I fully admit, I love zombie horror games. Student Bodies takes a fresh new twist on the many classic, co-op, shoot-’em-up zombie games out there. You play as one of several high school students in a zombie-infested school. Here’s the catch: you’re already bitten! The clock is ticking for you to race across the hall to the science lab, find your antidote, and make your way back to the exit, shoving your fellow classmates aside (and hopefully into a zombie!) along the way. The winner makes it to the exit first, locks the door behind him or her, and gleefully skips away with his life while the other students get eaten alive.
Here are several aspects I love about this game: it’s different every time. The main hall, science lab, and exit each have a set of setup cards used to determine where zombies, corpses, and obstacles will be placed once you enter that room (can’t plan ahead!). It makes for a very fun variation each time you play. I also love the corpses strewn about the school. Turn them over to reveal nothing, to collect a valuable item, or get bitten by a sleeping zombie corpse! If you’re almost dead, I wouldn’t take the risk, but that’s just me.
I also love the make-shift “weapons” which are much more realistic than other games. Remember, this one isn’t about killing hordes of zombies, it’s about escaping with your life. These weapons (that could be found in virtually any high school) include a lock and chain, a trophy, an aluminum bat, a bocce ball, and more. I also love the knock down aspect. Essentially, when a zombie attacks a player, the zombie either misses, bites the player, or knocks him down. If the player is knocked down, the next time a zombie attacks, no dice is rolled, the player is automatically bitten (makes sense, right?). The variety of action cards is also very impressive. There are normal action cards to be played on your turn, fast action cards to be played at any time, and reaction cards to be played when the trigger event occurs (usually when something happens against you). There are many fun, real-world scenario actions (like a duck and roll reaction card or a get up fast action).
This game was a thrilling mayhem. While I love hard-core strategy games, I also love the chaotic bloodbath that you find in Student Bodies where players rely mostly on luck to win. It allows for a lighter, more reactive game which can be every bit as fun as the more strategy-heavy games. I’d also note that the artwork, while very impressive, is a bit gory for younger players or for the “faint of heart.”
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.