Zombie Cinema

This is a modest rpg I first wrote down around the Christmas of -06, after having finished my work on the Finnish edition of The Mountain Witch and before starting on Primetime Adventures. To my surprise, the game proved something of an evolutionary success in the local scene, so far so that I hardly got to play anything else during the next spring as it pushed other games out of the way. I published the game in Finnish that summer and continued playing it until I was sick with the whole notion of zombies. Now I have an English edition of the game, here.

On the right hand side you can find links to some resources: the “Links” page provides reviews, actual play reports and other in-depth explanations of the game. You can also buy the game from our webstore if you’d like.

What is it?

Zombie Cinema is a boardgame for 3-6 players, age 12+. One game takes 2-3 hours, all told. Learning the game takes ten minutes. The game is a cooperative storytelling exercise wherein the players create a story very much like a zombie movie. As my personal experience has it, about half of the time you’ll get something that is significantly better than any zombie movie I’ve actually seen.

What it says on the box

Nobody knew when it started, or why. Perhaps the lonely death of a spinster was one too much for angels to bear, or a chemical leak in the ground-water had unexpected consequences. Only one thing is certain: now the dead walk.

This story game is about the zombie apocalypse and the desperate choices of the survivors. Not only do these characters scramble over each other trying to find safety, but they may also cooperate and even sacrifice themselves so at least a few might survive the story.

Zombie Cinema is quick to set up, easy to learn and it’s designed to play from start to finish in one evening, making for an excellent party game or a first step into a new hobby. The game box includes everything required to create stories of survival horror with your friends.

What you get for the price

What the back of the box doesn’t say (it being obvious if you have the box) is that the game is packaged into a VHS cassette case. I love that solution! It’s durable, stylish and easily reopenable. Looks just like a movie. Cool all around.

There’s also all sorts of boardgame stuff inside the box. Here’s the component list:

Game Components:

27 Cinema Cards
1 game board
6 character pawns
6 dice
1 zombie pawn
1 round marker
1 rules sheet

The Finnish version

Now, if you’re Finnish or otherwise have obtained the Finnish version of the game, you might be interested in what’s changed in the English version and whether it’s worthwhile to get that as well.

  • The largest change is that instead of character creation sticks you get cards: there’s not as many of them, but they have nice illustrations that might make the game more appealing on approach.
  • The rules of the game are the same as before, but they are written in a very different manner. The Finnish version is very verbose compared to the English one, which I’m planning to compensate for by writing a couple of strategy articles here later on. The English manual is better (in my opinion) when you open the game for the first time and need to start playing right away; if you already know the game, however, then the Finnish manual is probably better for the nuances, examples and strategy.
  • To answer the key question, I probably wouldn’t get the new English edition of the game myself if I already had the Finnish one. But then, I prefer the sticks to the cards in character creation, and the Finnish game board with it’s art prints is just badass.