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:
Adding vampires to any setting opens up new doors. From secret societies to new abilities and a
In all the high profile new releases of last month, there were naturally a sizable number of release
Above all others, Last Dream has always served as the game against which all other RPGMaker clo
You have a steam powered mech and you use it to hit people on your way to freedom. If that got your
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Games Reviews

DARKEST DUNGEON: THE CRIMSON COURT 22 June 2017

THE EDGELANDS 03 June 2017

LAST DREAM: WORLD UNKNOWN 03 June 2017

ACARATUS 23 May 2017

INJUSTICE 2 19 May 2017

PREY 07 May 2017

CURSE OF THE CRIMSON THRONE 04 May 2017

IMMORTAL REDNECK 28 April 2017

DAWN OF WAR III 28 April 2017

BLOSSOM TALES: THE SLEEPING KING 05 April 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner