Monday, January 28, 2013

Last Night on Earth Written Reivew


Flying Frog Productions/2-6 Players/Ages 12 and up/Horror Strategy.

First, I want to start out by saying that I have never played as the Zombies. That being said, I am what you might call a veteran at losing as the Heroes. The basics of this game are easy: humans vs zombies. While the game does get more complex depending on the scenario you play, the goal, whether playing as humans or zombies, is to kill the other side before they kill you.

The Board

When you first open the box, you will notice that there are a large number of components.  To start, there is the board itself. The game comes with one square center piece that is reversible for different scenarios. Then, there are 6 L-shaped pieces that, selected at random, make up the four corners of the game board. These pieces, unfortunately, are not reversible.

When the game begins, the Heroes select one or two Hero pieces depending on the number of players.  Each Hero piece has a corresponding Hero card/placard with his or her attributes listed on it.  The game also includes a sun tracker that shows the number of days/rounds that remain in the game. When the counter reaches zero, the game is over, usually to the Hero’s dismay. 

The game also includes two decks of cards:  one for the Heroes and another for the Zombies.  The Hero deck contains special items and powers to assist the Heroes in their quest for survival.  The Zombie deck, on the other hand, does not contain any items.  Instead, the Zombie deck contains a number of “one-time use” or “remains in play” cards that are meant to do one thing:  make it easier for the Zombies to munch on the Heroes.

Character figurines, while detailed, are fairly bland.  There are 14 Zombie figurines, 7 brown and 7 green, for when there are two people playing as Zombies. Then there are 8 Hero figurines, each made to match the picture on their respective Hero cards/placards.  Finally, the game comes with a handful of Wound Markers, for when the Heroes get hurt, 16 dice, and a number of random items for the different game scenarios.

The Game

At the outset, I should admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for anything zombie-related. As a result, this game caught my eye right away. The board is thick and sturdy, and the cards are stronger than most, with a nice plastic-type coating.  While the board and game pieces are not overly complex, the cards are where the game shows its depth.  Deciding what items to play, and when, can be the difference between escaping alive or losing within the first three rounds of play.  That being said, I feel I should warn those who have never played the game before that, at least in my experience, the stock rules heavily favor the Zombies.  Therefore, if you are the type that likes a good challenge, or is always rooting for the underdog, I say play as the Heroes. On the other hand, if you like to have control of the board at most points in the game, you will love the Zombies.

Scenarios included in the box range from the simple, kill 15 zombies in 15 rounds, to the more complex, find the keys to the truck, fill the truck with gas, and escape the town within 15 rounds.  No matter how simple the game may sound, however, each scenario is extremely difficult, especially for the Heroes.  Therefore, if you want to win, communication among teammates, often times out of the hearing of the other side, is essential.  

The Verdict

Overall, Last Night on Earth is fun to play and doesn't seem that long once you get into it. However, perhaps the best thing that I can say about Last Night on Earth is that, even though I have played and lost the game quite a few times, I still find myself drawn back to the Zombie-infested town for one more try.

Final Score:  7 out of 10


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