The 2nd of our horror themed board games was ‘Last Night On Earth‘. Once again the zombies are invading, but this time it’s not in a city, but in a rather more rural setting – the sleepy town of Woodinvale…
Like City of Horror, the game board has a central piece, with various building zones that go around the outside. You choose 4 of the 6 L-shaped outer boards to fit around the ‘town centre’ board in the middle. This gives you a lot of variety in the possible play areas, as you mix and match combinations.
Players are split into heroes and zombies (in our case, I was controlling the zombies, with 2 friends controlling 2 heroes each). All the characters are represented on the play area by superb little, highly detailed, plastic figures.
The hero players randomly pick four ‘Hero Character Sheets’ to make the ‘hero team’. Each character is a standard zombie movie archetype – High school jock, feisty farm girl, priest, nurse, lawman etc… Each has their own special abilities, such as the Nurse who can heal another hero, or the Lawman who starts the game with a gun. The heroes are then placed in their starting locations (as prescribed by their character sheets),
The zombie player (or players) rolls 2xD6 (that’s 2, 6 sided dice for you non geeks out there!) to see how many zombies they start the game with. These are placed in equal amounts at the 4 ‘spawning pits’ around the board.
The game rounds are marked on a ‘sun tracker’, which signifies the passing of time, either until the sun sets or the sun rises, depending on the scenario. The game comes with a multitude of ‘scenarios’, from ‘Save The Townsfolk’ to ‘Escape In The Truck’. As a first run through, we were playing the ‘basic’ version of the game – ‘Die Zombies Die’, in which the objective is pretty straightforward – The heroes have to kill 15 zombies before the sun sets and the zombies take over the town!
Playing the Game
The play is split into 2 rounds. 1 for the zombies, and 1 for the heroes.
The Zombie Round
The Zombie player is allowed to move every zombie 1 square each turn. However, he always has in his hand a set of ‘zombie cards’ which can sometimes alter this, allowing them to move from your shuffling Night of the Living Dead zombies, to your super-fast 28 Days later ‘infected’ types. The cards have various other effects, such as spawning more zombies, make a zombie leap out at a player, and just generally make life more difficult for the heroes! The only restriction is that if a zombie is in the square next to a player, due to an overwhelming urge of ‘undead munchies’, the zombie must move to the player’s square to attack them.
If your zombie does find itself within braaiiinn snacking reach of a hero, they will of course attempt to eat them. Hand-to-hand fights are determined by the roll of dice – highest number on a dice wins (zombies win on a draw). Due to the ‘not being dead’ nature of the plucky heroes, they get to roll 2xD6 to the zombies 1xD6, giving them double the chance of rolling a higher number. However there are various ‘zombie cards’ can be used to add additional dice to the zombie roll, or force the heroes to re-roll theirs. Heroes also may have ‘hero cards’, which give them advantages, such as weapons, which could give them another edge in a zombie encounter.
Each turn, the zombie player rolls 2xD6, and if the number they roll is higher than the number of zombies on the board, they get to spawn the difference in zombies at the spawning pits, allowing for a constant stream of zombies on the game board.
The Hero Round
Heroes get 2 options. They can move (distance determined by 1xD6), or if they’re in a building, can search for something useful to aid them against the undead. If they search, they give up their move option, but can take a ‘hero card’. This could be a weapon, or an ‘event’ which they can play to counter a ‘zombie card’ or attack.
If a hero has on them a ‘ranged weapon’ card, they can also pick off zombies from a distance. Although, the guns have limited ammo determined by a dice roll each turn you use it, so there’s always a chance you could run out at a really inopportune moment! In hand-to-hand attacks, there’s equally a chance that the baseball bat your hero found might break, and be useless next time.
Heroes in the same space, can pass weapons or items to one another, allowing then to share any excess goodies they’ve picked up.
That really depends on the objective of the scenario. In our case, the heroes won if they killed 15 zombies before the sun tracker reaches 0 (which they did… annoyingly…) ;)
I really loved this game! Unlike City of Horror, which seemed somewhat harsh, Last Night On Earth is pure fun! It really has the feeling of you being inside one of those old 70s zombie flicks. There is huge amounts of replay-ability, with multiple scenarios, and the fact that you can play a hero one turn or the zombie horde the next. There are even a number of expansion packs you can get, with additional characters, game boards, and scenarios.
The age range says 12+, which is about right. It’s easy to set up and play and a younger age would probably cope with that side of it perfectly well. However, 12+ is really more about the ‘zombie and guns’ content than the rules. Having said that, there really isn’t anything particularly graphic in there, and it’s all very tongue-in-cheek.
It’s designed for 2-6 players. We were playing with 3, and had great fun, but I can see it working just as well with 2.
I’d highly recommend Last Night On Earth to anyone looking for a great, fun zombie themed board game! And as a bonus, you even get a ‘soundtrack CD’ in the box to add to the atmosphere!
10/10 – Brilliant zombie fun, like you’re in a 70’s zombie B movie!