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Resident Evil The Board Game Review

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Quick Look: Resident Evil The Board Game


Developer: Steve Margetson

Designer: Sherwin Matthews
Sculptor: Russ Charles

IP: Capcom

Publisher: Steamforged Games Ltd
Year Published: 2023

No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 60-90 mins (per mission).
 
Find more info HERE.
Foreword:

I received this copy from Steamforged Games via Quartermaster Logistics. The process of providing my address and getting it to my doorstep was insanely fast, maybe a few days, and I’m on a remote island in Canada. I was too impressed not to write this in. I’ve got a few SFG titles and I’ve never had a problem but if I did, I’m guessing that their customer service has to be amazing.

Steamforged Games are behind some of the largest titles in board games, including many associated with video game adaptations like their wildly successful Dark Souls board game. When talks of a Resident Evil game hit my ears, I was skeptical until I heard Steamforged Games was involved. I knew they’d have the knowledge and expertise to get it done right, and from my view, they mostly did. Before that’s taken the wrong way, know my main hitch with the game was that I felt the rulebook didn’t live up to my expectations and wasn’t as clear as it should have been.

From the Publisher:
Enter the home of survival horror in this cooperative campaign board game for 1-4 players.

     Step into the boots of Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, Rebecca Chambers, or Barry Burton to search for secrets and survivors in an open world crawling with enemies.
Navigate 19 spine-tingling scenarios filled with horrifying surprises and fiendish puzzles, making choices that matter and could even change the course of your campaign. Or, play each scenario as a terrifying standalone experience.
Every resource must be managed; every bullet counted. And all the while, the danger level is rising around you…
Inspired by the 2002 remake of Capcom’s genre-defining survival horror video game, this board game takes you back to where it all began.
In the darkness lie your fears. Can you survive the night?

Disclaimer: The publisher provided the copy of Resident Evil the Board Game The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own. 


Review:


Initial Impression/Components:

Immediately upon opening the box you are greeted by a full print holo/shifting image of a zombie and it is glorious! The cards, tiles, dials, etc. are all an upgrade of the standard quality. While the rulebook, miniatures, and other items like the zombie printed on the back of the main board are top tier. I was very pleased with the quality and look of this game.

32 miniatures

21 double-sided game board tiles
430+ cards
12 tracker dials
6 dice in a test tube
158 tokens
Rulebook and scenario book
Favorite:

I thought that the ever-changing sense of dread in the game brought forth by things like the tension deck and room encounter cards, really brought home the sense of urgency to proceed and to not be cavalier in your use of items and ammo. They designed the game in such a way that you can’t simply take as long as you like or necessarily get and explore every inch of the map. You have limited resources, life, and it’s only a matter of time until your luck runs out.
Least Favorite:

It will come up a couple of times elsewhere in this review, so I’ll shortly say, I had some issues with the rules being clear. There are a lot of specific situations that are not covered at all.

Aside from that, I simply wish you could have a basic attack. Not all characters start with a knife, so using your ammo on the handgun and then having literally nothing, was a frustrating. At least let me pistol whip those cerberus, those buggers don’t give up! lol

Mechanics:
– Cooperative Game
– Scenario/Mission/Campaign
– Solo Game
– Action Points
– Events
– Dice Rolling
– Line of Sight
– Map Addition
– Slide/Push (Knockback)
– Variable Player Powers
– Die Icon Resolution
– Movement Points
 
Rules:

The rulebook was not geared toward new players, or even fully descriptive for veteran players. It was likely my largest critique of the game. One thing sorely missing was in-depth examples. For a campaign style game, it was a thin rulebook that left a lot of questions. What was there was written well and laid out alright. I do wish it fully organized to include everything related to a specific section just in that section and also to be written in the order that you need to use the information.

I won’t get into specific rules as this kind of game has too many to walk through them all. Steamforged Games has a great writeup on their site: https://steamforged.com/blogs/brands/how-to-play-resident-evil-the-board-game
Areas they did well:
– Exploration and map setup
– Art and design
– Staying true to original Capcom video game / Genre
– Interesting combat resolution
– Great miniature models
– Multiple card types and large decks for near endless possibilities / no game the same
– Unique monster abilities
– Difficulty and effects change with danger level
– Ammunition dials
– Quality components
Areas they could have improved:
 
– Rulebook, examples, and clarifications
– Damage and success largely luck/roll based
– Very difficult for new players and requires a deeper tutorial
Interesting moment:
With ammo being very limited (and easy to use up) you can find yourself in hot water pretty quickly. In one game we had opened 2 doors back-to-back and then got a red card in the tension phase. It wasn’t looking good when that spawned a special monster on top of the cerberus and zombies already nearby. One of my teammates used two attack actions and multi-shot to use all 6 of the remaining ammo in their handgun. They scored almost all hits and were able to remove a major enemy from the board, allowing us to deal with the fast moving cerberus and outrun the zombies.
Overall:
If you put the time into learning the game, and get over the handful of clunky rules and question marks, by the 2nd or 3rd mission, you’ll have it all down pat and will be eager to play again. This may be the first time I’ve recommended this action, but, if you are interested in this title, do yourself a favor and watch some how-to-play videos or read up on some user comments on the rules. It’s not that they are too complex, there are just several things not very clear and instead of guessing, it’d be way smoother and less frustrating to know these things when you arrive at the table. Like I said, after it’s all sorted, and a few missions in, you’ll be breaking down doors and taking out undead with the best of them.
Final Thoughts:
I am happy I got the opportunity to play this game as I was a big fan of the original video game and, well, the game and movie series in general. As a fan, I think they did a great job with this game, and I wasn’t disappointed with their ability to blend it into a board game. There are some unique and interesting moments but key among those was the ability to set the tone and keep players always uneasy about what would happen next. The tension deck was a large part of that and it did it’s job well.
I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Brad Hiscock, aka Zerility
Here’s a link to their website:
 
After reading Brad’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Resident-Evil-The-Board-Game is on sale in the United States for only $75.95. check it out and get yours HERE.
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Check out Resident Evil the Board Game and Steamforged Games on:

           

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Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.

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All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE.

 

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