The Walking Dead Season 5 airs on Sunday, October 12. In preparation, I’ve been playing Walking Dead games. The first, and the easiest, is The Walking Dead Card Game. The game seems to fall roughly around the beginning of Season 3, when our survivors have attempted to create a livable habitat in the prison. I am a die-hard Walking Dead fan and I also am a zombie-freak! I am well-versed in the cultural canon of zombies and it’s hard to pass up games, movies, TV-shows, or books. So I honor of one of my favorite shows airing and honoring the month of October, I will be reviewing some Walking Dead and other zombie games!
Title: The Walking Dead Card Game
Designer: Wolfgang Kramer Published by: Cryptozoic Entertainment
Year Published: 2013 Rough Game Time: 15+ minutes (depending on players)
Players: 2-10 (if using Survival Mode) Suggested Ages: 15+
Type: Card Game, Hand Management
What’s the Story, Morning Glory?
There needs to be hope in order to survive! Working together, hope can be found and zombies can be destroyed! Choose a hero and take out the walkers before all hope is gone. . . For everyone!
What’s in the Box?
How To Play or Not to Play, That is the Question
- Start out by separating the Hero cards from the Zombie cards.
- Each player takes a Hero. They all do the same thing, so the preference is just the character.
- Then, the Zombie deck should be shuffled.
- Deal out 15 cards to each player, in addition to your Hero. So you should have 16 cards.
- Then draw four cards and lay them face up along the left side of the play area. Lay them so that it creates 4 rows.
- Put the rest of the cards aside, as they will not be needed.
- During each turn, the players choose one or two cards they are going to play that round. They lay them facedown in front of them.
- When everyone is ready, the cards are revealed. The player with the lowest placeable card goes first with that card. Then the next lowest card and so-on until all the cards have been played.
- If you played a Hero as one of your two cards, you get to place your card, no matter the value, first.
- The goal is to collect a row of 5. When you play the 6th card, you collect the 5 before it and the 6th card becomes the new #1 card in the row.
The game ends when players are out of cards in their hand. They then count up the points on the cards they have collected. These points are determined by the number of bullets on the cards. The highest total amount wins!
Rules Weren’t Meant to Be Broken (Or Were They?)
One of the rules that we had to remember, as it felt a little awkward, was that you can place smaller number cards at the end of the highest number cards. For example, if you have a 1 or 2 in your hand, but there are no cards in play that would allow you to play them, just look for the highest number set and it goes behind those cards.
Also, do not look at the card at the beginning of the row when looking for the lowest card. Always look at the card farthest to the right for the lowest number.
There are two additional play-types with this game. You can play in Survival Mode, which allows for up to 10 players, or you can play Solitaire. In Survival Mode you want to collect as few points as possible. The above directions are for Hero Mode. Solitaire has directions available on BoardGameGeek.com.
Best Played Under These Conditions
The more people, the better. You can play with just two people, but the cards don’t rotate out as quickly and sometimes you really get stuck in a jam. The more people who play the game, the more options you have for strategizing and the game play moves quicker. A player range of 3-6 would be best.
Spice Up Your Game
This is perfect to play between episodes or during commercial breaks. You can always stop and pick up the game. A rousing addition to any kind of Walking Dead marathon! The simplicity of it makes it easy for fans of all ages to play and you can play several rounds of it without breaking a sweat.
Due to the quickness and simplicity of the game, it might be best to hold off on any kind of going-all-out zombie party. This would be a quick addition to an already established party. So really, it’s a quick game to play in-between more intense zombie games, while still embracing the theme of zombie.
If you’re really needing to have something special during this game, I suggest Mitch’s Walker’s Blood drink. Mitch is one of the Vloggers for Geek & Sundry and has all sorts of nerdy cocktails that he creates. It’s a pretty simple drink that can be easily made with the exact ingredients, or ingredients that can be easily substituted without changing the thematic taste of the drink. Please remember, only create this drink if you are of legal drinking age and remember to Drink Responsibly!
For a non-alcoholic drink for your evening, try Rachael Ray’s Blueberry Iced Tea! Classic southern Iced Tea with a Blueberry twist! It even has an eerie color.
The Walking Dead Card Game is a very light card game. I enjoyed the quick-play value, but the real joy of playing came from the Walking Dead connection. The game itself isn’t unique, but it has replay value. When I played, I had to really stay on top of things. If there were a different skin on it, it would be great for kids. Wolfgang Kramer created a game called 6 nimmt! which operates under the same rules (The Walking Dead is just a skin of that game), which could be fun, potentially for younger players.
As a game, take it or leave it. Great for those games you play between the heavier ones, but it is a gimmick and the game-play really has absolutely nothing to do with The Walking Dead or zombies. It’s just about the pictures and the fun that you are able to add to it. If you’re a fan and want an easy game, this is it. If you’re hardcore about the quality of your game collection, you might want to pass this one by.