One of my pet peeves with boards games is too much randomness in games which take a long time. With high variance, its possible that I spend most of a long game doing pretty much nothing. This has happened to me in Arkham Horror many, many times, where I feel like I can’t contribute at all after taking an early hit and then spending most of the game half-dead and without equipment. Also, I very much dislike games where an early mishap means I can’t ever catchup.
However, this applies only to long games. In short games, which will be over shortly anyway, this is actually beneficial. Losing early doesn’t mean I’ll be just an onlooker for the rest of the game, which can last for hours. I might have things to do, but if I know I will never catch up, that’s not going to make the game fun for me.
… and then there’s Zombie Dice.
In Zombie Dice, you are a zombie and you are out for brrRRAAAIIINS!! Gladly, these are not the stupidest zombies. They have the ability to somewhat discern the dangers presented by their prey. On the other hand, that doesn’t really stop them that often.
The game is played with thirteen dice, six of which are common prey (green dice), some are pretty dangerous (yellow dice) and some are vey dangerous (red dice). Each dice has brains on some of its sides. This is what you want. You’re goal on each of your turns is to collect as many brains as possible without taking too many hits from shotguns (another one to three sides of the die, depending on the color). The dice also have footprints on them on some sides. Those you reroll.
Your turn goes as follows: Take three dice at random and roll them. Move all the brain dice to one side and all the shotgun shots to another side. Then replenish the dice randomly and roll again. You can stop after any roll and get points equal to the number of brains you have. However, if at any time you get three shotgun wounds, you lose all your brains and its the next player’s turn.
So, all in all, a very basic push-your-luck game. However, since this only takes minutes, its great. Basic strategy is pretty simple, but there definitely is decision making. It isn’t just a pure luck game. You need to know when to roll the dice and when to stay where you are.
I like it. Its quick, its fun, it has nice flavor. Not very in-depth, but no need for that in such a short game. It doesn’t take much room, so you can take it pretty much anywhere, although the container is pretty big and awkward compared to the contents, but its also a great tool for the game.