The History of Zombicide: Part 1: The Early Years

With the Kickstarter campaign for the 2nd edition of Zombicide coming up, we wanted to take a look back through the years, pulling out the photo albums and reliving the memories of the game that really made an impact on the gaming community. In this series, we’ll stroll through the different stages of the game, starting with the original three Seasons, then moving on to the fantasy realm of Black Plague, all the way up to the most-recent release with Invader. But first, let’s start at the beginning…

The original Zombicide game had its initial launch on Kickstarter in 2012. By the time the campaign ended, it raised a record (for the time) $781,597.

Thinking on this time, Thiago Aranha, Senior Producer at CMON, recalled, “Suddenly the campaign blew up beyond our wildest expectations. That campaign made CMON what it is today. The interaction with the backers from then on helped shape our image, what we do, and how we do it.”

Fans loved the cooperative aspect of the game, with the zombies being commanded by the game itself. Due to the highly modular nature of the game due to the different boards and the multitude of Survivors, players were quick to create their own scenarios and expand the game in all new ways. This engagement from the players was promoted and helped to build a real community. As such, players were thrilled when the next set was announced. Zombicide Season 2 consisted of the standalone expansion Prison Outbreak, and the companion box, Toxic City Mall. Along with adding more tiles, more scenarios, and more survivors, this Season introduced a new enemy: Berserker zombies. These slavering beasts were immune to ranged attacks, forcing the Survivors get up close and personal if they wanted to destroy them. Also introduced in Season 2 were the Zombivors. These zombified-versions of the regular Survivors were tough and still held on a little bit to their humanity, helping to take on the zombie hordes even in their undeath. With more zombies and Zombivors also came Ultrared Mode, where players could gain even more experience from blasting zombies and get new gear to help them even further along.

Once more, fans were enthralled. Those that had originally missed out on the first Kickstarter campaign jumped in with this one, pushing the campaign to over $2 million in funding. There were a slew of extras to add to the game, adding more options, more fun, and more challenges with every game. No two games of Zombicide would ever be close to the same.

Completing the original series of Zombicide was Season 3, consisting of big-box Rue Morgue and companion box Angry Neighbors. Closing out the original trilogy, this Season brought with it a full narrative story that unfolds as players work through the three Seasons in order. Zombies in Season 3 are resilient, able to slough off even the most grievous of wounds. Skinners are even tougher, and even more relentless in their pursuit of the living. Even if their legs are removed, they’ll still incessantly crawl towards Survivors, making players “double tap” them if they want to finally remove them from the board. Season 3 also introduced competitive play. Yes, as the zombie menace has gone along, resources have gotten more and more scarce. It’s to the point where the Survivors are fighting over the meager leavings. In the end, only one group will be able to make it to see another day.

The first 3 Seasons of Zombicide brought people all the zombie-hunting action they could handle. There were dozens of Survivors to choose from, plenty of tiles so players could create their own scenarios, all the way up to extremely huge games spanning entire tables, and different types of zombies to keep players on their toes with each flip of the Spawn deck. But this was only the beginning of the Zombicide franchise. While many loved the modern-day take on zombies, some players wanted something different. What if zombies had shown up at a different point in time? Well, CMON and Guillotine Games were about to give it to them. On the horizon, a plague was forming…

By Jason "Polar Bear" Koepp

Zombicide 2nd Edition is coming soon to Kickstarter. Don't miss the launch! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The History of Zombicide: Part 1: The Early Years

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