Check out my final thoughts
My d4 DICE reviews are a quick and easy to digest review of a board or card game. Along with a brief introduction to the game I use DICE as an acronym for Duration, Interaction, Complexity and Engagement to quickly explore a game. Enjoy!
Player count: 1 – 2 players
Play time: 60+ minutes
Designers: Gerald Kielpinski
Card Z is a cooperative, dice rolling zombie survival game. The game is scenario based with each scenario having map layouts and objectives. You play as a character with a heroic action, loot and a backpack. The map is made up of cards that are laid out in particular fashion depending on the scenario.
The game is play over a number of days, or turns. Each day has three actions phases, dawn, day and night, this is followed by a reckoning phase in which each character must eat to avoid starving.
Players have a 1 scout and 1 retreat move. If no encounters are present then it is a “safe” location. If an encounter is revealed then the Battlefield is set up. This is a separate board hex board in which encounters take place. Survivors will move through the battlefield, fight zombies and potentially gain loot. Combat is dice based and the results can be affected by weapons or skills. If a location is cleared you can gain the rewards and the location becomes safe.
Players will move through the map locations, gathering loot, dealing with encounters and eating food, until either the players win the scenario or die trying.
d4 D.I.C.E. Review
The duration will vary on the scenario you are playing. Some are around the 60 minute mark but some can be 3+ hours. Assuming you survive that long of course. The shorter scenarios are my preferred option but longer scenarios are there if you want it.
I mostly played this solo but you can play with one other person. So, the interaction is more about cooperation and how you deal with the encounters, threats and the general survival aspect of the game.
There is a fair amount going on in Card Z. It is a fairly complex game to learn and play and there combat is relatively involved. If you are after a zombie killing dice chucker then this is not your game. If you are after something with a bit more “bite” (pardon the pun) then Card Z is where it is at. Combat is more of a puzzle and making hard choices is part of the game.
The game is hard. It is definitely a survival game but it is also a game that can tell a story. Win or lose you will have a tale to tell. The survival aspect of the game and the tough combat is where the engagement game is engaging.
You can check out the Kickstarter for Card Z here
Please note: Card Z was provided as a review copy from MantiGames