Be honest, you want to live in, or at least experience, a zombie apocalypse. Who here doesn’t? It’s part of why a lot of people like zombie-themed games. They provide a tiny smidgen of that visceral zombie apocalypse experience we all want without any of the danger or terrible living conditions. The problem is that when people go on about how badass they’d be and how many zombies they’d kill, they tend to ignore their style. Badass Zombie Killers posits that it doesn’t matter how many zombies you kill, but how badass you look while killing them. Like Will Smith in Men in Black, the difference between you and your friends needs to be making it look good. In this game that doesn’t mean wearing fancy clothes so much as having a friggin’ awesome weapon to kill zombies with. Why use a chainsaw when you can use a double barreled chainsaw? Why use a katana when you can have a gas powered katana? These and many other combinations are available. Just watch out, because someone might turn  your weapon pink.

Mechanically speaking, Badass Zombie Killers is a fairly typical “draw one, play one” card game. Just like it sounds, during your turn you draw a card and play a card in an attempt to give yourself the most points while making your opponents lose points. The two most important card types are weapons and modifiers. Most of the weapons are already pretty badass, but the modifiers make them much more so. In fact, the whole point is to make them as crazy awesome as possible. Don’t settle for a flamethrower, make a laser-guided, tactical flamethrower. Forget a shotgun, make some gas-powered shotgun-chucks. My personal favorite weapon that I was able to make during a game was a set of double-barreled nunchuck-chucks, which I imagined as four sets of nunchucks strung together into a giant chain. Just be careful, because there are negative modifiers, which means you can end up with a pink, OSHA-approved pointy stick. There are also other cards that can remove modifiers from your weapon, or even make you lose your entire weapon and start again from scratch. Eventaully, near the bottom of the deck, someone will draw a “The End” card, which usually means the zombie horde arrives. Whoever has the most Badass weapon wins. Since you’re all killing zombies, nobody really “loses” unless they have no weapon at all, or their weapon is worth zero or negative points. Then they just get eaten. There is one “End” card, however, where the National Guard shows up instead of the zombie horde. They arrest the players with the most Badass weapon, and then the player in second place wins. Sucks to be you when you’re winning only to have victory snatched away like that.

I feel this is worth mentioning.  A couple friends of mine said that Badass Zombie Killers feels like Borderlands: The Card Game to them. I’ve never played Borderlands, personally, so I can’t vouch for that, but if you’ve played Borderlands, then maybe that gives you an idea of what this is like.


Bottom Line: While the game is fairly simple, it’s probably the best “draw one, play one” card game I have ever played. Not because of the great ruleset but because it’s hilarious. Now, the biggest reason I loved Zombie! Run For Your Lives so much was because I thought it was funny. I’ve since run into others who either didn’t get or didn’t care for its subtle humor. On the other hand, I’ve found that pretty much everyone gets and enjoys Badass Zombie Killers’ humor. As the weapons get more ridiculous you can’t help but laugh. I have not played a single game of this where laughs were not plentiful. When talking about this game or teaching it to new players, other people I’ve played it with frequently brag about the Badass weapons they’ve had in previous games. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. My only complaint is that I want more. I want more weapons, more modifiers, more everything. When’s the expansion coming out?

You can find Badass Zombie Killers on Amazon.

About Ross Wolfe

Ross K. Wolfe is a freelance editor and Spanish translator who writes reviews for things on the side. Hailing from Alaska, he is accustomed to beautiful vistas and normal weather, not that oven-like heat most of you are used to. He considers himself something of a scholar on the topic of the zombie apocalypse.