Family fun in the shape of a board game came from a surprising direction last week. Just a little background: When my husband and I first started “running” a few years back, he found an app that made our rounds around the park a tolerable experience. Zombies Run! is an app that not only plays your exercise playlist, but it interjects a storyline about the zombie apocalypse (it’s only a matter of time, people!!). To further the fun – fun without actually having to run – the makers of the running app have made a Zombies, Run! Board Game.
Zombies, Run! Phone App
Much like an audio book, you listen to a story about a town of survivors. You become “Runner 5” in this story and find that your job is to go on “missions”; usually runs to collect much needed supplies from the outside world. While you are collecting supplies, you are forced to run from zombies with the headphone help of people back in the town. There is a feature (if you enable it) that actually tracks your pace and judges if you outran a particular zombie on your trail. And that’s just a little of what this app offers.
The Zombies, Run! Board Game
The board game turned out to be exciting, challenging, and a ton of fun for all of us. My favorite thing about the game was playing as a team to complete our objectives. This means everyone is involved all of the time, instead of always waiting for a turn. The objectives include reading a map, figuring out passwords from clues given, and more.
“Outrunning” zombies is essentially a matching card game that, at first glance, seems tediously easy. As it turns out, zombies on your tail can make something as simple as matching, a challenge.
The Board Game App
The Zombies, Run! board game is much like the phone app, except well, it’s a board game. It’s not your run-of-the-mill board game, though. The one-time setup process took around 20 minutes, between watching the set-up tutorial on You Tube, and downloading the free board game app. I’m not saying you can throw away the instruction booklet (no really- you need that, so don’t throw it away), but the visual tutorial was much easier than reading the directions.
The app is a companion that tells the story, times the runs, gives information, and allows you to choose a variety of options (remember Choose your Own Adventure Books?). It also saves the progress we’ve made, so we simply continue where we left (much like a video game). The app-driven game occurs in “real time”, and the app lets you know when to restack your cards, etc.
[For those of you card-gamers who have a hard time remembering if you should Tap before you Draw or vice versa, this is a definite plus!]
My husband and I played with our oldest three kids, but our 6th grader was watching carefully, so he can take someone’s place the next time we play. There isn’t any gore in the app or card visuals, so we didn’t have to worry about the younger kids seeing anything inappropriate when they wandered into our area.
The Zombies, Run! Board Game is great family fun from the get-go (well, after the set up tutorial at least).
This interactive (and mandatory) free app puts this board game in an exciting new category of gaming.
The elimination of “turns” makes everyone at the table on your team, and every challenge a group effort.
We played with five people, instead of the recommended four without impacting playability.
The game is good for at least 10 hours of unique play; that’s a continuous game of new adventures (versus going around and around the Monopoly board for hours).
Great for adults, teens, and our middle-school child will be joining us next time for the continuation of our game.
I’ve got to tell you, I was only moderately interested in this game that my husband gave me for my birthday, but I was blown away by how much fun we had playing it. We completed our second main objective after about an hour and a half of play, and a batch of cookies, before calling it a day. We ended on the bridge; hopefully, we won’t get stuck there.
Board games have always been a great way to bond as a family. What are your favorites?