Game Review: DEADZONE

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Deadzone Review

Review: Deadzone / Designer: Jake Thornton / Publisher: Mantic Games / Release Date: Out Now

Games manufacturer Mantic are seen by many as the clear rival to model-making giant Games Workshop. Though GW have many rivals who happen to be much larger, Mantic are based in the same city and also happen to employ a lot of ex-GW staff, so the rivalry seems a bit obvious. This is compounded by the similarity between the two companies' product lists. Mantic’s last offering was the hyper-violent sci-fi sports game DreadBall which drew many casual comparisons with the hyper-violent fantasy sports game Blood Bowl, regarded as one of GW’s classic games. Their latest game, Deadzone, is a scenery-heavy skirmish game and therefore draws some comparison with classic (and utterly unsupported and out of print) gang war game, Necromunda.

Luckily for Deadzone, it only bares a passing resemblance to a game that is almost twenty years old. It’s far more cinematic and has much smoother game mechanics. The game is set in Mantic’s Warpath universe, a sci-fi world. The broad plot covers plague-infected monsters invading an area and heavily armed and armoured Enforcers going in to purge the horrors. The rulebook is crammed with references to a broader world and though it could do with a little more flavour text, it does work as a nice development of the Warpath world.

Games designer Jake Thornton has crammed in many clever little mechanics such as line of sight and exploding dice. (Which means rolling an 8 is actually exciting). Despite being essentially a war game, Deadzone has many board game-like elements. Everything takes place on a 2'x2' rubber mat and movement is divided into ‘cubes’. The boxed set comes with lots of scenery so you find yourself moving up and over crates and gantry ways looking for a tactical advantage. With movement simplified to cubes it makes actions very straightforward. Added to this, action is divided into discrete lumps, meaning that it’s never too long before it’s your turn so you won’t get bored or distracted.

In addition, various cards allow special actions and bonuses, most of which enhance the action movie feel. It’s an interesting blend of board and war game and the more complex elements (such as special rules for special models) are handled through the careful use of counters and cards. Thornton has tried to make this game as smooth and as simple to play as possible.  

Deadzone started out as a Kickstarter and people who subscribed to that campaign received lots of goodies. The regular retail set has less goodies (23 models and a whole pile of scenery, counters and the like). This probably explains why the box itself feels a little roomy. There’re plenty of models in the regular set and it’s good for its price, but the box is huge. Deadzone is a worthy addition to anyone’s gaming collection, but you might have a problem fitting it on the shelf.



Suggested Articles:
Collect-a-thons are coming back. For a long time now, there has been a drought in the genre, with Su
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War symbolises everything wrong with this industry. Oh, it’s far from bad,
Browsing through visual novels is akin to navigating a minefield at times. Often you're forced
Doctor Who has had more than its fair share of special guests over the years, and many of those coul
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Games Reviews

A HAT IN TIME 14 October 2017

MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF WAR 14 October 2017

BEYOND EDEN 14 October 2017

THE WOMAN WHO LIVED SET 12 October 2017

VASHTA NERADA – DOCTOR WHO INTO THE VORTEX EXPANSION 12 October 2017

OGRONS – DOCTOR WHO INTO THE TIME VORTEX EXPANSION 12 October 2017

METROID: SAMUS RETURNS 10 October 2017

TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER 2 29 September 2017

DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN 2 22 September 2017

ARK: SURVIVAL EVOLVED 12 September 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner