It’s not a stretch to say that the zombie craze has taken the entertainment world by storm lately. From video games to TV shows to tabletop games, everyone loves smacking around the living dead. Well zombies has now invaded the children’s realm with the new board game Zombie Kidz by Asmodee Games. In this cooperative game, up to 4 players must work together to stop the zombies from overrunning the cemetery. Will this game be enough to hold yours and your little ones attention? Let’s find out!
In Zombie Kidz, players must work together to stop the zombies from taking over the cemetery. On a players turn, they will be adding a zombie, moving around the graveyard and eliminating zombies. If two or more players are on a gate, they can lock it. If all 4 gates are locked, the players win. However, if the players ever run out of zombies to place on the board, they will lose.
Asmodee Games is no stranger to making a nice looking board game. Almost all of their games have great looking pieces and Zombie Kidz is no different. One of the nice things about Zombie Kidz is the size of the game. It comes in a small box that will make it ideal for travel. The small board and pieces also makes things easy for kids since they tend to have smaller hands and arms.
In additional to the dual sided game board, the game also comes with 4 cardboard stand ups for the players to use as their characters. Each is well illustrated with some comic style artwork. To go with that are a number of zombie tokens (that lay flat) and a custom die. The artwork is done in a style to make the game more fun than scary, which is a good thing for a kids game.
How to Play:
As a kids game, it should be no surprise that Zombie Kidz has just a few rules. Depending on if you are playing with 2 players or 3-4, you’ll use a difference side of the game board. Each player then chooses a kid figure to use and places that in the center of the board. Finally, place one zombie on each of the 4 gates and you are ready to start.
A players turn is divided into 4 parts:
1. Place a new zombie: This is done by rolling a custom, six-sided die. Whichever color is showing specifies which tomb gets a zombie placed on it. If you roll white, no zombie is placed. If you ever have to place a zombie and have none, the players lose. Also, if a player’s figure ever has a 3rd zombie added to their space, everybody loses.
2. Move: If a player wants to, they may move their figure one space along a path. Note: a figure may not move onto a space that contains 3 zombies.
3. Eliminate zombies: A player may remove all zombies from the space he/she currently occupies. These are returned back to the supply.
4. Lock a gate: If two players are both at the same gate, the active player may lock it. Place one of the 4 lock tokens the gate. If the players can lock all 4 gates, they win!
In addition to the win/lose conditions described above, players can also win by eliminating all zombies on the board.
To fully test out Zombie Kidz, I first had to round up some youngins of the appropriate age. Special thanks to my fellow reviewers Elena (Age 10), Jake (Age 8) and Johnny (Age 8). They were instrumental in helping to fully test out the game.
After spending some time playing the game, the unanimous decisions was they all liked it. Among the reasons why was that it was fun, they enjoyed the theme and liked that it was a cooperative game. One of our young reviewers didn’t like losing the game though. Can’t say I blame him, no one likes to lose. But even after our first game ended in a heartbreaking loss, it didn’t take very much convincing to get them to reset the game and try it again. So Zombie Kidz gets a hearty thumbs up from all 3 of my young reviewers.
To dive a little deeper into what the game play is like, I’d say that anyone familiar with cooperative games will feel right at home here. There is nothing new or ground breaking in Zombie Kidz, but for a kids game, what’s here works really well. The game play is very quick (15 minutes) and also is a lot of fun. All three of our young reviewers enjoyed knocking the zombies off the board (the boys did have a bit more “enthusiasm” in that part than Elana).
A parent may be concerned about the theme of the game, but I’d say you have nothing to worry about. No where in the game does it talk about “killing zombies”. You simple remove them from the board. The artwork is also done in a very kid friendly style that shouldn’t cause any nightmares or be to scary.
As with any cooperative game, it can be easy in Zombie Kidz for one player to take on the alpha role. If your kids don’t work well together, this could be come an issue. On the other hand, it might be a good learning experience for them on teamwork. Sometimes during the game a player will have to take on a lesser task, and another player will stand out as a hero, all for the greater good. I could see a kid at the younger end of the age spectrum having issue grasping the concept of doing a boring job so everyone can win, but a little guidance could help that.
Zombie Kidz also plays quickly with very minimal downtime. Even at the maximum player count of 4, turns went by very quickly and the kids didn’t lose interest when it wasn’t their turn.
Finally, it was interesting to watch our little reviewers formulate their various strategies during the game. I mostly acted in a passive role to see how they handled the game. And for the most part, they did really well. The kids did a great job in figuring out what needed to be done to win and the two boys enthusiastically enjoyed removing the zombies on their turn. After a few plays, all of our reviewers had a good time with Zombie Kidz (even this old one) and would have no concerns about playing it again. Elana even wants her own copy of the game!
All of use enjoyed playing Zombie Kidz and thought it was a really well put together game. The game will be prone to some wild swings of luck (due to the die roll), but that didn’t detract from our game experience at all. Zombie Kidz is a quick and easy to learn game that got positive marks from all of our reviewers.
Zombie Kidz can make a great entry to the cooperative game genre for kids old enough to grasp the concept. I think the 7+ age range is pretty spot on, although I think the younger the child, the more help they might need with strategy on their turn. All-in-all Zombie Kidz is a fun little kids game with some great components and a quick play time. Its small size also helps to make the game very portable so you can take it with you on the go. Pick up this one today.
If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself, it’s about $12
Final Score: 4 Stars – A fun kids game with a low price point that will have them working together to try and beat the game.
• Nothing to stop one player from taking charge
• Game can be prone to wild swings of luck