Zombies vs Zombies
September 19, 2011 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Should I get Last Night on Earth or Zombies!!!? Have you tried both? Which should I get and why?

I have seen this thread at boardgamegeek and am leaning towards one of these games. Sway me!
posted by Iteki to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: To me, it's pretty clear-cut: Last Night on Earth is a significantly better game.

Zombies!!! is boring, random, and sometimes you can't get it to end. Despite random layouts, it is more-or-less the same game every time.

Last Night on Earth gives goals to the human and Zombie players, and is "more fun" from start to finish even if you lose.
And you can even easily design custom Scenarios.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:48 AM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: Who will you be playing with? Seasoned board gamer "geeks", or people who still think Monopoly is a great game?

I have Zombies!!! and can report than non-hardcore boardgamers can learn it easily and have a good time. Maybe someone else could speak to how newbie-friendly LNoE is.
posted by joelhunt at 6:59 AM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: LNoE is plenty newbie friendly so long as you have on devoted boardgame geek on your team to explain the rules. The rules are actually pretty simple and intuitive--kill the zombies, don't let yourself die, and forage for supplies in buildings--buuut they're also laden down with a lot of stuff that is overwhelming for non-gamers (dice rolls a-plenty, lots of moving things and keeping track of things).

LNoE is a better game though, definitely.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:25 AM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: Zombies!!! Is fun, but my main complaint is that it winds up taking up a TON of table space, especially if you throw in the expansions, I think I might have the Mall and the Army Base expansions... It gets a little ridiculous if you decide to play with more than one!

I also have LNoE (and one of the expansions, Growing Hunger). I agree with jozxyqk and flibbertigibbet that LNoE is probably a better game; the different scenarios and characters mean that it's a lot less repetitive. It comes with a TON of tokens and characters and things. When I play, I tend to assume the role of the Zombies, which allows new players the chance to work co-operatively to win.

All said and done, quite honestly, there's room on my shelf for both. Remember that Zombies!!! is a competitive game where all players are trying to screw each other over and get to the escape helicopter first, and Last Night on Earth is a game that can involve co-operation or teams.
posted by Jinkeez at 7:33 AM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: Zombies! sucks. Seriously. I've heard it can be good if you have all the expansions and combine it into a mega-game.

LNoE is amazing, I think. It's not a serious strategy game for hardcore wargamer types... it relies on the theme and atmosphere.

If you have a zombie player who knows what they're doing and can guide the hero players, it goes very well for noobs. If the players are at all experienced with card games like Magic: The Gathering, then the cards become very intuitive. (and it really is a game that is all about the cards.) LNoE has different scenarios which drastically alter the game.

We've had blowouts where one side of the other wins easily, usually do to luck of the draw.... but we've also had nailbiters that come down to the last turn. In fact, we had one game of Escape in the Truck where the whole game came down to a single fight... a single die roll. When those dice came to a stop and we saw that Billy had fended off the zombie and was free to start the truck and save the heroes... well there was a hearty round of drunken cheering :)
posted by utsutsu at 7:34 AM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: I haven't played LNoE, but I have played Zombies!!! and I have to agree with most of the above. It's the undead boardgame equivalent of Monopoly, in that it takes forever to play and the only way to win is ensure the other guys lose. If you do get it, make sure to only play it with people you don't want to be friends with anymore.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:41 AM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: I have Zombies! and can nth everything said about it above. In fact it took so long for anything at all to happen that we changed the rules at my house to rolling two dice for movement instead of the mandated one. This change was the only way I could get my less patient friends to sit through a whole game.

I have no experience with LNoE.
posted by Bango Skank at 9:13 AM on September 19, 2011

Best answer: My board game group much prefers Last Night on Earth over Zombies!!! We only played Zombies!!! a few times before we shelved it, and from what I remember the rules are not always super clear so we had to make a few judgment calls about game mechanics. In the process, I remember using up all the little zombie tokens in the first few rounds and then failing miserably pretty much every single time. We think our judgment calls "broke" the game, but any game where that's possible isn't so good in my book.

Last Night on Earth has much clearer rules and self-regulating game mechanics. That means it's a lot easier to play, as long as you have somebody who doesn't mind flipping through the rules every now and then. Like utsutsu, each game we play varies a lot -- sometimes it's a blowout, sometimes it comes down to the wire. It's pretty well balanced between zombies & heroes, so the outcome is never inevitable. There are a bunch of different scenarios and mechanisms to make the board itself different each time. We've been playing it for a few years now, and most of us aren't sick of it. (I suppose the only downside is to make sure the same person doesn't play the zombie side all the time, because that means much less participation in the benefits of a cooperative game -- can't talk strategy, can't celebrate others' victories, and if all goes right everybody else pats themselves on the back for a win while you lose.)
posted by lilac girl at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2011

Response by poster: You guys rule, I am now the proud owner of LNoE! Thanks a million, I can't wait to play. I really didn't want another "win by making others lose" kinda game, so the semicollaborative aspect really appeals to me, as well as the "strategy, but not tooooo much strategy".

I think we are going to have great fun, and I am going to paint my figs, hurra!
posted by Iteki at 11:17 AM on September 19, 2011

One thing I wanna point out with LNoE... it recommends one particular scenario as a "learning game".. it's the one where the hero's only goal is to kill N zombies... However this leads to tactics that aren't present in any other scenario... in fact it's the only one where it actually makes sense for the zombies to run away from the humans. I'd suggest starting with Burn 'em out or Escape in the Truck instead.
posted by utsutsu at 1:31 PM on September 19, 2011

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