Mature Zombie Apocalypse Themed Party Games?
March 4, 2012 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Help us brainstorm mature games for a zombie apocalypse themed party

"Mature" meaning appropriate and fun for individuals in their early to mid-20s.

My girlfriend's birthday is next week and she's decided to have friends over at her place in lieu of going out this year. In the interest of spicing things up (and differentiating this from one of our regular hangouts) she's decided to make it zombie apocalypse themed. Guests are encouraged to dress up and we'll have zombie inspired decorations, snacks, drinks, and music.

We'd also like to have a couple games (drinking games and otherwise) that at least loosely relate, but that's where we're running into trouble. We think it would be fun to have a game with teams of survivors and zombies (perhaps with the survivors "turning into" zombies as the game progresses?) but that's as far as we've gotten. Google searches are returning stuff like "turn the lights off and have everybody scare each other!" and other games geared towards kid's birthday parties, so this seemed like a perfect challenge for Mefites. Some points to keep in mind:

-Should incorporate the "Zombie Apocalypse" theme somehow but it doesn't have to be extremely strict (so non-zombie themed games can be adapted)

-Both drinking and non-drinking games are welcome

-Games that accommodate larger groups are preferred (10+ people) but games for smaller groups are definitely welcome as well

-Most guests will be early to mid 20s and college educated

-Any required materials/props are fine but we do have a finite budget

-Board games aren't preferred but they may be ok if they're really awesome and easily obtainable (ex found on Amazon)

-Both team and free-for-all games are welcome

In the interest of keeping this question on track, please refrain from offering suggestions for other aspects of the party (decorations, costumes, food, etc). If you have a really good idea in that realm I'd love to hear it, but please just send me a Mefi mail message instead.

Thank you so much in advance!
posted by Defenestrator to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Check out this article Halloween Game Night, about 40% of the way down for initial thoughts on the board games option.

There are also some "reanimation" related roles in the Werewolf, which is in itself a great party game. You'll need to link out to the various sites with these zombie rules.
posted by meinvt at 3:40 PM on March 4, 2012

I know boardgames aren't preferred, but Zombies is awesome!
posted by jlibera at 3:42 PM on March 4, 2012

Ok, I am so close to thinking up the greatest zombie game ever:

- This sounds more complicated than it is. And you could probably do all this for $20.

- You will need a doorway inside the apartment/house. I am assuming you have that.

- You will need to go to a hardware store or a place like Home Depot and buy a 4' x 8' sheet of rigid insulation...aka blue foam...or pink foam or any hard insulation.

- You will need an Olfa knife (for preparation, not for brain harvesting) and blades. You may have this, if not they are cheap. Basically, any long retractable blade for cutting the foam. The Olfa knives are great because you can extend them longer than a regular utility knife so you can slice through the foam.

First, you need to cut the styrofoam to fit in a doorway, or in a doorframe. You would want this to fit tightly -- the tighter the better. You should be pushing it in from the side the door opens on so it rests up against the inner door jamb that stops the door.

Then, imagine that your door is a wood door like this. You need to draw panels on your door in a sharpie. Then, CAREFULLY, extend the blade slightly longer than the foam depth and CAREFULLY cut out the panels. You want to do this neatly, because you are going to pop them back in. If as you cut, the foam starts binding or looking will need to change the blade. Do not force it. Forcing it may lead you to cut yourself -- olfa's are SHARP. Go slow. You will probably need to change the blade a few times. Make sure the panels aren't too close to the edge, so the door without the panels has some strength.

Ok, then, you carefully pop your panels back in. Feel free to embellish the door if you have it in you.

On game night, you divide into two teams. Zombies and Non-Zombies.

All the zombies go on one side of the door, and the non-zombies on the other. The zombies should go on the side where the door would open, since going toward the foam from that side would be more resistant.

Then, if it isn't already, you pop the door into the frame. You could even use some painter's tape to secure the edges.

Now, you play some sort of trivia....or zombie-themed trivia...or drinking game between the zombies and the non-zombies. The non-zombies can ask the zombies their questions through the door, and vice versa.

Every time the zombies get a point, they pop through one of the panels with their zombie arm. Now, this is why it helps if they are on the more resistant side of the frame, so they can really ham this up as they pop through the panel and stick in their zombie arm reaching for you.

Every time the non-zombies get a point, they can pop a piece of door frame back in.

Let's say there are 8 panels total. If the zombies get all 8 panels popped in, then they can smash down the door and eat your brains (unless you want to play multiple times...but really, someone is going to smash through the door if they is inevitable....maybe spend $40 and make two).

I'm not sure what to do if the non-zombies win or if they get answers right when all the panels are in. Maybe they can make the zombies drink -- some sort of high-octane "head shot"!!!
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 3:45 PM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

How about setting up a scavenger hunt - one list for the zombie team, one for the survivors where they have to find items within a certain time frame (e.g. 30 mins). Items on the list can be small (e.g. lighter, screwdriver) or slightly larger (e.g. frying pan).

Award points for each item - the group with the most points at the end wins the apocalypse!
posted by Cattaby at 3:47 PM on March 4, 2012

Zombie Fluxx is a great variation on Fluxx. Good for a group, and a card game not a board game, but still in the table-top genre.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:02 PM on March 4, 2012

I participated in a really incredible event called 'Survive DC' when I was visiting Washington DC. It is hunter/hunted (or human/infected if you prefer); everyone starts off as hunted wearing a blue armband but with an orange one in their pocket, except for a couple of hunters who start with orange. If touched by a hunter, you give them your blue armband (a trophy) and put on the orange and start hunting. Hunted are given a map with objectives they must hit in order, which are scattered around the city, and are safe zones. You must travel on foot. At first it is a mob of hunted basically sprinting to the first objective. By the second objective there are hunters everywhere and the slow get caught. By the third one there are elaborate games of cat and mouse going on in all corners of the city, and eventually only the very clever or very fast or very determined are left alive.

This game was played with hundreds of people. What made it interesting was the sheer size of the playing field, which was basically all of central DC. There were thus long moments of calm where you did not see your adversaries, followed by intense panic and all out sprints. The game ran for hours. I think it could scale to a smaller group and could be played in a neighborhood-sized area. This would be a great way to start off a party -- no better way to break the ice.

Shortly after becoming a hunter at the second objective, I was tailing a pack of hunted who didn't see me. A group of 8 friends, strolling through a parking lot, casually chatting as they walked. I quick walked and kept my distance, slowly closing the gap. Then when they turned a corner and moved out of sight, I made a snap decision and stepped on the gas and sprinted at them at full speed, counting on surprise and momentum to make up for the significant head start they would have once they heard me coming. I will never forget the moment when my footsteps became audible and heads turned, mouths open in shock, feet scrambling in slow motion like in a cartoon as they tried desperately to make their legs work. Two stumbled, and I caught them. The rest got away.

My friend (who quickly outpaced me and waved goodbye as I lagged behind) ended up completing the course, one of few, and told crazy stories of narrow escapes, hiding out in alleys and underneath parked cars and in someone's garage and accidentally scaring the owner of said garage half to death, taking incredible long wide detours through forest parks in the darkness, all the while sticking with a guy he'd wound up running with despite having never met before; destiny had placed them together not unlike the heroes in a zombie movie.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:12 PM on March 4, 2012 [8 favorites]

posted by null14 at 4:23 PM on March 4, 2012

You could play this game: . Link leads to a cut from one of my fav South Korean variety shows called 2 days and 1 night, where they come up with a zombie game one wet evening when they couldn't play outdoors.
posted by bie81 at 4:51 AM on March 5, 2012

Terror Bull games released Zombie Apocalypse: The Parlour Game, Which I think may well be just the kind of thing you're looking for.
posted by DuchessProzac at 5:23 AM on March 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you for all of the responses everyone! While we didn't use any of them directly they really helped us brainstorm. In case anybody is looking for something similar and stumbles upon this question, I'll post the game that we ended up making up and playing. It ended up being a bit more drinking oriented than we originally intended but it all worked out really well (and could easily be altered to be less drinking oriented).

Zombie Apocalypse

1st zombie is the nth person to walk through the front door

Ways of Zombification
From this point, every 20 minute interval presents new zombification words/actions that will turn you into a zombie if any of the zombies notice (unless you have a weapon, discussed later). If a survivor “outs” one of the other survivors by pointing out that he or she said a zombification word or did a zombification action, then that zombification word or action does not count (essentially, survivors can’t give away other survivors). The zombification words and actions, in chronological order, are:

1. Cannot say “zombie” or “zombies”
2. Cannot say “blood” or “bloody” in addition to previous words
3. Cannot say “shot” or “shots” in addition to previous words
4. Cannot say “drink” or “drinks” in addition to previous words
5. Cannot say “weapon”, “weapons”, “gun”, or “guns” in addition to previous words
6. Cannot say “survivor” or “survivors” in addition to previous worrds
7. Cannot touch the dogs (my girlfriend has two small dogs that really like people). If they sniff you or jump on the side of your leg that is ok, but if they get on your lap or you voluntarily touch them that is not ok. You still can’t say any of the previous words.
8. You cannot go into the bathrooms (unless you need to throw up). The dog rule is over but you still can’t say any of the previous words.
9. Cannot say anybody’s name in addition to any of the previous words. You can go to the bathroom now.
10. Cannot look at your phone at all in addition to saying any of the previous words.
11. Cannot use the letter “a” in any of your speech (you can’t cheat by writing something out instead). Still can’t say any of the previous words either.

If you have a weapon in your possession* when a zombie notices you say or do a zombification word or action then you can use that weapon to prevent yourself from becoming a zombie. However, once you use your weapon, it returns to the weapon bowl. You can get another one by doing one of the actions below.

If there are any weapons in the weapon bowl, you can get one by:
• Taking a shot
• Dancing to a Michael Jackson song using the Wii game and getting at least 3 stars (my girlfriend has some Michael Jackson dancing game on Wii, but this can be replaced with something similar for non-drinkers)
• Winning a game of beer pong
• Or, if you're desperate, buy one for $1

*In your possession means either in one of your hands, sitting on your lap, or securely in your pocket. If your weapon is not in one of these places it can be stolen by another player.

(We had the number of weapons limited to 12 for 20 people. There could probably be fewer than this. The weapons were cheap squirt guns.)

If at any point during the night only one survivor remains, he or she is the winner. At the end of the last 20 minute interval (using any word with the letter "a" in our game) anybody left has to write out on a piece of paper as many zombie movies as they can remember in one minute. The one with the most is the sole survivor! If there are more than one survivors at this point then they can be survivors together and hopefully there’s at least one male and female so they can restart humanity.

This can obviously be edited to your taste. We originally didn't have the words building and found that it was too easy, so we made the words accumulate and people started messing up at a steady rate. We had about 20 people attend and there were two remaining at the end of the last 20 minute interval (they each had about 5 weapons each at all times). We had a great time with it!
posted by Defenestrator at 12:57 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

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