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Alas, sources have told me that at least one thing hasn't changed since pre-SHTF times: Publishers shun those who write negative reviews. At first I was outraged. How dare they infringe upon my free speech! But I realize I am not prevented from saying anything, there's just some consequences to what I might say. Despite this, I will not change what I say, but I might be more careful how I say it.

Going forward, I will make these changes:

  1. I'm ditching the star based system. Upon reconsideration, it is at best superfluous. At worst, it prejudices the readers' conclusions. Truly, I don't want you to buy (or not buy) a book based on how I feel about it. I hope that I provide enough information in even a bad review for you to determine whether or not you might like it on your own terms. If I haven't done that, then I have failed.
  2. I will be clearer in the delineation of fact and opinion. This applies to the positive as well as negative. I will still ding a writer for factual mistakes and poor writing, but I will be more circumspect when it comes to differences of opinion.
  3. I will not rule out bad reviews, but since I cannot review everything I read or watch, I will focus on those that I think will be particularly useful to the readers of this blog. Lest you feel you can no longer trust what I say, or rather not say, I have set up a Twitter account (TEotWaWKIDiary) where I will list what I have seen, read or played. Just give me 2-3 weeks before you infer anything from a lack of a review.

I admit that this has taken some wind out of my sails. It depresses me, but I must remember that publishing is a business. It make money by producing stuff people buy. Whether it is great art or not is almost coincidental.



Designed by Todd Breitenstein, published by Twilight Creations, Inc.

I take it as a good sign that a game such as this is no longer considered to be in bad taste. We've moved on from the Zombie Wars enough so that we can view some of the events tongue in cheek. And now we can game them.

Zombies!!! has 2 to 6 players vying to be the first one to the helicopter pad in order to make an escape. Between you and safety, though, are a horde of the undead and your opponents. Just because this is no longer in bad taste, though, doesn't make it a good game. I have some serious problems with it.

The designer brings some innovative ideas to the table. The board starts with just one tile that makes up the city center. Each turn, a player draws a new tile and uses it to build out the city. Towards the end of the deck is the helicopter pad. Once that is revealed and placed, it's a race to the finish. And therein lies the problem. In addition to the tiles, each player has a hand of event cards that either help you or hurt your opponents. You would think that the race to the helicopter is the end game, but, in fact, it was just the half way point. Those event cards make it nigh on impossible to finish. I enjoyed, barely, the one game I played, but no more.

The other problem I had with the game is that it imparts the wrong lessons. I don't care what is in a hospital, police or fire station. During an outbreak, I would never even approach those locations. Also, while I agree that healthy humans of nefarious intent are a far greater menace than the undead, a trustworthy ally is invaluable. In this game, not only do you have no incentive to help others, it's actually in your best interest to see them become the next course on the all-you-can-eat zombie buffet. Ultimately, this is why I've given this game a low rating.

What? This is supposed to be just a game? OK, I guess. Perhaps I haven't moved on.