Run Fight or Die. Grey Fox Games, 2014. $50. Designed by Richard Launius. A press-your-luck dice game set in a zombie apocalypse. 7 custom dice, 6 player character boards, 4 player action boards, 25 Follower cards, 18 Location cards, 16 Loot cards, 16 Event cards, 16 Fleeing cards, 60 walking zombie miniatures, Mutant Boss with cards and tokens, Actions & Events guide, and a 10-page rulebook. 1-4 players (1-6 with expansion). About 30-60 minutes. Ages 14+.
Players choose a character with a special power and dice combo, then add zombies to their 3 zone character boards. During a turn, dice are rolled, with two possible rerolls. Events occur and then dice are spent to move/remove zombies from your board, gather Followers, draw Locations, and find Loot. At the end of the turn, zombies advance (potentially wounding you) and more are added. Points are gained from gaining Followers and damaging the Mutant Boss. The goal is to have the most points when the game ends, which it does when one character dies, one player has 5 Followers, you destroy the Mutant Boss, or you reach the Town Line with enough survivors.
The game is fast and easy to play. The zombie miniatures march down your player board in a never ending wave that give the feel of immanent doom. The game has rules for solitaire play with different degrees of difficulty. The Followers and Locations are right out of every zombie movie, including the Dark Woods and the Screaming Cheerleader. The main tension in the game comes from needing dice icons that will remove zombies from the horde before they reach and wound you as well as needing icons that will gain you Loot, Locations, and Followers.
Roll the dice, do the event, take actions, more zombies. Rinse and repeat. As much as I wanted to like this game, after several plays it quickly became repetitive. Though there are moments of player interaction, they are few. And the possibilities of rerolling to get special combos seems so unlikely (we had one combo in three games) and the likelihood of adding more zombies so threatening, that we seldom used rerolls unless in dire straits where only luck would save us.
While the theme is fairly represented and the components are nice, this fairly average game just didn’t rise to the level of wanting to play it repeatedly.
This review was written based on a privately purchased copy. No previous relationship with the game publisher nor compensation was involved.
c2014 by Richard A. Edwards