Review: Zombie! Run for Your Lives!

Zombie! Run for Your Lives! - packaging

The human head belong to your neck. No doubt about it, right? Most people believe this one statement, and stand firmly behind it. Mostly when some creature wants to torn it off. But they think it only until the moment, when zombies come and digs their nails or teeth into their flesh. Everything changes then. You are a zombie, it does not matter, where your head is. That means, that belief and faith is constantly changing. And you do not have to become undead to think that. Pardon me, of course. The paradox. Zombies do not think.

Well, but the majority of slow grumbling and hungry braineater will not appreciate this statement. They have no other options. Even the belief of those, who are chased by these monsters, is changing. Instead of God, they will come to believe in the power of the fire, shotgun and their own two feet. Some of them will say, that they are infidels and others will call them heroes. Their goal is seamingly easy – to escape.

And this goal will stick with you and your fellow players in a card game Zombies! Run for your lives! published by the Russian company Right Games. Game was devised and prepared by D. Goryunov and published in 2011. Too bad we were unable to find authors of illustrations anywhere, because they are really excellent and great fun every zombie fan. And who else than them would actually buy this game? Let’s see..

Zombie! Run for Your Lives! - game is ready

Well, also buyers, who want a light entertainment for a group of their friends. Maybe in the pub, on holiday or just for a relaxed evening with chips and wine. When you bring a box there, you pull cards from the drawer, where they are contained. Meanwhile, all players will have a chuckle over dribbling illustrations on the packaging.

And believe us or not, in addition to the deck, where 63 cards are located, there is nothing else in there except a small list with rules. And that booklet is really tiny (only one small paper), which means one thing: the game is really simple. And such simple games are usually divided into two groups – boring and extremely entertaining. Let’s see, which category Zombie! eventually fall off.

Preparation of the game is really simple – sit around a table, shuffle a deck of cards (thoroughly!) and give each player four cards. The rest make a drawing pile in the centre. Now take these cards and determine a starting player. We’re ready. See? We said its simple!

Zombie! Run for Your Lives! - game in progress

And now what? In his turn a player has two responsibilities. First, he draws the top card of drawing package, and then he may play one card from his hand. The choice is always out of five specimens, which he holds.

The cards are of course divided into two types, which we could tell you earlier. Now we will rectify it. You will easily tell apart white cards with objects and black cards with zombies. Both species are wearing an image and name in Russian and English. And they all (almost all) also have a symbol in a circle in the top left corner. This is the card group. Thanks to this image, some object cards and zombies create inseparable pairs. They will eventually cancel each other out, when they are in the same place.

But the goal is for all players the same. To get five objects in front of them. Such a player will probably become a fearsome Zombie Killer with such firepower, that every zombie takes its brain under its arm and legs on shoulders. Have you ever seen a running zombie? We did not. But here you will have a chance to see them, when you are victorious. That is actually your goal. Nothing less, nothing more. To make zombies run. Other players become merely food and expand the ranks of the undead.

Zombie! Run for Your Lives! - game in progress

But the main fun is hidden in the fact, that while you play cards of objects in front of you, you must play black cards with pictures of undead in front of other players! This is the way you harm them and create trouble. Of course you can choose, which card you put and also the player, who should obtain it. If you succeeded to create a pair of identical symbols, each card goes to the discard pile. Also the color corresponds to the pair of symbols, so you could easily distinguis them.

The player, who manages to collect five white objects, is the winner. On the other hand, if someone meets the fifth monster (all of them must stand in his way on the table), he becomes also the undead. From now on, he cannot win, but he still plays the game as a zombie. Every time his turn is up, he draws a card and places it in front of one player. He has no hand of cards and no other choices, just this. You know, these stupid undead monsters have no brain capacity and you should be pleased to get some of the action. You could even decide, who will win or lose with your zombie playing!

Well, there is one rule, we have not mentioned yet. Players can their turn by playing a card with reverse option. Play a zombie in front of yourself as a true hero, „Come on, you bastards, I’ll have you for dinner!“ Or make an alliance with some of the other players and defend them with playing of object in front of him. After you do this, then the player must still play a regular move, in which he plays cards under the original rules.

Zombie! Run for Your Lives! - cards

Zombie! Run For Your Lives! is a game, which focuses on entertainment, alliances and assaults between players. If you would have played the Zombie! only without the last one special rule, you will probably not enjoy the game. You will denounce each other with players, trying to feed one another to zombies and eventually some of you will succeed. But you will be missing so much! Something buried in what is a hidden magic of this card game.

If you would like to buy this game to play it in three or four players, then do not even think about it. Players can hardly form alliances and plot against the others. Two players will gang up on the third and game would not be fun. Its strength will show up, when there is plenty of room to negotiate.

Now you can finally take advantage of special rules for playing items in front of other players. And helping each other. Zombie! Run For Your Lives! is actually kind of a team game. But only to a certain level, in which allies turn their backs on each other. But when will it be? You should make sure, that they do not do it before you. Now this is the waiting and uncertainty we are talking about. And then it comes to a bloody massacre and a final decision leading to a single winner.

Zombie! Run for Your Lives! - cards

Unfortunately a lot of players do not understand it, because there is a number three written on the box as suggested lowest number of players. In that situation, usually two gang together against one, and then fight among themselves for victory. And it’s not fun the way it should be.

Zombie! Run For Your Lives! is an excellent game from a company of more people. If you play it in five or more players, then you will enjoy it with a lot of cheating, hypocrisy and alliances, that someone eventually just has to break. Escape from the zombies is the theme absolutly suitable for this. Either run or get eaten. But be aware, you do not have to run faster than zombies, you just need to be faster, than others.

DesignerDanila Goryunov
PublisherG3, Rightgames RBG SIA
Year Published2012
# of Players3 - 7
User Suggested # of Players Best with 7 players
Recommended with 4, 7 players
(3 voters)
Playing Time15
Mfg Suggested Ages10 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(2 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(2 voters)
CategoryCard Game, Humor, Party Game, Zombies
MechanicHand Management
Primary NameZombie! Run for Your Lives!
Alternate NamesZombi! Ratuj się kto może!, Зомби! Спасайся кто может!

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Zombie! Run for Your Lives!
Final word
Zombies! Run for Your Lives is a card game, that focuses on making alliances and breaking them soon for your profit only. It is full of backstabbing, cons, pretending and betrayals. Mostly in the beginning, players have to make partnerships and help each other. Whole game evolves around playing two types of cards - zombies and objects, which hurt them or protect you from them. For example good shoes. Whoever gets surrounded by five undead, is out of the game. Player, who collects five objects, is the winner. But some weapons are suitable for some enemies, so you can use them to disable these zombies during the game. But you are able to play cards not only in front of yourself, but also harm or help others. This is the main strength and weakness of this otherwise simple game. In fewer players, the game is quite boring. But if you have enough of right players in your group (at least five), then Zombies! might catch you off guard.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
great in more players
you have to cooperate
tension, who will betrays first
illustrations
option to play cards in front of others
Cons
not such great fun in three or four players
2
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