Spiel 2013 Preview: Carnival Zombie

Posted by James (admin) on October 22nd, 2013

Carnival Zombie gameCarnival Zombie is a co-operative survival horror game where players are trying to flee Venice to escape the Leviathan, a dark evil creature lurking in the lagoon, whilst its minions of the infected walk the streets at night.

In Carnival Zombie, 1-6 players have the choice of defeating the Leviathan or, doing the slightly more sane and less heroic thing, of fleeing Venice completely.  Neither option looks easy though.  The game is split into day and night phases.  During the day, the players move through the city using the map in the corner of the board showing the network of streets between the different locations.  Some routes are harder than others (taking more time) and some locations become sunken during the game (players lose if situated there at night).  Various specific locations, which are far from the start of course, are where the different finales can take place.  So, players need to decide where they want to head to as each finale has its own set of rules.

When night falls, the players must defend the  location they are at which means being surrounded by hordes of different minions of the infected, as well as some boss monsters too, working their way towards their makeshift defences.  If they survive until dawn, they get to move through the city again and repeat this until they win or fail.

The defensive battles during night time phases remind a bit of the Cylon ships building up in Battlestar Galactica as players try to survive long enough to jump.  The players are in the centre of the board and the monsters come from the outsides towards them.  Players can place barricades (although these get destroyed and it takes actions during the day to construct more).  Each character has different weapons and skills so need to work together to agree the best defence.  I like the idea that the actual combat has no random element (no dice-rolling), especially as the monsters each night (and many other elements in the game) are randomly generated using a deck of cards.

When dawn comes, players can exit out of their area; however, there’s a catch – the characters have to go past any remaining monsters in the map direction they wish to leave.   So, players will need to think about this when they’re fighting the monsters.  Each character’s status is recorded on the stress track.  If a player is too stressed, they suffer from terror which can impact the rest of the group, and too much stress makes them incapacitated (but can be revived during the day by a character using an action).

Carnival Zombie looks very interesting with a unique feeling theme and great, eerie-looking artwork too.  You can read the rules and see some details of the game on Vega Forlags’ game page using this link: bga.me/CarnivalZ



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