Tabletop Game Review – The Quick and the Walking Dead

The Swift and the Walking Dead by Inside Up Games
1 to 6
45 to 60 minutes
Perfect for:
Playgroups who love direct combat, zone control and pushing your thrills.

The Snitch and the Living Dead is a game proving that this city isn’t big enough for all of you. West Fort has become infested with zombies, which, while somewhat inconvenient, provides an attractive opportunity for outlaws residing nearby. Players take control of these lawless hooligans as they take down the undead to take over the city, but also stop any rival outlaws who might have similar ambitions.

To start The living and the living dead, three to six players (solo and 2-player variants are included) assemble West Fort: a series of buildings and locations where rare resources have been waiting. Additionally, a stack of undead character cards are shuffled and will be dealt to locations during gameplay, making items like bullets and money harder to collect. Each outlaw receives a targeting card that tracks bullets and associated counters.

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Playability in The Snitch and the Living Dead takes place over several days and each day has three phases. First, players secretly assign their meeple to a space on the board using a d8. Each space will allow a player to choose an action to take, such as fighting zombies or bullying other outlaws, and possibly earning resources. Players reveal their chosen destinations and place meeples. If only one player goes to a location, it is resolved in kind. Their actions can allow the player to gain notoriety – the equivalence of victory points in The Snitch and the Living Dead. If multiple people choose a space, a duel occurs where the outlaws compete for control. At the end of the round, players can purchase available buildings that will grant benefits in future rounds. When West Fort has been cleared of zombies, the outlaw with the most notoriety wins.

What works in The Snitch and the Living Dead is the intense shoot-em-up theme that keeps players incredibly engaged with multiple variables, especially other outlaws. The ball mechanics are particularly new. Players load ammo into slots numbered 2 through 6 and roll a d8 to attack. If they roll a number with a ball, they hit. A 1 is a critical miss and an 8 is an instant kill critical hit. But overall, The Snitch and the Living Dead requires players to critically manage threats from all sides while strategically procuring resources and ultimately opponents. Given the controlling elements of the area, the outlaws must decide whether they will try to form flimsy alliances (likely to backstab at any moment), or turn mean and try to eliminate competition and deal with the zombies later. The level of interaction and drama is fabulous.

Players who don’t like directly fighting their peers might not enjoy The Snitch and the Living Dead as much as the others. It is nearly impossible to win as a pacifist as conflict is often unavoidable. Plus, there’s an intentionally horrifying quality to the game when people shoot the undead and each other – that might be unsettling for some. People looking for something with less aggression and violence may want to look for a different game.

The Snitch and the Living Dead is an exceptional game for those who want to get dirty fighting zombies and their fellow scum in the Wild West. It’s a great mix of luck with a challenge of wits as individuals try to outdo and outdo each other by any means necessary.

Recommended if you like: Bang!, Blow, Unmatched (series)

Final note: A