Zombicide Companion App for iPad

Published on March 1, 2013
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Since this isn’t a full iPad game, I won’t be opening it up for official review format or listing it on the games page, but for those of you who own the Zombicide miniatures board game, I’ve found it to be an incredibly useful little app. I’ll give a brief outline of Zombicide too. Zombicide is a miniatures survival/horror roleplay board game from Guillotine Games that I found through Kickstarter last year. Successful funding and incrementally awesome stretch goals meant that a great deal was to be had in terms of extra mini’s and player characters, but the Zombicide Base Game Zombicide Companion App for iPad ipad screenshot is available to purchase from Amazon for around $75.

zombicide gameplay with ipad 500x333 Zombicide Companion App for iPad ipad screenshot

Zombicide Gameplay

The game can be played with 1-6 players, and is uniquely co-operative; everyone is battling toward the same set mission goals and survival. The core ruleset is fairly simple – players are given a set number of actions to use for:

  • movement,
  • opening doors,
  • searching for weapons,
  • attacking,
  • making noise.

Zombies spawn from set points after all player actions have been used, from a random deck of cards that keeps the game interesting. Additionally, players have a levelling system which introduces additional actions and unique skills; and at the same time increases the number and difficultly of zombies spawned. Some zombies can only be killed with heavy weaponry; one particular zombie is especially difficult to kill, and if they spawn early in the game it can dramatically change the dynamics from “shoot everything in your path while we struggle through this mess” to “run like hell and don’t ever look back”. The board is modular, and the creators have even released a level editor (for Windows), meaning there’s a ton of fan-made scenarios already out in the wild for you to play through; as well as another entire official campaign available for download. The simplicity and openness of the game encourages customization; personally, I like to play with a DnD type critical fumble system that punishes players for rolling a 1, but at the same I removed the rule that says you’ll automatically hit a teammate if firing into a friendly-occupied square. The game feels very much like a pen and paper RPG, so making up your own little stories for your character are part of the success of this game for me.

zombicide board 500x333 Zombicide Companion App for iPad ipad screenshot

iPad Companion App

The iPad companion app basically replaces the character score-cards; choose which characters are in play, equip them from the supplied deck of weapon cards, and check off their actions as they’re taken. The app also tracks Zombie kills and experience points; just tap the zombies you killed that turn, and watch the XP level rise.

zombicide ipad character screen 500x375 Zombicide Companion App for iPad ipad screenshot

Unfortunately, the physical cards must still be used; the app has no randomized deck. Choose a card from the top of the physical item deck, and then locate it using the app card browser, and drag it to your inventory.

zombicide cards 500x375 Zombicide Companion App for iPad ipad screenshot

I assume it’s done this way in case some players aren’t using the iPad app, but it would have been nice to set up an “everyone is using this iPad” mode, or even link it to another over Bluetooth. That said, the app is still a superb addition to an already expansive and well developed miniatures game; credit to the developers for creating a community and the various software tools that make Zombicide into more of a gaming platform than a single boardgame. If you have Zombicide, get this app; if you don’t have Zombicide, then get it!

Review By: James Bruce

James also hosts a weekly technology podcast (NSFW language), and is a staff writer and developer for the fantastic tech blog MakeUseOf where he regularly writes about Arduino and Wordpress.
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  1. […] a few days ago, I was talking about the fantastic iPad companion app for the highly successful Zombicide miniatures game. Yesterday, I received an email about a sequel to the game, as well as an expansion […]