Last One Alive is a fast and exciting zombie-survival dice game for two to five players with simple rules and a nice bit of strategy. Players try to stay alive as long as possible, while the zombies swarm all over the place. The game played in turns: each player rolls a selection of dice to eliminate the attacking zombies or send them toward other players. If, at the end of a player's turn, any zombies are left, the player is overpowered and eliminated from the game. With the passing of time, the zombie menace grows stronger and stronger. The players’ elimination is not a big deal as a game runs fast, and a new one can be started momentarily.

Last One Alive: a zombie-survival dice game.

Designed by Ole Steiness (Champions of Midgard, Police Precinct), Last One Alive has been further developed by Paolo Mori (Pandemic: Fall of Rome, Ethnos) and it is published by Ares Games. With fast playing time, easy rules, and compact size, Last One Alive can be enjoyed for casual players, and is a good option of a quick "filler".

In Last One Alive there are four types of dice: the Zombie Dice make zombies appear, attacking your opponents, or ambushing you, the Shot Dice allow you to shoot zombies from a safe distance, the Item Dice allow you to find precious items - but at risk of zombie ambushes, and Barricade Dice let you build up your defense, but zombies can ambush you while you do!

All the dice are kept in a single pool, and each turn the players will choose from it the ones they want to roll. The zombies are an ever-present threat, and so rolling Zombie dice is mandatory. At the start of the game, the Zombie Apocalypse Level is one: one zombie die must be rolled, together with four dice of the player’s choice. This number increases as the game progress, each time a Zombie Apocalypse token is drawn, after an Item or Barricade dice roll.

At the beginning of the game, each player chooses a Character Card, used to track the items collected during the turn (up to 3 objects) and the life points, when playing with optional rules.

Each turn, after a player rolls the dice, if they show either a “zombie ambush” or “zombie” result they are assigned to a player. The ambushes are placed in front of the current player, while the “zombie” results are placed in front of the opponent to their left.

Next, the other dice are resolved. For each Item result the player draw a token and place it on their character card. There are six types of objects in the game: Axe, Chainsaw, Flare, Gun, Medikit, and Radio. Each of them can be used at a specific time to modify the results of the dice - and consequently the performed actions. For example, the Gun allow to double the “bang” symbols obtained on the shot dice, and the Medikit can save a player when they are about to be overpowered.

A view of the game components: four different types of dice, character cards, and tokens.

The Shot dice allow the player to eliminate a zombie or an ambush, depending on the result: for example, to eliminate a die that shows 2 “zombie” symbols, 2 “bang” symbols are needed. The shot dice with a “+” symbol can be rolled again, and if a player gets three “bang” to eliminate a zombie or an ambush, he receives a Hero token, which allows a reroll of any or all dice of their choice, replacing the original results.

Finally, with a “Barricade” result, the player can give the adversary to their left one of the zombie dice that they currently have in front of them. At the end of their turn, if the player still has either “zombies” or “zombie ambushes” in front of them, their card is turned to the “zombified” side, and they are out of the game. The game ends when one player is left – and the last player alive is the winner.

If not at risk, with no zombies close by, a player can be more aggressive, using more Zombie dice against the other players, in an attempt to have them be overpowered first. Or play with a more defensive strategy, collecting objects to use when the zombies arrive. To face an immediate menace, they can choose the Shot dice to kill the zombies.

Last One Alive also includes optional rules for playing with a little more strategy or for a longer game. The Day and Night variant adds night tokens that temporarily increases the Apocalypse Level by one when are drawn, and day tokens that suspend this effect. With the Survivors mode, suggested for two to three players, they have three lives each, with two life markers placed on the character card. With this variant, the game ends as soon as the third Zombie Apocalypse token is drawn, and the surviving players calculate their score to define the winner. The third variant, Zombies, Zombies Everywhere!, escalates the rhythm as the Apocalypse Level increases each time a player is eliminated. For even more fun, that player can roll one of the Zombie dice on their turn, to represent the actions of their “zombified” player.

This article was originally published by Game Trade Magazine, issue 258 - August 2021.

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