Zombie Kidz Overview
In Zombie Kidz players are venturing into the scariest part of the graveyard to lock the gates and stop the zombie horde from spreading into the city. Work together to lock all four gates, or eliminate all of the zombies in the cemetery to win.
How to Setup Zombie Kidz
Setup for Zombie Kidz is simple. Place the board in the center of the playing area. For a 2 player game use the side of the board with diagonal paths between tombstones. For a 3-4 player game use the side with no diagonal paths. Place one zombie on each gate at the corners of the board, place the remaining zombies within reach of all players. Place all 4 lock tokens off to the side of the board. Have each player select a character token and plastic base then place all character tokens on the red tombstone in the middle of the board. Select a start player and you’re ready to begin.
An example of a 4 player game setup is shown below.
How to Play Zombie Kidz
A player’s turn consists of 4 possible actions, performed in the following order:
Placing a zombie
At the beginning of their turn a player are required to roll the die and determine if, and where, they’ll place a zombie. If the die face shows black, red, blue, yellow, or green, place a zombie on the corresponding tombstone. If the die face is white, players are in luck, and no zombie is placed that round.
Danger: At any time if a player must place a zombie on the board, and cannot, the game is over and the zombies have won. If placing a zombie results in a character token occupying the same space as 3 zombies, then the zombies have won.
Players may choose to move one path segment at a time. Players may also choose to stay on their current space. A player could move from the red tombstone space to the green tombstone space as a single move. If players are using the board with diagonal paths, players may also move from the yellow tombstone to the green tombstone in a single move.
If a tombstone is occupied by 3 or more zombies players may not move onto it.
Once a player has moved to the tombstone of their choice, they may eliminate all zombies located there.
If at any time 2 players are located on one of the gates, you may lock it by placing one of the lock tokens on the gates. Congratulations, you’re that much closer to preventing the onslaught of zombies.
Note: Once a player has eliminated zombies, or locked a gate, they may not move their piece.
Lock all 4 gates, or defeat all zombies on the board and you win!
What I Like About Zombie Kidz
I bought this game on a whim. I didn’t really know anything about it, and no one I knew had ever played it. But I’m really glad that I did. It’s pretty small, about the size of a paperback book. The art is pretty great…definitely kid friendly and cartoony with just a touch of grossness that kids love. The character pieces are all from various movies. Simon Pegg’s character from Shaun of the Dead, The Bride from Kill Bill, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, and a combination of Luke Skywalker from Star Wars and Neo from The Matrix. The component quality is solid, with plastic bases for the character pieces. Sadly the zombie pieces lay flat on the board, but that’s not too big a deal.
The game plays quite fast; in the 10 minute range with easy decisions for players to make. You roll the die, and put a zombie on that color. The toughest thing is deciding where to move when it’s your turn. Do you try to eliminate all the zombies from the board, or do you go the gates? This is where your guidance as a parent comes in handy. Offer options to your younger players and see what they’re thinking. For younger kids, like my 5 year old, he just wants to get rid of zombies. In a number of occasions he’s chosen to defeat zombies rather than move to a space with another player; passing up the chance to lock a gate…and that’s totally cool. The game is so fast that even if you lose, you’ve only take a few minutes. Set it up and go again!
While the game isn’t hard, there is enough of a balance of removing zombies and placing new zombies out that you’re constantly watching the remaining stack of zombie tokens to make sure you’re not running out. You can also make the game more difficult by removing 1, or more, zombies from the stack.
What I Dislike About Zombie Kidz
The game does rely a good bit on luck because of the die rolling, and in many cases your younger kids will make choices that you wouldn’t make. But that’s fine…it’s the nature of co-op games right? Let your kids see the results of their choices by letting the zombies munch on their brains. 😀
The rules are a piece of glossy paper folded several times. They could also use some TLC in the form of better graphic design, and proofreading. Usable, but they could be better.
Final Thoughts on Zombie Kidz
Zombie Kidz is a super light co-op game perfect for teaching your kids to work together. It’s small, portable, has a low price point, and easily fits into a suitcase or travel bag. Zombie Kidz is a fun family game and worth being in your collection.
While the original Zombie Kidz was a great find, consider checking out Zombie Kidz Evolution, the next iteration, which is an all around better game.