Set in an apocalyptic world of zombies, Dead of Winter focuses on the horror of surviving a freezing cold winter whilst keeping hordes of ravenous undead from overrunning your home colony. Each player controls a random team of survivors from various backgrounds whom have been forced together to stay alive. Each player has his or her own secret agenda to win the game, which might not always be in the colony’s best interest…
As the game progresses, survivors can be sent out from the confines of the colony to search through six different locations for weapons, equipment and importantly, food. Each time they do they risk the chance of drawing zombies to their location increasing the chances with every noise they make. Just leaving the colony itself is fraught with dangers leading to possible injury, infection or death. Players must consider the odds and gather resources to survive whilst also keeping an eye on each other in case there is a traitor in their midst. All of this takes place whilst the colony is constantly under threat of zombies testing its defences. A player can barricade the colony to help but every human also needs food to live, is it worth taking a risk to look for more?
Dead of Winter embellishes the story it creates through player interaction with a number of tense mechanics. Every turn a crisis is revealed which could force players to find tool parts to fix a problem or a demand for more food to stave off starvation. If the crisis isn’t solved by the end of the turn, many terrible things can happen to the colonies morale and cascade into a downward spiral. Worse still, the players contribute items face down during the turn leading to the possibility that someone might not be telling the truth to make sure they achieve their own agenda. It may be that none of the players are traitors at all, but can you really be sure?
‘Crossroad’ story cards are drawn at the start of a turn and bolster the heightened tension. They are only read aloud if a player is controlling a specific character at that point. These can lead to choices by the active player such as to help a stranger or search for resources but the consequences can be positive or negative.
Dead of Winter has multiple scenarios for short, medium and long game lengths with a high level of re-playability due to the secret goals and cards drawn. All the characters and zombies are full-colour standees that are rich in character detail.
Player Count: 2-5
Time: 60-120 Minutes