TINY EPIC ZOMBIES
By Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee on January 22, 2019
"Brains, I need to eat brains!" That is all our board game reporter can say and think about nowadays. Why? Well, because the last time he played Tiny Epic Zombies he was completely overrun at the Echo Ridge Mall and turned into a horrifying zombie, so now he's always on the lookout for a pair of juicy brains. He will be dearly missed... oh well! Luckily, he was able to finish this DumeeGamer review before meeting his untimely demise.
Tiny Epic Zombies, published by Gamelyn Games and designed by Scott Almes is a human versus zombies survival game which can be played cooperative or every human for themselves in a competitive mode. The zombies can be controlled by one of the players or you can play against AI controlled zombies. The tiny box contains so much, it is almost unreal. Fourteen player cards with a human and zombie side, nine mall cards, thirty-two search cards, nine objective cards, one motorcycle and one police car, eighteen zombies, four Meeples that can hold items (the aptly named ITEMeeples) and a whole lot of tokens. I am just going to say it again, that is a lot, for such a tiny box.
My wife and I played this game for the first time at an early Halloween event. The board is set up by randomly placing all the mall cards around the courtyard card. This way your board will have a different setup every time you play a game. The zombie player takes a player card and puts it in front of him or her, zombie side up. Now the other players each take a player card and put it in front of them, human side up. When all the markers, tokens and ITEMeeples are dealt to the players, and the wooden model of either the police car or the motorcycle is placed on the board, the objective cards are shuffled, after which three random cards are drawn. These three cards will specify the winning conditions for the humans. Alternatively, the Zombie player wins if te human players fail to complete all three of these conditions before the stack of search cards is depleted.
From this point on, the game becomes a battle for survival. While the humans are trying to complete all the objectives before getting eaten alive, the zombie player focuses on making the reaching of this goal as difficult as humanly... eehm... zombiely possible. As a human, you must use your mandatory three moves, each of which can consist of the following actions: you can collect items, use a room ability or interact with a token (these two options may be combined) and, of course, kill a zombie. All this is done in order to complete the game's set of objectives before you and your fellow survivors are overrun by zombies. The Zombie player's turn consist of checking for noise to be able to perform an action and, after that, adding new zombies to the rooms in the mall and damaging the barricade that the survivors have built in the courtyard. When the barricade's strength reaches zero, the humans also lose.
Moving in-between all the rooms in the mall, searching for the right tokens to complete an objective, dodging brain thirsty zombies, is already really, really cool! But when you can make use of a police car or a motorcycle and make your Meeples carry all sorts of weapons in their "hands", things get even more awesome really, really fast! The ITEMeeples in Tiny Epic Zombies are specially designed to hold items while playing. This is a really fun extra that developer Gamelyn Games puts in their Tiny Epic games on a regular basis.
With all the game modes, different mall cards and different objective cards, Tiny Epic Zombies has a lot of replay value. Together with the awesome zombie theme, tons of stuff packed neatly in a small and very easily portable box (which I really like a lot, being an avid traveller myself) makes Tiny Epic Zombies a truly excellent game. I find myself having a blast, every time I play the game. This game has an American zombie apocalypse movie feel to it, which only adds to the fun there is to be had while playing the game. There's something about a mall that makes it the perfect setting for all this Zombie action. But wait, what is that loud noise? Oh well, it was probably nothing. Where was I... right, Tiny Epic Zombies is a truly fun... Holy shit what is that!? Who are you? Leave me alone!!! Don't bite me... aaaaaaAAAH!
TINY EPIC ZOMBIES
Year of release: 2018
Designer: Scott Almes
Artist: Miguel Coimbra, Ben Shulman
Players: 1 - 5 players, ages 14 & up
Playtime: approx. 30 minutes