They are coming.
We all know it. Eventually, zombies will invade and we must prepare now for the coming apocalypse. This is just another reason why boardgames like The Last Night On Earth are of such value. What better way to simulate the dire circumstances to come than by roleplaying the situation in Anytown, USA?
The plays in true Ameritrash style. One or two players takes the role of directing the zombie onslaught while everyone else picks a “hero” to control. Each hero takes the role of a stereotypical characters trapped in a zombie invasion and each has special abilities and handicaps corresponding to that role such as the sheriff (starts with revolver and can regain it when searching if lost), the High School Quarterback, Jonny (win in combat on ties), Jenny the Farmer’s Daughter (While in the cornfield or barn, rolls an extra fight dice), or the Nurse (heals others in same square). The players must also decide on a scenario such as “Die Zombies! Die” (kill 15 zombies before dawn) or “Escape” (find the keys and gas and get to the truck to get out of town). Zombies spawn at various locations around the board. Of course they can only move one space at a time and are drawn towards a hero in any space adjacent to them by their hunger. Heroes roll a die for movement and search buildings by drawing cards that have various items on them that help them in their survival and/or quest. When a hero and zombie(s) are in the same space together they fight. Dice are rolled and, depending on what cards are played, a hero takes a wound or a zombie is fended off or killed. The game immediately ends when dawn breaks (meaning after so many turns) or all the scenario objectives are completed.
The Last Night On Earth is not the greatest game out there.The mechanics are ok, some scenarios are weighted too far towards one side or the other and some of the rules could be better explained, but I have found few games that immerse you so completely in its theme. It even comes with a soudtrack full of awful synthesizer music for crying out loud! As a hero, you really fell the angst and terror of being chased and trying to survive the night. The artwork, certain abilities and items, photos and the hero quotes are all hilariously awesome. A number of additional downloadable scenarios from the game’s website and the game’s BGG entry under “files.” An fantastic expansion was also released last year full of additional map pieces, scenarios, characters, and a new set of super zombies. If you are a fan of zombies (and really, who isn’t? They’re just so adorable!) and/or you want to prepare yourself all you can for the inevitable invasion, then you need to play this game!
Number of Players: 2-6
Playing Time: 90 minutes
Suggested Ages: 10 and up
All pictures courtesy of Boardgamegeek’s database