Zombie Dice is an awesome travel companion!
One of the best things that we packed and brought with us almost 2 years ago was the game Zombie Dice. Being board game players that often chase down board game cafe’s to satisfy the itch, we felt we might go crazy if we just went cold turkey and did not manage to play games while travelling.
When we were looking for something that we wanted to carry with us for the foreseeable future it had to meet a few criteria. First, and probably the most important of all, it had to be light. We were trying to stick to only cabin luggage so that we did not have to carry too much weight on our backs. It would also be less expensive because we would not have to pay for check-in luggage every time that we caught a flight. Second, it had to have a lot of replay value. We were going to be playing this game with each other and as many other people as we could, so it needed to maintain the fun aspect for a long time. Third, the rules had to be easy to explain and, if at all possible, language independent.
From our experience so far Zombie Dice has ticked off those points and in spades. The game is probably not as light as some other card games but it is still light enough to make it more than worthwhile to carry it with us. We do not get enough of playing it with new friends. And we have had few problems explaining it to those new friends that speak other languages than we do. Usually when language is an issue there is always someone around who wants to join in that is able to help with the translation or we rely on our Portuñol or Franguês to help us out. 😀
Our real first experience play Zombie Dice with a new group of friends was when trekked up to the Appurtenant Base camp, in Nepal. In the above photo there are a few trekkers (from Germany, Australia, USA, another couple I can not remember at the moment), plus Nepali guides and porters. We were playing at Chartreuse Base Camp (around 3700m) the night before setting off to the Appurtenant Base camp (around 4130m). We played a couple of games that got very loud, very close and went on for a bit longer than an hour. The girl in the blue beanie came from nowhere, with almost no brains to take out the second game, right from under me (P). It was absolutely awesome!
Since then we have played it on the Camino to Santiago de Composite, during a nearly 900km walk over the course of two months. We played it couch surfing in France and Belgium. We played it at the Antique Hostel, in Bucharest. We played it while we were recently house sitting in Hervey, Switzerland and earlier in the trip in Austria (admittedly, we struggled to explain to an 83 yr young philosopher what a zombie actually is but we had fun nonetheless). We’ve played it in Portugal with my cousin and her friends. We played it in rural Hungary, a village called Hid, close to lake Baton, during a fruit farm Work Away volunteer stint.
We have been playing it all over Europe and Asia for the last 2 years and having a blast making friends and laughing and teasing each other about how great or crappy zombies we make, depending on the roll of the dice. The people we played with tended to love the game so much that it was not an uncommon reaction for them to finish the night looking for where they could go and buy the game for themselves.
In fact, one of our hosts in Paris, Philippe, an avid board game player who has regular board game nights with a group of friends (just like us back in Sydney) went one step further. I had been chasing the School Bus Expansion all over 2 continents without much luck. So when Philippe decided that he wanted a copy of the game for himself and his friends, he was lucky that his local store had all the expansions including that huge yellow die. And being the awesome guy he is he even bought us one of our very own, as a gift. Freaking brilliant!!! When we get to explaining the rules for the yellow bus die, full of yummy school children’s brains ready to be eaten, even the most cynical new player gets a glint in their eye (because we are a sick, sick species). 😉 😀
In case the feeling does not come across, what I am basically trying to say is that we really, REALLY like Zombie Dice and believe it was one of our best investments for our travel, in terms of making friends. You should consider getting a copy for your gaming group or long-term travel plans.
P.S.: A note on how i tend to explain the rules. The usual visual aid i give, mostly because of the School Bus yellow die, is that Zombie Dice is an USAean zombie movie. The School Bus yellow die fits in with this picture, as do the School Jock and Cheerleader dies. However the red die, the so called Santa Claus die (according to the rules) just never made any sense to me. So we never mention that name and have changed it to the Convenience, Hardware or Home Supply Store, depending on what i remember to call it on that particular day. You have my permission to call it whatever you deem makes sense to you! 😀