So when I am home some buddies and I will occasionally get together for board game nights at a bar in Louisville, CO. This time I had brought with “Last Friday” in hopes I could talk some helpless victims into playing. I was successful in my pitch and convinced 4 of them to join me. This game is a lot of fun. It is an asymmetrical game where one player plays the undead maniac killer and everyone else plays the 5 campers. Whats nice about this game is that it can be played with 2 to 6 people. One player is always the maniac and the other 1-5 players plays the 5 campers, there are always 5 no matter the amount of players, so 1 person could play all 5 or split it up as you have more players. Each camper is one of 5 colors, there is also 3 campers per color in case 1 gets knocked off you pick another of the same color for the next chapter. In addition each campers has some sort of special ability that can be used, such as moving twice, or placing traps further away.
At the start and throughout the game campers will find clue tokens which will give them an item. These items can give the campers certain one use abilities such as hearing if the maniac is near, or placing bear traps to slow him down. These items have important strategic values so they must be used wisely. The campers move on the game board with their associated color’s meeple. The game board’s movement is specified by dots, dots without numbers are the movement paths for the campers, dots with numbers are for the maniac. Campers and the maniac can only move to one adjacent dot, unless they have a movement bonus of some sort. The maniac’s movement is kept hidden behind a DM screen, and depending on the chapter every three moves you reveal either where you were three moves ago or where you are currently. The maniac also gets maniac tokens which grants him special abilities, these are very useful in that they can hide your movements, or give you the extra speed you need.
As I stated earlier the game is played out in 4 chapters of 15 rounds each. The first chapter the campers start scattered around the lake and must explore some tents to find keys to unlock the cabins. These keys are crucial to their survival, as its the only way a camper can make it to the next chapter if they are safe within a cabin. They don’t need all the keys, and if only one survives then the game continues. The maniac can start in one of four places around the edges of the game board. His mission this chapter is to wipe out the survivors so that no one reopens the camp. The maniac can kill a camper by either crossing over the camper’s meeple, or by having a camper cross over his current position, remember his movements are hidden. Throughout play campers may start being able to guess where you are and start laying traps, or putting down a lantern which will illuminate a certain area where the maniac has to reveal if he is in those locations. The chapter ends at either 15 rounds, all campers are safe, or all campers are dead. Again it only takes one safe camper to advance the game.
Chapter two is a bit quicker. It is day time and the maniac is vulnerable. In this chapter the goal of the campers is to find and kill the maniac, again by crossing the dot where he is currently. They can also use this time to prep for chapter three. The goal of the maniac is to not get killed. When I played the first time I was the maniac and didn’t think about this until after, but really the maniac controls the pace of this chapter. Even if he is kill he is undead and will come back to life the next chapter. Also, whichever camper kills you or is closest to you at the end of 15 rounds becomes the predestined for the rest of the game. So the maniac can use this opportunity to control who becomes the predestined and also slow or stop the prepping the campers do for the next chapter.
Chapter three gets a little more interesting. Basically whoever is the predestined needs to survive, if they are killed then the game ends. The other campers must protect the predestined from being killed. Now this is where it gets a little tricky. The maniac can only kill a camper if he jumps their meeple, on the flip side a camper can bump the maniac to an adjacent spot of their choice if they jump the maniacs dot. Now this will buy them a turn, but in the end will probably mean they will die, but they can control where the maniac goes a little. With 15 rounds there is a good amount of time for the maniac to sneak or break through. What happened when we played is the other 4 campers placed a bunch of lanterns around one corner of the map so they could see my approach. I was trying to be more sneaky then I needed to I think. I could have let them bump me a couple of times and then come back and kill them. But instead I chose to be sneaky and try and find a concealed way around. But alas we ran out of time and had to stop the game before we could finish this chapter. But just a note for next time.
Chapter four is basically a combination of chapter’s two and three. The maniac must hide and survive the 15 rounds to win the game. The only camper who can kill the maniac is the predestined. When any other camper jumps the maniac’s spot then he is revealed and the other campers get to move one dot. The campers win by either corning the maniac or if the predestined kills him. So this chapter the pace is controlled by the campers and the maniac really needs to evade and hide.
We really enjoyed this game. I am sure future expansions will add some cool twists to it as well. Each chapter can be played in about 30-45 minutes. Also the rules have a single chapter mode for each chapter in case you just want to play one. But it really comes together when all 4 are played. I would highly recommend this game, its a good party game and has high replay-ability. So pick it up, and hunt some friends!!