Avoiding zombies is imperative to survival in an apocalypse. But zombies aren’t the only danger – rival communities might be more of a risk to each other then the zombies ever were! This is what the Last One In (by City Games) explores. Players compete to rescue civilians and eliminate each other’s town with zombies. The first player to save 50 civilians or inflict the wrath of 100 zombies onto the other town wins!
I was lucky enough to demo Last One In at the UK Games Expo last week, and have the game explained to me by its designer Mark Taylor. Not long after, I got my phone out and backed the game! And here are my reasons why:
1. Theme & Game Mechanics
Like I said in my post on Tiny Epic Zombies, I’m a big fan of the Zombie theme which is why Last one In pulled me in straight away. The game’s mechanics have been cleverly designed to not only ensure the game is fun, but also to match the zombie apocalypse theme. The rules, turn phases and card types all have both mechanical and thematic reasons for being in the game. Last One In isn’t a story driven game, but it has been designed with the theme so deeply nestled in the rules and mechanics that it feeds into to the narrative of the game play.
For example: if you are over the hand limit at the end of your turn you must discard down. But instead of discard cards into a generic discard pile, you have to discard civilian or zombie cards from your hand into the zombie horde that’s rampaging your own town (which count towards the opposition’s 100 zombie win condition!). This works within the games theme, as being over your hand limit can easily be a metaphor for your town being over populated. When your towns overpopulated there are more people on the street and there more likely to stumble across a zombie and get bitten. This mechanic also has a positive impact on how you play during your turn because you consistently have to manage your hand and consider the risks of drawing more cards to find the ones you want. It forces you to be more creative with the options in front of you.
Zombies aren’t clean, they aren’t tidy. They smell, they ooze and they’re rough around the edges! I really like the look of the sketch style artwork used in Last One In (art by Aaron Howdle) it’s perfect for a zombie-themed game. It’s reminiscent of the style from Zombies!!! (published by Twilight Creations Inc) in that it is less clean cut than some other recent zombie games, such as Tiny Epic Zombies (Published by Gamelyn Games).
The sketchy style of the artwork adds to the theme by bringing an air of desolation to the game. And I really enjoyed that the card artwork had a few light- hearted details (such as the Ninja wearing a colander!) and no over-stylised gore. This makes it great to play with younger, or more delicate gamers.
3. Versatile game play
Last One In has a lot of versatility. It plays with 2 to 4 players in a range of game styles (1v1, 2v2, 3 player all v all, and 4 player all v all). Each mode has been properly play tested and has a modified set of rules to give the best experience. This aspect is particularly important to me, because I play games with a range of different people and want games that I can play in different ways. It means the game more likely to get to the table.
I’m always on the lookout for good 2 player games, because My wife and I love to play even if it’s just the two of us! Last One In fits the bill as I demoed it with her and I know we both really enjoyed it. But I don’t just game with my wife, I also game with a group that definitely prefer to play cooperatively. So the 2v2 option will be very handy for playing with them.
4. Great Price – A lot of game for the money!
The Kickstarter is live right now, until 3rd July 2018. The normal ‘Core Survivor Pledge’, which includes 1 copy of the game and some PDF posters, is set at a ridiculously reasonable £18 (plus postage ). When you think of all the versatility and the different play modes in the Last One In, there’s a lot of play for the price. It was a definite back from me.
When I pledged the ‘Early Bird – Core Survivor Pledge’ was still available, which was ridiculously reasonable £15!
5. And I actually won!
The last and arguably the most important reason is: I won!
I make no secret that when my wife and I play two player games, more often than not she wins! But despite a strong start, she couldn’t defend herself against a barrage of zombies I was sending into her town. Muahahaha!
If there’s a game out there where I can win against my wife, I need to add it to my collection!
If you’re interested in the Last One In, check out their Kickstarter. There’s 24 days left on the campaign, so don’t forget to pledge before it’s too late!
And remember…the Last One In locks the door!