Last Night on Earth – Review
Zombies, shotguns, spooning… all in a handy board game format.
In the Last Night on Earth boardgame the name of the game is survival. You play as one of many classic zombie horror story characters; the local sheriff, the football star, the girl next door, the priest, the nurse, the cowgirl, the sheriff’s son, and the crazy stranger. Each has slightly different skills that can serve them and help the other survivors. Some are faster, some are luckier, some just pack a fat revolver. Now the characters are going to need to work together to stay alive, because the zombies are only so stupid. They are actually controlled by another player and therefore can be quite conniving. The zombie player receives cards each turn that he can use to buff their hordes. Some speed up the zombies, make them hit harder, spawn sporadically nearby, or can even cause problems like creating discontent between the live people.
One of the great things about the game is that each time you play is different. Not just the basic choices and locations, but they also have completely different scenarios. There are basic survival versions, ones that require burning out the zombies’ spawning pits, and my favorite, “Escape in the Truck”. The last one consists of searching the homes in town for keys and gasoline for the truck. You then have to get all the survivors to the truck and protect them as they fill the tank and get away. Normally this takes a bit of searching because there only a few sets of keys and gasoline within the stack of item cards that the heroes go through.
In one particularly interesting match two of the characters had no starting space on the randomly generated board so they started in the center with the truck. Not too helpful since they need to still get to the buildings and start searching. But wait, since they didn’t start in a building with which to start searching immediately, the game was nice enough to give both of them a single hero card to help keep them alive til you reach safety. If you are lucky, it’ll be an axe or gun. In this case however, the two characters got AMAZINGLY lucky and started with keys and gasoline! So now they just needed to take the actions to fill up the truck, wait for the others to book it there, and leave. Game over. Or at least… almost.
The zombie player happened to have a few cards that were just as lucky and played all of them as fast as possible. The first being to spawn more zombies and boost their speed to catch up to the ones in the truck and cut off the others before they could join them. The next was to make the human with the gasoline lose a turn. The humans played their turns and by the end of it 3 of the 4 players had made it to the truck. Then the zombies played their turn slowly shambling even closer and playing a card with the same namesake as the game, “This could be our last night on earth”. The picture shows a pair of the younger and more attractive characters underneath a tent smiling at each other… The effect it causes is that a male and female player lose their turns if they are in the same square because they are busy doing other things. So now we have two players banging in the back of the truck with the priest sitting right next to them reprimanding them for their wicked ways, and zombies moving in for the kill. Just like the game of Left 4 Dead, the round
ended with 3 players in the truck flailing madly and 1 guy who dies in the fray.
Love the game. Only problem I have with it is that the instruction manual could be a little more concise in some places and more detailed in others. I’ve had to look up some of the FAQ’s and discussions online to see what happens in specific situations. Some complain about not being able to stomp through the zombie hordes like they do in zombie video games, but I say this game is about survival, not about playing as Master Chief. And hey, you can do that plenty once you find the chainsaw or boomstick.