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4 out of 5 brains
zombies!!!For the zombie enthusiast, it doesn’t take long to scrape the bottom of the zombie-themed entertainment barrel. There just aren’t that many really good movies, stories, blogs, and other web content out there. Before you know it you’re watching Day of the Dead 2: Contagium and wishing the real Zompocalypse would start. So what does a zombie fan worth his machete do when craving some fresh, heart-pounding, survivalist action? Assemble a core team and hunker down for a game of Zombies!!!

You’ve probably asked yourself at least once: what would I do if the world was being overrun with flesh hungry corpses? Here’s your chance to find out, as you and your opponents try to escape the multiplying horde of the undead, get to the whirlybird, and fly off into the sunset.

Modular horror game tiles... with a Solar Corpse Light in the backgroundZombies!!! is a hybrid CCG and board game that requires strategy, a strong stomach, and a strong survival instinct. Using a modual set of board game “map tiles” the layout of your town is different every time, creating endless variations. You and your fellow humans start out in Town Square, adding tiles and expanding your playing field at the beginning of each turn. Some of these tiles contain uneventful buildings, while others are fodder for the gorgeously illustrated “event cards”. For instance, at the Sporting Goods Store you can use the Lots of Ammo card to pick up a good amount of weaponry. Action Cards... in actionThat’s been a lifesaver more than a few times for us, and the image is probably the most gory in the pack. In the Gas Station you chuck a Molotov Cocktail and get better fighting skills for a short time. Other highly useful cards include; finding a car and discovering that The Keys Are Still In It, wielding a Chainsaw for an entire turn, and maybe the funnest discovery of all: Hey Look… A Shotgun!. The artwork on these cards, done by Dave Aikins, is amazing, and is worth the $25 price all by itself. Our first couple games were particularly long since all the players were distracted with examining the artwork.

Zombies everywhere!The ever-changing board layout also sets the stage for a variant ending. Sometimes it’s impossible to lay down all the tiles and so rather than heading to the chopper, the winner is declared after killing 25 zombies. With 100 of the little grey guys included (which some people have custom painted), it’s a fun yet formidable goal. You can also opt for variant sets of rules and/or a customized card decks to create an entirely new scenario. The customization options are really endless and so many good ideas have all ready been submitted by players. For us, that’s one of the strongest features, as it means our Zompocalypse won’t veer into predictable territory and could feasibly go on forever.

Closeup of game tilesAfter our first couple games we also noticed some downsides, but nothing too terrible. Functionally speaking, the tiles are flimsy and lightweight, so they get shuffled around a bit and frequently need adjusting to put them back into their designated spaces. For this reason, having a young kid or pet in the same room isn’t advised. Due to the flexibility of the tile placement, a large table space is frequently needed, too. Sometimes a card table will do, but often a pretty large surface is needed. (We’re thinking about making a mod where we apply magnets to the back of all pieces and then place them along wall-mounted magnet strips. Does that make us crazy?)

We tested the first edition of the game (there are many expansion packs which include new cards and tiles) and another annoying factor is the amount of devious cards: too many of them can negatively affect everyone on the board. Each player’s turn adds new zombies to the town, but many event cards “allow” you to add 5, 10, or a whole bunch of extra zombies into the mix. Not that being devious isn’t a necessary evil for this game, it’s just that too many cards are used for this purpose. When you’re running low on life and bullets (which can be a very frequent occurrence), the last thing you want is to draw card after card that would further infest your city with zombies, even if that might also slow down your opponents. As cited in another review, “The strategy of the game is hidden when you first try to play. Basically, you want to hinder all of the other players from doing well, while you hold onto as many bullets and life points at the same time”. These cards are indeed useful in thwarting the other players: there are just too many of them.

Another nitpick is obvious to us because 2 of our players are female. As we went to select our game pieces we noticed only a “shotgun guy. No big surprise, especially since horror gamers are generally male, but the action cards are decidedly male-dominated, too. Of the 50 event cards, women only appear in 6 of them and none of them include any battle. In fact, they are either cowering, experiencing Claustrophobia or a Bad Sense of Direction. It smacks of wimpy 1968 Barbara instead of adaptive, shotgun-wielding 1990 Barbara from Night of the Living Dead. Hopefully future editions will have a wider range of characters featured in the artwork and playing pieces.

Players on Board Game Geek are pretty divided on Zombies!!!, but we give it 4 out of 5 brains. The variety makes it a new experience every time, and besides the game mechanics, the theme is spot on; the action cards explore so many ideas that movies have yet to depict. For zombie fans, it just doesn’t get any better. Grab yourself some snacks, pop in some Romero, and try your hand at surviving the Zompocalypse.

Buy Online At: Twilight Creations or find a killer deal at eBay.

Posted on May 9th, 2007 in
Halloween Fun, Zombies by Lauren

in case of zombies shirt at Threadless
If you visit Threadless then you know that getting a reprint of a shirt can be a long awaited event. Some designs are just really popular and sell out quickly, but even so it can take a while to reprint. That’s why when we saw the In Case of Zombies shirt reprinted as of yesterday, we snagged a couple for ourselves. Look at all the zombie bashin’ action!

PS-This shirt may help you get ready for the Zompocalypse, but you can also increase your chances of survival by creating a Zombie Preparedness Kit.

August Update: Check out this awesome reconstructed top made from the ICOZ shirt (scroll down a bit)

Posted on May 7th, 2007 in
Zombies by Lauren
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It’s March 1st, kids: only 8 months left! 2007 has unofficially been dubbed “The Year of the Zombie”, with numerous movies slated for release, which is in turn inspiring all sorts of creepy, crawly products. Naturally, we’ve been brainstorming ideas daily for this year’s Halloween decor theme and I wanted to share some of our newest online finds with y’all.

Halloween Magnet SetFirst up are some magnet sets from Sick on Sin. You have to love a store that knows Every Day is Halloween! If you dig their illustration style you might also enjoy the Zombie Love set of buttons.

Better One in the HeadIn an effort to line the walls in everything zombie we’ve stumbled upon Atomic Monkey Design and their zombie posters*. My favorite, although a rather morose message, is the “Better One in the Head than the Living Dead” poster shown at left. Is it wrong that I immediately envision hanging this above my bed? Probably, but for a zombie lover it’s too cool a phrase and artwork to pass up. Reminds me of a car I once saw driving that had a “redead the undead” bumper sticker. I was so shocked that someone a) created and b) bought such an awesome zombie-related item that I almost got in an accident trying to get another look at it.

For those of you not on Fright Catalog’s mailing list; their spooktacular savings sale has been extended until 3/20/07. Get up to 25% off by entering in the coupon code FCSALE during checkout. I suggest some Gortraits (gruesome morphing portraits) to add the extra creepyness that your hallway walls have been moaning for.

spider portraits from Head ExplodieFinally, these amazingly illustrated Spider Portrait cards definitely fit the “creepy, crawly” bill, and would make a great surprise for a fellow Halloweenie. Imagine waking up one overcast March morning, cursing the calendar for separating you from Halloween, and then finding a member of the Spider Family in your mailbox. The images are actually sewn onto card stock, which looks amazing, and makes them ideal for framing if you can’t bear to part with the cards. Available from the awesomely named Head Explodie.

*[via Retro Crush]

Posted on March 1st, 2007 in
Halloween Decor, Spooky Art, Zombies by Sean

holiday zombies attack!Things have been deader around here than a horde of zombies, and that’s no coincidence. Inbetween Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day and Christmas Eve, the undead frequently converge at malls and Zombie Walks to shop or make a statement about shopping, respectively. Even us Halloweenies tend to get sucked into the whirlwind that America’s largest holiday and biggest shopping season create. But the winter holidays are almost over and we at 365 Halloween are back, and wading through the Christmas corpses just for you…

While filled with erroneous information that is sure to get your brain gobbled, the Top Ten Gift Ideas for Zombies is still a funny read with a little Romero style social commentary thrown in for good measure.

The Zombie Claus invasion happened last year in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but the pictures and story behind it will give you that warm-fuzzy “it’s almost like there’s a zombie next to me right now” feeling.

12/29 Edit: There’s just something about zombies and Santa that get the old creative juices (and occasionally embalming fluid) flowing. David Bryant’s short story Zombies of the North Pole illustrates what happens when labor problems are “solved” with reanimation. Even Santa can’t make that work.

From the makers of Avian Flu, here comes Zombie Chickens! (not to be confused with Troma’s Poultrygeist.)

Holiday get-togethers can be stressful enough without having to worry about defending the party from zombies, so get some practice head shots in while you can (Tip: you can actually aim for any body part in this game and take out multiple zombies with one shot. Estimated playing time… about 60 seconds.)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Winter time holiday melee.

Posted on December 22nd, 2006 in
Zombies by Lauren

Zombie DonkeyWe love zombies, you love zombies, so let’s just all rejoice in the many choices of zombie inspired t-shirts. These are all from Threadless and I have to say I’m impressed.

These first few designs are the only ones you can actually purchase and wear as of right now.

The designs below aren’t actually for sale, but they were submitted by designers and could have been made available if they got better votes. So browse through these and then vote on new deisgns you think are worthy of being printed. You can even request that some designs be re-printed once they’re out of stock.Zombie Love

Don’t forget to act fast because Threadless only prints limited numbers of each design. That’s what makes the shirts so unique and their stock so fresh.

Posted on November 12th, 2006 in
Spooky Art, Zombies by Sean
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Obey ZombieLooking for more original horror t-shirts to add to your collection? Fright-Rags has a good selection of well designed horror shirts of your favorite cult classics, creature features and slasher movies. These shirts are exclusive to Fright-Rags so you can’t get them anywhere else.

Coming to Get You BarbaraBeing a huge zombie fan, I was initially drawn to the Obey (zombies make great social commentary) and Johnny shirt that says the classic line “They’re coming to get you Barbara!” Oh how right Johnny was. I also admire the simplicity of design on everyone’s cult favorite Ash (from Evil Dead), and Frankenstein.

Trick or Treat ShirtI’m also really liking the Trick or Treat design based on looks alone. I have to admit I didn’t even know what movie it was from until I looked it up. It’s from a 1986 flick entitled Trick or Treat, that is “meant to be a parody of teen-horror-devil-worship movies”. The looks of this shirt, the rock and roll star cameos, the user comments, and description of the movie all tell me I’ve got to rent this soon.

Also worth checking out: Your Zombie Cafe Press store. Tons of Shaun of the Dead designs, and other zombie related shirts.

Posted on October 15th, 2006 in
Spooky Art, Zombies by Sean
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