It’s only been in the last couple years that I’ve really taken to solo gaming and a lot of that has to do with Victory Point Games. A lot of other games offer solo variants or whatnot, but VPG pumps out games that were made to solo, and I haven’t found one that wasn’t a blast to throw down on the table. My first venture into this brave new world was even more remarkable considering the theme, the third edition of Dawn of the Zeds. This deluxe edition of Zeds was out of print for a bit, but it’s back on Kickstarter now and, if you want a copy, now’s your chance.
Dawn of the Zeds is a tower-defense style game, where hordes of the titular Zeds descend upon the peaceful hamlet of Farmingdale and your only goal is to keep them out of town long enough to be rescued. While the theme sounds about as original as another Spider Man reboot, how it’s implemented really sets it apart. The game has its tongue set firmly in its cheek and Farmingdale is populated with tropes that come off as endearing rather than rote.
While the gameplay itself is tense, the best part of Zeds is its sheer customizability. Most coop-style games will offer multiple levels of difficulty, but those consist of simply not drawing as many cards or seeding the board with more yuck from the get-go. Zeds is much more interesting. Ramping up the difficulty means adding entirely new mechanisms into the game. Super-zombies, research and the need to find a cure, lawyers, “Zombies are people too!” activists, mad scientists, and more. You can add or remove chunks of the game as you see fit, knowing that the more you add the less likely you’ll be to succeed.
The third edition of Zeds also launched what VPG is calling their Premier Line. That means no paper maps or soot-coated chits. Everything in the game is top notch quality, from the tokens to the cards to the mounted board. The new Kickstarter even includes three expansions in the form of “boosters”. Think of them as more card goodness to add into each game.
The current Kickstarter has already funded, so if you want to ensure a copy of Dawn of the Zeds for yourself, head over to their campaign and sign up. There will probably be some copies available at retail afterwards, but I’m guessing they won’t last long.