Board games have undergone an astronomical amount of change over the years. When board games were first introduced with titles like Monopoly and Scrabble, it consisted of four players all competing against each other to achieve one given goal: to win. Since then, games have evolved to a point where the ultimate end goal is different and the journey there is almost unrecognizable comparative to old games. Nowadays, board games allow players to work together to take down one player, to form temporary allies to gain an advantage, or even to work towards various objectives in order to achieve victory. One of the prime examples of the way board games have developed into something completely new is “Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game.”
The world has gone to chaos as a zombie outbreak has ravaged the planet. You and one to four of your closest friends have all survived the outbreak, forced to survive on what you can get.
In “Dead of Winter,” you and your friends work together to achieve one ultimate goal, which is randomly selected between a number of options. These goals can range from killing a given number of zombies to traversing the ravaged land in search of a better shelter. Apart from the primary objective, each player has a secondary objective that the rest of the players don’t know about. They can be simple tasks, like getting a certain amount of food to aid to the team’s survival, or they can be devious, such as sabotaging the rest of the team for your own personal gain or victory. These objectives provide an abundance of variety to every game, making it so no game is like the one before.
While I only played two games, I was on the edge of my seat both times. It was an adventure, as I was trying to determine what everyone else’s ulterior motives were in the “campaign” aspect of the game. There was a game where almost everyone survived the objective, with only one person being devoured by zombies. Another time, we all faced our imminent demise, being betrayed by someone we thought was our friend, who ultimately died of starvation. The game provides twists and turns that take the players off guard and forces them to change their strategy at every given opportunity to make sure they don’t fail in their objective.
The bleak Montana winter is coming, and what better way to avoid it than simulating zombie-ravaged winter in board game form with some of your closest friends? Dead of Winter will bring all of your friends together to survive a zombie apocalypse, and possibly drive one friend away as he steadily betrays you all. All in all, when the weather gets too cold, as it tends to get in Montana, get some hot-buttered rum, crowd into a heated apartment, get ready to fight and play “Dead of Winter.” You won’t regret it.
You can get “Dead of Winter” at Rooks Comics and Games, across from the mall, or on Amazon. It costs between $45-60. While that may seem a bit pricey, it provides enough fun to make it worth it.