carnival zombie

It’s been out of print and hard to find for years, but game design studio, Albe Pavo, has launched the 2nd edition of Carnival Zombie on Kickstarter.

Carnival Zombie is a cooperative board game for 1 to 6 players. Each player takes the roll of a character as they work together to flee a sinking city overrun by zombies. Players control this party of heroes as they fight their way to one of the possible escape routes out of the city. During the night, players face restless hordes of zombies, while during the day they recover, move or search for useful items and other survivors. The party can only survive until dawn with close cooperation. If they’re attacked, they accumulate stress until becoming terrified! If just one character becomes too stressed… it’s game over (man)!

The second edition includes new scenarios that will allow you to face completely new challenges: a tutorial scenario, shorter scenarios, harder games, traitor mechanics, competitive game, more dexterity game and night-only scenarios!

Carnival Zombie was originally released by ALBE PAVO in 2013 and sold out in just 3 months. The 1st edition received acclaim from reviewers and players alike. In fact it received the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence and a super cool quote by Tom Vasel:

“One of the best cooperative games I’ve ever played, probably the best zombie game I’ve ever played.”

Watch some Dice Tower coverage of Carnival Zombie (1st edition).

Carnival Zombie is for 1-6 players ages 12+. Depending on the type of game played – scenarios or story mode – the estimated time to play is 90-240 minutes. The game is scheduled to arrive in backers’ hands in November 2019.

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On Thanksgiving Day, NSKN’s blog brought us some solid food for thought: how should game designers and publishers, not to mention gamers in general, consider the impact of thematic content in the games they design and play?  In this entry, NSKN presents the conflict that can sometimes arise due to various elements of theme in games.

It’s quite likely that every gamer has become involved in a game where some aspect of the theme struck a nerve with someone at the table.  A solid theme brings the mechanics of a game to life, allowing us as gamers to make connections that suck us in and immerse us in the experience of the game.  There are, however, elements of life, philosophy, morality, and the human experience, that we find unpleasant, disturbing, and sometimes quite revolting.  Whether the subject matter is as “in your face” as playing on a sheet of human skin in Chaos in the Old World, or something deeper and more subtle like the “colonists” in Puerto Rico, it’s difficult to be callous to others when a particular aspect of a game’s theme strikes that nerve.

A mature response in this area is to make one’s own decisions about a theme and to be careful to avoid pressuring others to play games with themes that are difficult for them.  However, even in this light, designers and publishers should carefully consider the impressions that will be left on others by the delivery of theme in their games, and be prepared for any negative reactions from thematic elements that come close to established social and moral boundaries.

The article makes observations about how a person can find one edgy theme acceptable yet be very bothered by another theme that could be considered controversial.  To read the article in full, visit the NSKN blog page.