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This review is from: SJG Zombie Dice (Toy)
Zombies rarely speak, but when they do, they typically only have one word in their vocabulary. Saying it like they do ("BraAAaAaaAaains") had us giggling throughout the games. Each player gets a turn with the dice (like Yahtzee) but what a player does with his turn is more exciting for everyone else to watch. The dice have brains, footprints, and gunshot bursts on them. 4 yellow dice have 2 of each symbol, 3 red and 6 green dice have two footprints each, with red having 3 gunshots and 1 brain, and green having the 3 brains and 1 gunshot.
You blindly take 3 dice and roll them. You keep your brains to your left, your gunshots to your right, and your footprints in the middle. As long as you haven't been shot 3 times, you can choose between rolling again, or eating (scoring) your brains and passing your turn. If you roll again, you must roll your footprint dice again, plus however many new dice you need to blindly pull from the cup to total 3. If you roll that 3rd gunshot, your turn is over and you don't get to eat your braaaAAAaains! Play continues in a race to 13 brains; once someone gets to 13, remaining players complete the current round and the zombie who ate the most brains wins.
Its the same 13 dice every turn, but turns go in a surprising variety of ways. Red footprints are going to have to be rolled again, which is scary, but even a red gunshot is a red die that isn't in the cup anymore - you could try to calculate the probabilities for your next throw, but in the end, you find a balance between your innate mathematical intuitions, the pressures of the current game score, and whatever sense of luck you possess. It's exciting, like gambling, and you are more engaged in your own risk/reward strategy (BraaaaAAaaaAAainnnns!) than with Yahtzee's more relaxed laundry list of things to accomplish.
There were no youngsters in my play groups, but I think kids would get this game, and older players can certainly offer helpful advice, so I think there is an educational vector here - its a fun way to exercise the probabilistic thinking muscles. But this is also a game you can introduce people into quickly, play once, and then play again, or do something else. Folks can easily rotate in and out of play.
For 2 players, 13 brains takes 5-15 minutes - additional players make the rounds longer, but the race to 13 seems to go faster too.
The "cup" is a stiff cardboard tube covered with the product art, with plastic caps on both ends - both come off, which is unfortunate when a zealous shaking pops the bottom off and sends 13 dice in all directions... if you are only a little more intelligent than I, you can avoid that problem. Sturdy black dice with recessed images painted in bright, unmistakable green, red, and yellow, and a succinct rules sheet that folds and fits in the tube complete the product. Its smaller than a beer can so you could take and play anywhere. (Tip: bring/find a little tray to toss the dice into, pass it with the dice cup)
This is a good dice game without the zombie motif. It's fast, engaging, and it can get exciting. If you embrace the whole zombie genre, it can get hilarious too. 2 to any number of players, I guess. Ages 9 to 99, I think.