From: Kingdoms Publications
Reviewed by: Joey Martin
ApocalypZe is a new card game from Kingdom Publications.
The long awaited apocalypse has occurred. There are zombies. One could call it the ApocalypZe. There is no mention of how it happened or why it happened. No mention of Patient Zero or a possible cure. You are just holed up in some familiar location trying to survive.
There are others out there. Others whose idea of survival is to send the hordes of zombies and other threats your way. You have to fight fire with fire.
From the back box cover: “Legions of the undead are at your door, trying to claw their way inside. Starved and alone, you make your stand. Will you survive?”
This game looks good. The box is sturdy and the art, a nice play on the typical zombie hordes at a door, is muted and well done. The cards are glossy, printed on a good stock and the artwork is very nice there as well. It’s an almost realistic style that works well with the theme. One highlight are the zombie cards. Your ‘basic trooper’ card is basically two in one. The left side depicts your police officer/military soldier/ ganger/ average citizen on a blue background. The right side depicts the same character as a zombie on a red background. A cool concept that is very well done.
Each player has a 60-card deck. There are four pre-made decks. Each is based off a ‘home’ location. A church, a military base, a police station or a bar. You can use these pre-made decks and jump right in the game. I would suggest doing so. Extra cards are given so that players can personalize their decks.
To start the game, each player places his base down and draws eight cards from their deck. Each turn consists of five stages:
1-Draw: Draw from your deck until you have eight cards in your hand
2-Occupation: Pick one location and play as many cards as you please to that location
3-Scavenge: Other locations may come available. When you play them you can send people to that location to scavenge for items and allies.
4-Combat: Self explanatory.
5-Consumption: Basically ‘spending’ cards to feed and keep your people alive.
It sounds like a basic game rules wise but it turns out to be quite complex in play. The key here is that you pick one location to play cards to. The first turn you have to occupy your base. After that you can send your minions to any location. Blue cards are allies and are played to your base or other locations you are attempting to scavenge. Red cards are zombies, cultists or other threats that you direct towards a location one of the other players control. Those cool half blue and half red cards? When you play them you state which they represent, a human or a zombie when played. There is a good bit of strategy involved with placement.
Combat is easy. Each location has an Access number. This represents doors, windows, chimneys and more that attackers can attempt to enter. Some locations are more secure than others. The more access, the more venues for attackers to split their forces and hit. However, each location has a Value number as well. If an attacker does get in, this value number, representing the damage the attacker does, is what you will have to spend on consumption at the end of the round. For example, the church may only have one set of doors and few windows, but if a horde of zombies does make its way in, it’s going to do more damage to the infrastructure that player controls than it would at the military base.
Each card has an attack and a defense value. When an attack is blocked and combat occurs you basically compare these values. Each side takes the damage and it is possible for both sides to be destroyed. It is also possible that you could have an extremely tough character who walks away unscathed. If attacking an enemy base, any attackers who get through this defense affect the Value as described below.
There are other cards that affect play. Some represent weapons and items to enhance a character in play. Some are occurrences that affect combat or scavenging. Overall a nice way to buff your cards and to see a little randomization in the game.
From page #3: “Throughout the course of the game, you will be forced to consume resources. In order to do this, you will move cards into your discard pile.”
Consumption is the win or lose concept in this game. At the end of your turn you have to consume. For each character you have in play you spend one consumption. Other factors such as cards in play and damage done by attackers to your base can increase this. For each point of consumption you have to pay, you can either discard the top card from your deck, discard two cards from your hand or discard a character, counting his Value number as the amount of consumption paid. The object of the game is to be the last one with a deck left.
In conclusion, this is a fun game. It might take a play or three to get the hang of it but it’s more complex than it seems. Luck does play a part. There are only so many allies and characters in your deck. In my first game, my opponent pulled four strong attackers in her first draw. I pulled only one weak defender. She had me on the defensive the entire game.
Once you get past the learning curve and get a little experience, this one is quite enjoyable.
For more details on Kingdoms Publications and their new card game “ApocalypZe” check them out at their website http://www.ninekingdoms.com, and at all of your local game stores.
Codex Rating: 17
From: Kingdom Publications
Type of Game: Card/Strategy
Game Design by: Ivan Turner
Developed by: Ivan Turner, Peter Spano, Chris Hanson
Art by: Pamela Mazurkevich, Kara Zisa, Nick Bowen
Number of Pages: 16 (rulebook)
Game Components Included: Rulebook, 304 cards
Retail Price: $40(US)
Number of Players: 2 – 4
Player Ages: 13+
Play Time: 30 – 60 minutes
Email: None given.
Reviewed by: Joey Martin