From the Introduction
The back of the book sets the scene. You are at ground zero of a zombie apocalypse in Egypt, but in a time before that phrase was ever coined – 1923 to be precise.
Luckily for your character, that puts you five years after the First World War, a war you were in, giving you much-needed skills for the fight for survival you find yourself in now.
So what do you do? How do you fight the zombies?
Each game turn you turn over cards that tell you what happens that day. Sometimes, this might be good; usually it’s not.
That’s the core of the game. How you deal with the events you encounter are explained clearly in the rules. Take your time with the first couple of games to get a feel for the rules; don’t worry about winning those first games. Once you have the mechanics down, you can enjoy the rest of it…
You will fight zombies, run into survivors and need to make moral choices regarding saving them or leaving them.
You will also find different weapons that might give you an edge, but be careful, loud weapons can attract other zombies.
There are also people who you might encounter who will fight by your side, but a wise person would remember that they likely have their own goals and priorities. Saving your hide might not always be their top priority.
Of course, if the humans let you down, maybe you can find a wily street dog to help or a resourceful alley cat. You might be surprised how helpful they can be. (Although only one of them could be considered loyal.)
You hold in your hand a quick-to-play, fun and yet challenging game.
Get your dice, cards and pencil, and good luck…
Simple, fun and fast... and deadly.
Turn a regular playing card, look up in the book what the card means and make choices about how you are dealing with the situation presented by the card.
Which weapon do you use to fight the eight zombies who shuffled around the corner? Do you rescue the family in the trapped car? Do you fully explore the hospital for supplies or just dash in for a quick look around? (You can even skip it entirely but skipping the hospital would be crazy as there is a good chance you will find medical supplies!)
Medical supplies aren't all you need. Everyone is hungry in the apocalypse. Find food or starve. (Starvation reduces your health.)
Risk vs. reward is at play throughout the game.
Combat is resolved with a simple d6 based combat system. Whilst simple, it offers player choices such as which weapons to use - loud weapons are powerful but can attract more zombies, do you use your dog companion in combat (he stays safe until you use him in combat), or do you try and flee? (The more injured you are, the harder it is to flee.)
- You use a regular deck of cards and turn over one card which is your day card
- What suit the day card is determines it's type: Diamonds = Locations to explore, Hearts = People to meet, Spades = Adversaries to fight or hunt, Clubs = Equipment
- Look up the card in the game book and make choices about what you do based on the details.
- Resolve those choices whether that's combat, interaction, exploration etc
- Day ends - rest, eat (maybe feed the dog if you've found her), heal
- New day dawns, draw a new day card
(Survive for 28 days to win although an alternative, and much harder, winning objective is also presented.)
With a simple discard mechanism, surviving the apocalypse gets harder the longer it goes on!
As long time zombie fans we've put in all the classic aspects of the uprising that we could manage:
- Noise is dangerous: Using a loud weapon (gun/dynamite) can attract more zombies
- Humans can be more dangerous than the undead: Sad but so true!
- Moral choices: Do your morals still apply in the undead world? We won't judge you if you don't rescue that fleeing child they are going to die...
- Searching for supplies: Food, medical supplies, ammo, weapons
- The perils of going hungry: You really need to eat each day.
- Hunting food: Fresh vulture anyone?
- The dangers of searching locations: Specifically do you search thoroughly (more risk but more rewards) or quickly (less risk but less rewards)?
- It gets worse: The longer the apocalypse goes on the fewer the resources and the more frequent the zombie attacks
Here's what the play testers had to say:
- Really enjoyable game.
- A brilliant game that was thoroughly enjoyed by both a veteran wargamer and a complete novice.
- We led Boris Johnson on an attempt to do what he could not do in parliament and survive. We managed to win by surviving the 28 days and had a blast playing it.
- Solo journaling this has been amazing, I've gotten so into it.
- My partner doesn't like these sorts of games but she got into the journaling fiction I wrote off the back of it.
There is also an alternative ending objective provided and options to make it both easier and harder to play as well as a choice of starting characters and even a cat - which is only in because of a special request from a long time supporter of the company!
SOLO AND WITH COMPANY
This has been designed as a solo game. It is perfect for solo journaling or it can be played straight through as a regular game.
To our great surprise, during game testing, people who played it in pairs, or even groups, also had an incredibly good time. The moral choices that you get to make - beat the priest, rescue/don't rescue the family, sacrifice/don't sacrifice the dog etc made for much heckling, lively debate and discussion!
We have added short advice on playing with more than one character and will release more details rules relating to that in 2024.
Games take roughly 30-40 minutes (assuming you survive that long).
Get stuck surviving the apocalypse? Then we are here to help - drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Zilight or Aargh Brains in the subject line and we will reply and clarify any rules questions you might have.
44 pages, A5 Portrait ('Zine size), Black and white art.
Released December 2023 Files updated 12 January 2024
Zilight Egypt - Zombie Survival Game PDF
This is the PDF version and will be available to download immediately on ordering.
Physical copy coming early 2024