Monday, September 19, 2022

I couldn’t wait until October for Zombie in my Pocket

I’d been planning on making a copy of the original Zombie in my Pocket in October to celebrate Halloween. But I got impatient to actually play the game again so I made it a month early lol

Zombie in my Pocket was an important milestone in my gaming life. It wasn’t my first foray in Print and Play (or solitaire for that matter) nor was it the game that launched me into making a lot of print and play games. But it was the first print and play game I played over and over again.

Finished the game and tried it out. Still crazy thematic, still random enough that bad luck can kill your plans and still a lot of fun.

In case you haven’t played it, Zombie in my Pocket is a tile-laying game driven by a development deck that is really an encounter deck. You first have to find a hidden shrine in a house and get the evil totem. Then you have to find your way outside and find the graveyard where you need to bury the totem.

So… we are talking evil curse origins of the zombie apocalypse, not disease or science gone wrong no explanation whatsoever.

The development deck/event cards are the best part of them game. Not only because they add a lot of flavor and not only because they are how things happen. It’s because they are also the timer.

Each card has an event for nine o’clock, ten o’clock and eleven o’clock. And the later it gets; the worse the events get. Every time you reshuffle the deck, you move down to the next hour. And if you hit midnight, it’s game over. Zombie party until the end of time.

The tile-laying is actually the part of the game where luck will really get you. There are ways you can mitigate the luck of the deck. Fleeing zombie hordes, finding items, cowering for health. But if the evil temple is at the bottom of the house tiles or the grave yard is at the bottom of the outdoor tiles, you will burn a lot of precious time to find them and you only have twenty-one rounds until midnight.

Since I last played Zombie in my Pocket, I have played a lot of PnP solitaire games. Including some other In My Pocket games inspired by Zombie.

And it has held up. Better than I expected, really. It hits that sweet spot where simple and accessible meet. It is silly, sloppy fun, dripping with zombie theme. Holy Cthulhu in Space Marine Arnor, it’s Ameritrash in my pocket.

Zombie in my Pocket isn’t perfect or deep but it is a lot of fun. It tells an story and the constant ticking of the clock makes that story compelling. I have definitely played better solitaire games but playing it again made me want to immediately start another game.

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