasy, sci-fi, whatever (when is Fantasy Flight Games going to come out with a game based on a Annie Proulx or Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel?), but I once read comics and I discovered that Marvel Heroeswas a huge deal of fun because I recognised every villain and hero.

How I loved grabbing The Punisher as an ally! But others playing with it who never read comics focussed solely on the unrelenting dice rolls and combat. There was no catchphrases ("If you're guilty, you're dead"), no taunts, no reminiscing about the issue where Wolverine beat up Daredevil. It became an analysis of mechanics - and it didn't work.

Shows that sometimes you've really got to choose your gaming group well for themed games.
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Kurt R
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red_gamster wrote:
Perceptive comment, and it shows why the AT v euro gameplay debate it is sort of useless. They're played for two completely different reasons.


And a perceptive comment as well.
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Kurt R
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All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.
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pwn3d wrote:
LNOE is a much greater effort than the other REALLY bad zombie games out there, but it still is not good enough to justify the shelf space used.


I'm sorry to hear that. I hope that one day you find the zombie game of your dreams...
 
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