Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game is a game where your main goal is to survive. Nevertheless, there are multiple other variables to consider if you are trying to win the game. You and your friends are trying to survive the apocalyptic world full of zombies. At the start of the game every player will control survivors with an unique set of skills and some equipment to make things easier.
The most interesting part that gets you hooked on the game is the fact that you really cannot trust anyone else. Every player will have a secret objective of their own in addition to the main objective that everyone shares. There is even the possibility that one of you is a traitor and will try to prevent everything going too smoothly.
At the same time coping with the possible traitor there is also a crisis in each turn to be solved. This is usually some kind of shortage on supplies. The situation is changing all the time forcing you to adapt as a team which is one of the best parts of the game. You are never truly safe.
The rules may sound really complex at the first time, but eventually they are easy to understand. Every player plays their own turn separately one by one and after this there is a joint turn that ends the round. In this turn you will check did you get enough supplies to prevent the crisis, add more zombies on the board and basically check are you still surviving.
At your turn it is important to contribute some equipment or supplies to the ongoing crisis while also focusing in the main objective and your own secret objective. This is made possible by going to different locations around your home, ‘The Colony’ and getting the supplies you need and killing zombies before they can kill you. The game ends by either completing the main objective, dropping your team morale to 0 or when there are no turns left to be played.
The game is actually quite hard to win. If you sacrifice too much of your own resources to help to get the main objective done, you might not be able to get your own secret objective done. At the same time being to selfish can result in a catastrophe where you fail to complete the main objective.
Although, difficult at the beginning, I really enjoyed the game. It has all the right elements for a survival game and keeping you interested even when it is not your turn.
The game fits for everyone who loves survival games added with some spice of conspiring and teamwork, which is essential if you want to win the game. Only negative aspect of the game might be its relatively long-playing time, which is only a problem if you don’t have it enough.
Designer: Jonathan Gilmour, Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
Release date: 2014
Number of Players: 2-5
Playing time: 60+ minutes
Pictures taken by the author.
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