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Zombicide spin-off game features Tetris-style puzzle solving

It’s all on the cards.

A new spin-off board game from the Zombicide series has been revealed to be a flip-and-write.

Zombicide: Gear Up is an upcoming board game based in the same universe as the co-op games about killing as many undead as possible. (Thanks BoardGameGeek.) Rather than having players control a character across a board filled with brain-eating enemies, Gear Up sees people taking on the horde through a collection of cards.

At the beginning of the zombie-themed game, players choose between a selection of different survivors – each with their own arsenal of weaponry – and decide which level of difficulty they want to attempt the tabletop title on, with options ranging from easy to nightmare difficulty. Each player gets a selection of random regular and special zombie cards, which players will need to defeat in order to survive the game.

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At the beginning of the game the first turn card is flipped, revealing which coloured weapon players will be using – which is shown on their survivor card. Every weapon in Gear Up has a hit box that players will need to match up with the zombie cards they’re facing. Hit boxes in Gear Up are all classic polyomino shapes, providing an almost Tetris-like puzzle for players to get their heads around.

In order to deal damage with a weapon, players need to fit that weapon’s hit box into the zombie’s outline without covering any areas they’ve already managed to deal damage to. Once a zombie’s entire outline has been filled with hits, then that zombie is taken out. However, any zombies left standing at the end of a turn may advance towards the player. Should a zombie on a player’s closest street advance, then that player takes an amount of damage depending on the strength of the zombie.

If a player is ever at risk of taking damage, they can choose to expend any armour they have to avoid getting hit. Alternatively, if a player has any ammo left then they can use it to mark off a single space on a zombie’s outline.

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When the third turn card is flipped, players reveal the first spawn card - causing more zombie cards to be put into play. Whenever more zombies spawn, players can decide how those zombies are dealt out, with some players potentially taking on more or less zombies than others. If players ever manage to entirely clear their zombie horde, they’ll be able to upgrade a weapon – giving it additional benefits. Once players get to the ninth turn, they’ll then face a collection of bosses, which they’ll need to defeat before the ninth turn is over in order to win.

Zombicide: Gear Up was created by Jordy Adan – the creator behind fantasy board game Cartographers - and Marco Portugal, a co-creator on the dice-rolling co-op game Project: Elite.

CMON is the studio responsible for publishing Zombicide: Gear Up, as well as all the previous Zombicide titles - such as the original co-op game and Zombicide: Black Plague – and the unofficial ‘Mythic Trilogy’ featuring the likes of Blood Rage and Rising Sun.

Zombicide: Gear Up is yet to receive a set release date, with retailers estimating the game will arrive between July and September 2022 at a price of around £19 ($23).

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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Zombicide: Gear Up

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