Drew’s Reviews- Run, Fight or Die

As a public service to all the great gamers out there that I want to keep turning onto great new games, very often, and way too much for my taste, amazing games just slide under peoples radars, much like Darkness Comes rattling that I also reviewed. Well, we have another CLASSIC in my book, created by Richard Launius, a designer behind many great games, most notably Eldritch Horror. This game is called Run Fight or Die, and has absolutely NO similarities to any other games he designed, like Eldritch Horror. This gem is a zombie game through and through, dice chucking bliss like you wouldn’t believe with card drawing thrown in there for good measure. This is also a zombie game of the highest order, totally different from any competitors to the zombie throne, Zombicide or Zombies!!!. This game just totally comes out of left field with all of it simple yet incredible design choices and creativity.

This game has been around for like 4 years, but just came onto my radar recently after the just finished Kickstarter reboot. A reboot that I WAS going to jump on, until I discovered they changed 2 major points of the game, that after having owned the game awhile now, I find just reprehensible. The changes they made basically made a “different” game IMHO. They might have even taken more out, but I KNOW they removed the EVENT deck, which is a MAJOR source of a lot of the games suspense and excitement. Then they removed the EVENT DIE, which is totally different than the deck of the same name, not REALLY connected. But, after learning of these changes to the game, which back then I didn’t even realize how important they were to the game, I went on a quest to track down all the original components and sets. And what a game did I discover here folks! Like I said, this is a zombie game like no other and one of my most played and treasured games in my collection.

You’re fine if you backed the KS, but I fully implore the gamers out there to try and track down the original first, because the reboot changed the graphic presentation of the game too. Which looks like a color blind 5 year old on a sugar rush did the color palette and art redesign. And that was not a bash on 5 year olds on sugar rushes, because that’s basically what “I” am. (laughs) This game, the original, just rips on all cylinders and on high gear through a zombie landscape of grim and epic proportions. But scaled down to such a brilliantly simple yet deep game design here. That’s where my love for this game lies. It plays so fast and so unpredictable with such an exciting random black cloud hanging over your head at all times, its exhilarating. This is also a perfect gateway zombie game to all gamers out there trying to get their families or friends into gaming. This game can be taught in literally 5 minutes. Then you’re gonna have a helluva hard time getting those people you just taught how to play this game, to have to stop. This is also one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played also.

You’re basically 1 survivor and in front of you are 3 rows of zombies that grow every turn, as well as advance towards you every turn. You have a great selection of survivors to choose from and there are a few more great ones in the expansions too. But every turn you get to roll a dice pool of 5 white dice and a grey event die, that activates immediately at the beginning of every turn, and then you have 2 rerolls before your turn is over. After that, the zombie rows advance and you add 3 more zombies to the now vacant last 3rd row, making the onslaught infinite and endless. But in your turn, depending on what you roll, you have a whole chart next to you of what die combinations and numbers can do for you, like draw cards from the multitudes of decks. There are different objectives in solo and multiplayer modes, and I’ll leave that for you to discover, but the main and most important objective here is to survive. And one minute when it seems like you are doing great and are unbeatable, the next minute you are now facing down zombies in row 1 that will be on top of you next turn and then you are toast. Its that exciting unpredictability and changing of tides that makes this game so fun and exciting and addictive. Trust me, once you start playing this, solo or multiplayer, its impossible to stop. And once you pack it away, you’re gonna be unpacking it again very soon. (laughs)

There are like 4 expansions on offer here, but are next to impossible to find. I was lucky enough to find them all and assemble one of my favorite games in my collection. Again, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to try and track down the originals first if you want this same experience with its grey and somber color scheme, which pushes its thematic element full steam ahead. This IS a zombie game, and even if you’re burnt out on zombie games at this point like I was, you owe it to yourself to own this game. It is THAT good and amazing of a gaming experience.

And for all you wondering out there about my pics in these reviews, yes, that is my gaming table setup. Its themed towards dungeon crawls and Gothic spooky vibes, but it works with every game in my collection, creating a dark and atmospheric cozy vibe that just helps pull you into every game you play. I love it and change it up all the time, but a setup like that is super important in creating a gaming environment to enhance and amplify the escapism of gaming and the games at hand. So if you can, create a mood and atmosphere when you game, you will thank me for this advice, trust me. (laughs)

Overly zombified,

Andrew Baumgartner