City of Horror: a board game of tact, negotiation and a slowly growing swarm of terrifying zombies. Prepare for an epic battle and race for survival as you take up a team of 4-6 different characters to battle their way through crowds of the living dead. Team-work, negotiation and careful planning is the name of the game, as you have to handle the growing threat using action cards and character perks. The variety of teams, board-areas, action cards and different zombie movements also add a real dynamic to the game and greatly increase the re-play value. However the general gameplay is active, even though would be significantly slower with only three players. The more interaction and debating you have during gameplay vastly increases playability, so the more bargaining prowess the better! The game naturally gets tougher, with two areas of the board being destroyed by certain player actions, while the number of zombies slowly increases over four rounds.
Beautifully illustrated by Miguel Coimbra, the images really add a new dimension to the game. Everything about it: the board, the cards, characters, box and even the rule books are flourished with intricate, crafted pictures. Such imagery makes the game very visual and helps bring the game-world to life. You do get quite confused at first with the amount of icons, however, which brings one of the main issues with the game. While the majority of it runs quite smoothly, some of the rules seem too complex and un-needed. It comes to a point during play where you begin to cut rules out or make your own, generalised versions, just because it makes it that little bit easier. Gameplay can become a little flawed with the number of characters verses the number of action cards you’re given too. There’s a fine balance between the gameplay being too easy and there being no chance of winning; staying perfectly on the balance-beam of the rules can be a little tricky.
Overall, however, this is a strong contender for my list of favourite games. It takes a while to get around the rules, but it’s beautifully designed and illustrated and is good fun to play. Little bags provided help you keep all of the small parts safe, too, so you can have a well organised world apocalypse to keep and treasure at home. Though on the pricey side, between £35 -£39, City of Horror is a unique, quirky game that is worth its’ money for replay-value.