Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 3-6
Amount of time to play: 90 min
Age requirements: 14+
Set-up time: 5 – 10 minutes
City of Horror is a game of survival and negotiation. Zombies have infiltrated the city and rescue is 4 hours away. Can you survive long enough and get the most victory points to win?
You start City of Horror with three to five characters depending on the number of players. Each character is worth victory points (VPs) and has a special ability. Once they use their special ability characters are exhausted and worth less VPs.
The board is made up of six locations. Characters can move between the locations and each location gives characters access to special effects. Each round you must move one of your characters to a new location. If all the spaces on a location are filled you must move to the crossroads.
Each round zombies (and possibly supplies) are added to the board in some of the locations. Then the six locations are resolved. If there are enough zombies to attack, the players on that location vote for someone to be thrown to the zombies. Before the players may use their action cards and special abilities to reduce the number of zombies, get more votes or hide. You can even negotiate and discuss who you’ll vote for. If the vote is a tie the first player breaks the tie.
The crossroads is a bit different. It has a pie showing each color available in the game. If any zombies are there, they attack the player that has a character in the crossroads and whose color is next clockwise on the pie. Then the marker advances to the next color on the pie for the next round.
The locations are double-sided and have different actions on each side. You also randomly determine the cards that place the zombies and supplies. These both add to the replay value of this game.
Each round the new first player is player that last lost a character. And after 4 rounds the game is over. In order for each of your characters to survive they must also have a vaccine. The player with the most victory points wins. If none of your characters survive, you automatically lose.
City of Horror is a zombie-themed, survival game where you need to anticipate your opponents’ moves and negotiate your survival. This game takes the right group of players to really enjoy. You cannot get too upset if you are betrayed or repeatedly voted against. You also have to be willing to discuss trades and not take things too seriously.
The components are excellent. The board is big and though a bit dark given the theme it looks great. The rules are pretty straight forward and easy to follow. There are many symbols to learn on the cards and characters. The only complaint I have is that there are not player aids to show what the icons mean you have to keep passing around the rules.
Although I don’t enjoy these types of games a lot, I still found City of Horror enjoyable. The game has a good bit of randomness and that adds to the action and drama. Can you kill off a couple zombies to save yourself? Do you have cards or your vote on another location to negotiate with? All these things matter and add to the experience. But if your group doesn’t like to play mean or talk and negotiate, they may not enjoy this game.
If you are like zombies or diplomacy and politicking in your board games you should give City of Horror a try. Even groups that just like the light-hearted, dark theme should check this out.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 3 out of 6
Luck 4 out of 6
Player Interaction 6 out of 6
Replay Value 5 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 4 out of 6
Overall 4 out of 6 (if you and your group like these type of games this could be a 5 for you)