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Aargh... brains!


Okay, who doesn't enjoy a good zombie movie/show/game? 


The person at the back who just put their hand up can leave now. The rest of you... grab a regular pack of cards and some d6 and come with me to the apocalypse.


This is a complete gamebook. No other purchase is required to play (well, you need a regular deck of cards and some d6 dice but that's all and you can purchase the custom Zilight Original Game Deck if you would like - but it is optional.


Printed rulebook plus gamemat (paper) included.




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 (she stays safe until you use her 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/grenade) 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 trapped family but your friends might...
  •  Searching for supplies: Food, medical supplies, ammo, weapons
  •  The perils of going hungry: You really need to eat each day.
  •  Hunting food: Rabbit stew 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 players had to say:


  • Love the writing style and the gameplay concepts are fantastic.
  • Really enjoyable game.
  • I was killed on my 2nd day on the first try and then fared much better on the second pass. Also, played with my kids for Halloween and they loved it. Great, great game.
  • A brilliant game that was thoroughly enjoyed by both a veteran wargamer and a complete novice.
  • Thanks for this fabulous game.
  • 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.
  • I was one of the lucky ones to play test Zilight. It's quite an adventure. One run through everything was going great, until it wasn't. Really, hope you never run into the tiger! The next, we struggled from the beginning, but made it through all 28 days. Stephen is definitely a master of his craft. Get ready to fight for your life.


Optional Rules


To keep it a slim, easy to play game we kept out some rule options that can add complexity, because we know some gamers like complexity we have included five optional rules that you can choose to add in.


There is also an alternative ending objective provided and options to make it both easier and harder to play.




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, whilst it was designed for solo play people play it in pairs, or even groups, and have 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!


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 with Zilight or Aargh Brains in the subject line and we will reply and clarify any rules questions you might have.




    40 pages, A5 Portrait ('Zine size), Black and white art.

Gamemat (paper)

    A5 Fold out, Colour art 


This is version 2.3 and includes a complete rewrite of core rules for readability. Extra FAQ's are included and new companions added. (So now you can use the joker cards in your deck)

Zilight Original - Zombie Survival Game - PRINT

  • PDF version available here

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