You are one of six (or more, with expansions) survivors of the same cliche'd Zombie Apocalypse as every other work of fiction on the planet. Fortunately, you are a certified badass, and with the right amount of luck, tactics, and sheer gun power, you might just make it out alive. Released in 2012, Zombicide is a crowdfunded Adventure Board Game, possibly summed up as Killing Floor on a modular board. It's gained popularity thanks to its customizable board design, wide array of items and objectives, and being hard as balls.
The game also involves RPG mechanics, where players gain experience by killing zombies and completing objectives (up to a maximum of 43 levels) and subsequently get access to new abilities. Unfortunately, leveling up too fast will result in the rest of your group and subsequently you dying thanks to the extremely steep level scaling. All zombies will spawn at the level of the highest level player, ramping up from a maximum of three individual zombies at one time to a minimum of four after your first few kills, meaning that, depending on the objective, the game becomes either an exercise in coordination and long term planning or a mad dash to kill as much as possible as fast as possible.
Since its release, Zombicide has received two major expansions; Season 2 and Season 3 along with a series of smaller expansions, adding new characters to choose from, new zombies to run from, and new weapons to tear them all down. The game has also been re-released with a medieval variant under the name Zombicide: Black Plague, Zombicide: Green Horde with undead orcs & goblins and a sci-fi variant under the name Zombicide: Invader.
The updated Zombicide: 2nd Edition had it's funding campaign in 2019 with the Washington Z.C. Expansion and the standalone RPG, Zombicide Chronicles The Roleplaying Game. Zombicide Chronicles is designed so it can be played independently from the base game but makes use of parts from the game. The next campaign was for a standalone version based on Night of the Living Dead (1968), Night Of The Living Dead A Zombicide Game.
The CMON Comics - Vol. 1 campaign funded comic books based on Zombicide and Zombicide: Invader with extras to add to the games.
2021 saw a Kickstarter campaign to fund Zombicide: Undead or Alive with streamlined rules and new mechanics for playing in The Wild West. The campaign also includes a Steampunk expansion, Gears and Guns.
2022 saw the game being expanded to use Marvel Zombies, where players can either control heroes fighting back against the living dead, or fallen heroes trying to sate their hunger.
In spring 2023, Zombicide: White Death came to Kickstarter. A new core box for fantasy/medieval Zombicide, it's set in the fortress city of Wintergrad, on the borders between the eastern empires and the western lands, but now besieged by the zombie hordes.
Zombicide contains examples of:
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Zombivors, playable half-zombified characters.
- Awesome, yet Impractical: Vehicular zombie-slaughter. Very effective at clearing low level mooks and leaving the toufher ones easy pickings...until the driving player reaches level 43, and mini shortage causes a lynch mob to form at every corner that even the luckiest roller can't clear in one pass.
- Big Damn Heroes: Discouraged. With the exception of melee weapons, everything in the game will deal damage to players first. Depending on the turn order and whether they've been injured already, this will almost surely kill them in one turn.
- Boring Yet Practical: The red level abilities are one of three; two of the general benefits that the orange level can give you, and one special ability that's either only available to that character or one other character that starts with it. While the special ability might seem tempting, it's often situational enough that it can't beat an extra roll on dual SMGs or one more zone between you and a runner.
- Character Class System: Undead or Alive adds character classes to the game:
- Townsfolk: Can search more than once per turn, and have extended lines of sight inside buildings
- Bruiser: If using a melee weapon, can charge and attack a zombie in a single action
- Gunslinger: Can "fan" a pistol, going More Dakka on the zombies (though with reduced accuracy)
- Faithful: Can temporarily immobilize zombies.
- The Steampunk expansion Gears and Guns adds the Engineer class. They add an extra die when going "Full Steam", and can do an emergency recharge on steam-powered weapons.
- Dead Weight: Fatties.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Every character gets a 43rd experience level capstone that gives them one of several abilities, often ones that can only otherwise be acquired by playing as someone else. By this point, you really need it.
- Elite Zombie: Fatties, runners, and abominations, as well as the toxic and berserker zombies from the expansions.
- Fragile Speedster: Wanda and Amy both get extra movement speed at the cost of the high damage output that the other characters can easily get, and are equally as fragile.
- Gatling Good: Undead or Alive includes a Gatling gun. Hard to move, but if you can set it up someplace with good sight lines you can mow down weaker zombies wholesale.
- Glass Cannon: Every survivor has only two health, but can all move at least four times per turn after the first six kills. Depending on your luck, those six kills will go by very quickly.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Artwork depicts zombies like this.
- Guns Akimbo: Doug starts with a perk that gives him a free pair of any weapons he searches up with a special symbol, though this also includes machetes.
- Handicapped Badass:
- Kickstarter-exclusive character Dr. Falconer for Invader is an Expy of Stephen Hawking who rolls around in a heavily-armed Super Wheelchair.
- Combining this trope with Shout-Out, Gears and Guns (the Steampunk expansion for Undead or Alive) has Kickstarter-exclusive character Lord Forsaken, a legless inventor in a steam-powered wheelchair who's clearly inspired by the film version of Dr Loveless.
- Historical Domain Character: Some of the Kickstarter-exclusive characters for Undead or Alive are real people from that era.
- Immune to Bullets: Berserker zombies from Prison Outbreak.
- Functionally, the abomination in the base game. While expansions add several weapons capable of killing it, the only core weapon that can do it is the molotov.
- Kevlard: Fattie zombies are tougher because of this.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Runner zombies get two actions per turn, compared to every other type only getting one. This means that they can kill a player in one shot if that player stops in the same space, or move to a player and wound them from one space over.
- Zombie Wolfz, introduced in the Wulfsburg expansion of Black Plague, get three actions, making them even faster than Runners!
- As if Wolfz weren't dangerous enough, Wolfbominations combine the toughness of an Abomination with the speed of a Wolf.
- Mighty Glacier: The Fatties and Abominations have two and three health, respectively. This means that they can only be destroyed by weapons that deal two and, in the base game, "a lot" damage, respectively.
- Room Full of Zombies: A risk when opening a door late in the game. Some maps will have as many as twelve zones behind a single door, all twelve spawning a group each.
- Several of the Kickstarter-exclusive characters for Black Plague were deliberately designed to resemble the kids of Stranger Things and their roles as a Dungeons & Dragons party that they have mentioned in-series.
- The regular survivors of the line have their fair share of resemblances, as well:
- Hitch the Bard is Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie) of Labyrinth.
- Gilbert the Knight is Sir Bebedere (Terry Jones) in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- Continuing the above, the special monster "Abominabunny" is the "Dread Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog" of the same film. Which can be killed with an Expy of the Holy Hand Grenade.
- Zombie Gait: Averted with the runners, who can move nearly as fast as blue experience players. Higher levels of experience let you avoid them, but by that time they're coming out very quickly, and get whole extra turns once you run out of minis.
- Zombie Apocalypse