Rules: Very easy & straightforward. The few questions that come up are cleared up either in subsequent expansion packs or can be found on line.
Often with a new game I read the rule book with a highlighter. With Zombies that wasn't necessary. A quick scan will find you what you need.
Design: Overall, well laid out.
figures & tokens: The detail on the figures is awesome. The heart & bullet tokens are a little difficult to handle. I'm considering replacing them with red glass beads and (dare I say it) actual bullets (eek). (maybe .22 rounds).
Tiles: The artwork on the tiles are great. Some might say they are a little repetitive (Wow how many theaters does this town have?) but, I can overlook something like that. One problem new players might have is with what is considered a valid space and movement on the tile. The on-line FAQ and subsequent rule supplements clear this up though. I recommend examining the tiles individually before you start to clear up what is a valid space and what is a door etc.
cards: Again great art work and some devious fun incorporated into the names and effects.
Playability: The game plays very simply. Great with any number of players. Hardcore/experienced gamers might get frustrated with the over simplification of combat. For me that's part of the charm. If I need more sophisticated combat rules I'll play something else. It's structure lends itself very well to house rules and modifications. If you have a new player or someone who isn't familiar with gamming outside of Clue or Monopoly you might want to stick with the basic rules.
Overall: A great game. Easily accessible to gamers of all levels. If you just want some mindless fun I would almost equate this to a board game version of a "popcorn movie". If your having a get together just set the box on a counter or coffee table and wait for someone to ask, you'll have a game in no time. Hardcore gamers, mod to your hearts content. I've seen some house rule sets that are truly awesome. All in all I think this would greatly compliment any game collection.
We played the heck out of this game when it first came out. I still have a bit of a soft spot for this game, but a few complaints did arise.
We thought this game was going to be our "go to" game when we wanted a fun filler game. It was supposed to be something we could whip out and play in between games of Carcassonne or Catan (Two of the only import games here in the states at the time).
It was not. Like a couple other games at the time that were card-driven (Munchkin, I'm looking at you), the game simply took way too long as is, to serve as a filler game, yet lacked enough to disqualify for star game status. Instead the main part of the game taking up most of the time and the "endgame" taking up a small part at the end, the end game (the rush for the helipad) took forever. If you positioned yourself carefully and got a bit of luck regarding the placement of the helipad, you could have a quick jaunt to the chopper and could kill what you needed to win. More often than not, players found themselves having to traverse the entire map to get there and all the battles you'd have to fight along the way slowed you down.
One of the first expansions, I believe it was 2:Zombie Corps(e), provides a second helipad to place, and that does better players chances of reaching one quicker than with only one, but bear in mind that using that expansion increases the chances of having that much more map tiles to traverse.
We find ourselves playing the game less and less as a result and when we do, we never play with just the one exit point anymore. We found ourselves wondering whether it was a good idea for a company to be run by the very designers responsible for the company's designs. Was enough playtesting done? Did the owners'/designers' passions for the game lessen the game's likelihood of getting the tweaks post-playtesting that it needed? Either way, as much as the theme and seemingly lightheartedness appeals to us, the endgame lag was simply too big of a turnoff to make the series a regular play in our group. Which is odd considering how many of the expansions I still own. My addiction to having complete sets of things compelled me to purchase the base game, expansions 2-8 including the card-only expansion 3.5 (a must have), 6.66, which was nothing but blank cards for customization, as well as the base games for Humans!!! and Martians!!!
Considering how long they sit on my shelves collecting dust, yes, I do have buyers remorse, yet I'm addicted to collecting games as much as I am to playing them. Thus, the idea of parting with them pains me somewhat, but I've a sneaking suspicion they won't be part of my collection for long considering the role they were supposed to play in my collection was filled by far better games long ago.
I also dislike the tokens in this game and have used old poker chips instead. I have some insanely small ones, 3/4", but only blue and green and not very many. I found some 1" and on line and ordered them. I think they'll still be small enough, I'm getting 50 of each and I'll get more if they work out alright. Oh, and I got red and black, a lot better than blue and green.
I also got this for a 'filler' game but when played with more than 3 players it takes far too long. I still love it though, especially for people that don't play board games. Heck, I take it to my parents house on the holidays and my Mom plays who never plays any games.