Earlier this summer, I picked up a copy of Dead of Winter after playing it at a friends house. It is one of the best horror or zombie apocalypse games around.
The story of the game is that you control a number of survivors at a sanctuary from the hungry dead. You are trying to survive the winter that has set in, complete story and personal goals, as well as keep the people in your colony, healthy and fed. There is also a chance someone is a traitor who has a personal goal that is cross purposes with the group as a whole.
Turn by turn players forage for supplies, shore up defenses and try to avoid being ate by zombies, getting frostbite or just getting injured in the environment by using their survivors’ special talents
This is accomplished via a dice pool determined by the number of survivors controlled by the player at any given time. These dice are compared to a survivor’s skill and applied to an action.
Fighting or moving between locations an exposure die is used and it determines injury, frostbite, death by zombie attack, or making it out unscathed.
Adding to the fun are the crossroads cards that toss in randomness into every turn and could bring in good or bad fortune.
The game does an amazing job of simulating the best parts of zombie apocalypse stories. There is palpable tension that builds and builds until the final turn. It gets in your head a lot more than a game like Zombicide or Last Night On Earth. While fun, they don’t bring the drama or real feelings of dread that Dead of Winter does.
If you like the zombie apocalypse genre, or co-op games with a traitor mechanic it is well worth the price.