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Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter Review – As Good as the Hype

Recommended Age: 14+
Numbers of Players: 2-5
Manufacturer: Plaid Hat Games

Yet again, Plaid Hat Games has created an immersive’ and intriguing board game; Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game. It has lived up to its hype due to its glorious and decent gameplay antic tactics. It is a meta-cooperative survival game pitting its characters against a zombie apocalypse. This highly thematic game has players that work towards a common goal, even though each player has to complete a given personal objective. The game’s aim is to test a group of survivors banded in a colony and have to make it through a treacherous path. They work together and face series of challenges and crises.

Each player leads a faction of different characters through an apocalypse ravaged world while keeping the hordes at bay. Each player’s secret objective could be a psychological tick which could be fairly harmless to his/her colony. It could also be a dangerous obsession that sets the whole objective at risk or just a desire to sabotage the mission. The worse could be a vengeance against their colony. The game could end with certain players losing while some winning, or all of them losing.

The anticipated experience can only be accomplished through the table-top medium. This story-centric game has players frequently making wildly-varying and oddly satisfying decisions which are best for the colony as they have to survive a great deal of winter and a looming apocalypse.

How to play Dead of Winter – A Crossroads Game

Each player begins with two survivors and 3 dice that dictate certain actions. Such actions include building barricades, searching locations to access items and resources, and fighting zombies. It sounds simple yet there are other twists and turns that create quite a unique experience. For instance, a colony could have a common good but each player has a personal objective that states what they require to accomplish to become winners. Players will only win if they achieve their objectives (hidden from others), even if the main objective is fulfilled. 

Of course during gameplay, a player could be a betrayer. This is because there is a betrayer objective shuffled together with personal objectives, and a card handed over to players making a 50% probability of traitor’s existence. There are 6 locations survivors may travel to search for items but must beware of the deadly lands.

This board game last several rounds based on the main goal. It starts by revealing the crisis card- majorly about getting a common good that is equal to most players. Players may then add cards during their turn face down then the dice is rolled. Players make their actions on each dice roll, but if they fight or move a zombie, the dreaded red exposure die has to be rolled. It is 12 sided with six of them blank. Three sides have a wound, in case a survivor gets three wounds, they automatically die. Two sides have frostbites, a wound that creates an additional wound every turn. One side has the deadly zombie bite that not only kills, but spreads to the next character. The character can be killed or hidden.

A betrayer can be voted out and exile the colony. They can however another secret agenda which impacts the game. The game only ends if the main objective is achieved or when morale or and the round tracker hits zero. It also ends if two non-betrayers get exiled. At this point, a player who has accomplished their secret agenda wins the game. This game can have 2-5 players playable in 100 minutes. It is worth giving a try as it gets you hooked with your friends. You may also like Zombicide.


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