Review: Flick’em Up Dead of Winter – even undead men flick
It’s been so long, when I could walk streets of my hometown without any worries. Every time I leave the shelter, I have to look over my shoulder and have my ears and my eyes really sharp. Some bloody surprise can be hiding even behind that ice-cream carriage. When such undead creature runs at you, you are already straight off. One scratch is enough and within a few hours, you will become one of them. And I am trying not to think about fate of those, who can not escape.
Luckily, zombies are not good at balance. You just have to hit them, they lose their balance and you get a chance to run away. That’s how Flick’em Up is preparing us for a possible apocalypse with the subtitle Dead of Winter. It is obvious from title, that this box combines two popular games – Flick’em Up and Dead of Winter into one box. Team of designers is Jean-Yves Monpertuis, Gaëtan Beaujannot, Isaac Vega and Jonathan Gilmour. This is child coming from Pretzel Games (Junk Art) and uses the original Flick’em Up mechanism. Game was released in 2017 and is distributed by Esdevium Games for Europe.
Box is all done in a frozen style, but it’s pretty horror-like. And that’s exactly, what the whole game is trying to look under the lid, where your fight for lives starts with one booklet with rules and scenarios, as well as two sticker sheets. You will want to stick them tightly to bodies of the undead, who have eighteen plastic figures here. Next eleven images are ready for the survivors (human heroes) and there are also stickers for backpacks and plastic crates. All this needs to be prepared right after the first opening of the box.
Also other cardboard components need to go through preparation by placing them in plastic stands, as well as the zombie tower, that is built from many cardboard components. The map of the whole city is prepared by players according to chosen scenario. Some buildings and car wrecks will then get tokens representing items, that can be found there.
But for the beginning, players have to find a large space at home and mark its borders by four boundaries, creating a city. Each participant then chooses one hero, gets his board (with some weapon, life space and also two free positions for new items) and figurine with the backpack.
Match is divided into rounds, that match alternating days and nights. Cardboard cartoony caravan shows turn track in form of squares going down from number four to zero represented by the skull. Each hero starts somewhere on the map and has a backpack pinned to his back, upper color of which determines, whether he is still available for current round.
Players alternate and can always choose one of active heroes to use his two actions. First of all, humans can move around the city. To do so, players use their skills, as the whole body of the character is transformed into a circular token, that the player flicks with his finger and attempts to move it to a tactically more advantageous position. When moving, token must not touch any part of the city, ie buildings or objects, and need to remain within the city boundaries. Only such a move is success, otherwise the figure stays where it was.
A player may attempt to attack an enemy instead of moving. In order to do so, he will use weapons and a potential advantage (for example, when inside the building), puts the bullet token next to his hero miniature and tries to hit the target by flicking the token and cause it to fall down. If it is a zombie, it is removed from the map of the city. If a player hits another human (whether friendly or not), such a hero loses one heart and remains exhausted (lying down).
On the other hand, when a character finds himself too close to one of the undead, he gets one wound straight away. But in reward, he can also during his turn kill this enemy without being forced to test his skills. No flicking, just an instant kill.
In addition to traditional combat and movement, players can also use one of the action points in their turn to interact with the environment. This usually means picking up or dropping one of the items. Once he has made both permitted actions, player turns his backpack upside down and indicates, that he can no longer fight in the round. Hi time will come again in the next day (or night).
Undead response follows each player’s turn. Depending on noisiness of the action, there may be some things happening or nothing at all (if there is no noise). As a result, brainfree monsters can only stand up, if fallen. But if there was enough noise, it is also possible, that players will have to place a cardboard tower behind this zombie and it will use it to summon friends. This happening is called a zombie rush. According to the noise, only particular figure or all remaining undead in the city will be used to attack. Miniatures are placed on the roof of the tower by numbers on their backs, then support of the roof is removed and figures tumble down on the board. Heroes, who are touched by this undead flood lose one heart.
At the end of the round, turn marker moves one space forward, but new undead will also arrive in the city. Their number is determined by pointer of the base of zombie tower. Even these new miniatures are spread using tower. Game then continues with day and night cycles until players succeed in meeting their goal. Whether as a group in the case of cooperative scenarios or as a team in the case of those competitive. But if the undead stock is emptied at any time or pointer gets to the last space, all humans lose together.
First thing Flick’em Up: Dead of Winter is all about is an amazing theme and tension. While playing, the whole game looks fantastic. But the base remains the same as we know it from the original Flick’em Up. Only the Wild West theme changed to undead here. But players can be fighting together against time, at least initially.
Opinions about flicking in board games vary greatly. Dexterity is the foundation of success and your survival in the city, no matter which scenario you choose. But that is what brings the element of tension into play, thanks to which players themselves know, that they are at the mercy of their own abilities. Often they are in a situation, where they really need a hit and nervousness sets in. Flicking is not an accurate sport, so there are many mistakes. Still, you get better with practice. But it always brings good dose of uncertainty to the match.
Each scenario takes the player to another city and offers them different rules and victory conditions. Thanks to that, ten stories are sufficient enough, because it will take a lot of time before you try them all out. And you certainly will not stay with one try in every city. This is because there are interesting mechanics, such as barricades, duels in buildings or rescuing victims. Its only a pity that cooperative stories make only half of the total ten scenarios.
Fortunately, battle is not always the same. In addition to shooting, players may also use baseball bat or a knife, that works a little differently. It is no longer about flicking a token, but bat is spinning in melee range and knife is tipped over from standing position. But we have most appreciated novelty, that lies in the possibility of fighting together against time. Sometimes you just do not want to shoot other players. And this, in fact, is where a co-operative version comes in.
But the big news is also a zombie tower, which is perfectly designed. However, its really special to use it to simulate rapid influx of the undead throughout the city. Onset of the zombies on the scene as they bounce from behind the corner is really great and easily overwhelms heroes with their incredible numbers. Players must continually reduce number of creatures, so that the number does not grow over their head. In addition, even number of undead can lose you whole match.
Scenarios themselves remain elegantly fast. Game certainly supports some planning and positioning, but there is no reason to over-think something. Everything is fast and battle between humans and zombies is over in forty minutes. Of course, everything depends on the chosen scenario. The party can accomodate up to ten players at the same time, but this is too much. Even though it can be good in specific company at some party and big table. But where power of the game really lies is in lower numbers, where players get more often to real action.
Processing is absolutely perfect. Game looks fabulous and engaging with spatial objects, that shifts the overall impression really far away. Everything is sophisticated and covered with blood, which perfectly complements the dark horror impression.
Flick’em Up: Dead of Winter has really surprised us. It is quite different, than the original. But not the internal mechanism of motion and shooting. Here you still need to have smart fingers and be able to make a kicker. But the theme packs up new ideas dominated by a big tower for zombies and new ways to attack. Flick’em Up: Dead of Winter is really great and spine freezing fun!
Review: Flick’em Up Dead of Winter – even undead men flick
Flick'em Up: Dead of Winter is a great sequel to fun game. Its mechanisms are set aside by small innovations, most of all by cooperative possibilities and packing everything into impressive processing. Game is fun if you do not mind flick tokens on the table and imagining that the heroes are shooting. But even if it makes you feel bad when a flood of zombies floods down on your human gaming incarnation, you'll smile fondly. Flick'em Up: Dead of Winter can be great fun and ten scenarios are enough to keep you playing for a long time, although only five of them can be played together.
Reader Rating0 Votes
chance to play cooperatively
awesome zombie tower
excellent spatial processing complements the atmosphere