Zombies? Survivors? I always wondered how I would survive in a Zombie Apocalypse , lets find out.
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So what is Dead of Winter?
Dead of Winter is cooperative game where you and your friends are a colony of survivors trying to survive a crazy winter and you are tasked to achieve a group goal ,but you also have your own secret goal that you have to try achieve. This is a story focused board game, so if you love stories then this game flows great. Your group will be tasked to get supplies, stop threats as they appear or just generally keep people happy. Your secret goal however is what makes this game interesting, your character(s) may have a interesting obsession in sabotaging the survival of your group.
Dead of winter is all about the cards and it’s tokens, which we were happy to say were of good quality, the board game and the card design fantastic, it is gritty style and gives you a feeling of uneasiness when you progress through the game. As if you were actually surviving the zombie apocalypse as well! I did feel the board game could have been slightly bigger, but that could be that I like bigger things. One thing you will notice, is there are lots of pieces.
How does it play?
Dead of Winter plays well, there are many scenarios that can play out and they range from chilled out to ‘how am I still alive’. What we found to be nice was that each player although we are all technically working for the survival of the group (or so we think) we each are trying to get our own agenda across. So despite trying to keep everyone alive, you are also second guessing everyone’s motives, why they decided to be very helpful or why they are not saying much. This added a level of depth to the game and re playability which was fantastic, it does take a while to get through the rules, which slowed down the ability to just pick it up and play.
However once you get the hang of the rules we found it quite hard not to have another round. As we said earlier, the game evolves around story, the crossroad deck adds that element of story to each players turn, from having to do something in particular or conditions that if met mean something will happen. As you go through the game, you will get characters, your characters may die from Zombie bites or from the cold. Which was nice as it adds flexibility and makes each game different.
Will my Friends/Family enjoy it?
This is not the game for the general family, as it takes time to get through the rules, and the subject matter is not the most accommodating for kids. Zombies, dying and killing each other makes it not the highest game on the family meter, however, in saying this, for adults this is a lovely game to play. The deception and trying to work together makes for memorable moments, picking up crossroad cards can give the other players a chill if you have one of those ‘looks’ as that is how the game hinges. Getting into the spirit of a role-playing survival mood makes the game even more engaging.
Dead of winter is a solid choice of a game, great for a unique story driven play session where you second guess everyone you are trying to stay alive with, makes for an fun time. Our only niggle was the time to get through rules, board game size and lack of broad family appeal.