City of Zombies is one of the latest additions to our games collection. It’s a new game designed to help develop maths skills. We’ve had a few games of it already and, I will admit, even we’ve felt quite challenged by it as adults – my arithmetic skills are a bit lacking! It’s suggested for ages 8 and up and 1-6 players.
Here’s a basic idea of how the game works.
The board is set up with zombies at the top and survivors at the bottom with an aeroplane moving along the side to track turns – in the simple rules there are always 15 turns, which is handy as it gives quite a consistent playing time of about 30 minutes. Each turn follows these steps:
1. Roll 3 dice.
2. Use these dice to fight the zombies! This is done by adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, squaring or square rooting the numbers you get on the dice to make the numbers on the zombie cards, thus sending them to the zombie discard pile. All of the dice must be used. In my example below, the 5 has been squared to make 25 then the 4 and 2 have been used without any alteration.
3. The plane comes another place towards your survivors….but so do the zombies!
4. Roll 2 dice.
5. The highest of the two numbers on your dice tells you how many zombie reinforcements to add.
There are also event cards that pop up in the zombie deck to add more challenge and excitement. Some of these work for you and some against you.
It’s a really fun game and it’s easy to see the educational potential. Pip’s a bit young to play this, beyond being in charge of dice rolling and moving the plane forward each turn but I’m sure that in a few years it’s going to really help her maths skills.
The artwork is great and I really like that there are two sets of zombie cards – one is a little more cartoon-like and child friendly. There are advanced rules but we haven’t used those yet. It’s good to know that once our arithmetic skills have caught up a bit, there’ll be another challenging aspect to add in. I think this gives the game really good replay value and also means that it’s going to appeal to children of varying skill levels and ages. If I were going to make one criticism, and it’s only a little one, it would be useful if there was a tray or some other extra packaging for the various cards in the box. However, we’ve easily solved this by using a deck box, or you could use any suitably sized box or even little plastic zip lock bags. It’s a great family game for those with older children but I think it’s an enjoyable game for grown ups too!