Episode 41: Boo!

41: Boo!

Release Date: October 29, 2007

Running Time: 97 min.

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ep 41

Everything's better with Zombies. From a shooting gallery with garlic grenades to our very own zombie baseball team, we shamble our way through Vampire and Zombie Fluxx, two games that include a festival of undeadly delights.

News & Notes: Gravediggers, Last Night on Earth, CHITAG
The List: Zombie Fluxx, Vampire
Name That Game: Win a copy of Archaeology from Adventureland Games
Backshelf Spotlight:
Anathema, Frog Juice
Truckloads of Goober:
All Wound Up
Game Sommelier:
Five games for a Dad to play with his kids at Halloween
Mail Bag:
Goober is profitable, Twilight Imperium responses

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Game News & Notes

Gravediggers BGG Entry | Official Site

You are a gravedigger in a small town. Business is very good, but your job doesn't pay much, is very dirty and above all, IS REALLY BORING! To add some excitement and an extra source of income to your life, you decide to start a contest with your fellow gravediggers. Everyone has one week to borrow as many valuables from their clients as they can. Any cemetery is fair game and whomever has the most stuff at the end wins. Everyone agrees it sounds like fun and let’s face it, they can’t take it with them!

Last Night on Earth BGG Entry | Official Site

Last Night on Earth, The Zombie Game is a survival horror board game that pits small-town Heroes head-to-head against a limitless horde of Zombies (players can play on the Hero team or as the Zombies). A modular board randomly determines the layout of the town at the start of each game and there are several different scenarios to play, adding lots of replayability. Fast Paced Game Play with Easy To Learn rules allows players to jump right into the action, while Strategic Depth and Strong Cooperative Play keeps the game interesting.

CHITAG: Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Nov. 17-18 Link

A non-hobby game trade show open to the public. Come play (and buy) a ton of new games before the holiday season hits. Rio Grande Games is also sponsoring an Essen night on Saturday, where many of the newly released titles from the Essen Game Fair in Germany will be available to play.

The List

Zombie Fluxx BGG entry | Official Site

Zombie Fluxx takes the award-winning card game Fluxx and cranks up the fun with a Zombie uprising.The Zombies arrive in the form of a new type of card, called the Creeper, which hangs around in front of you, preventing you from winning.

Vampire BGG entry

Players take on the roles of Vampire Hunters and hurl heads of garlic at Vampire guests wandering the steps of Dracula's Castle!

Backshelf Spotlight

Mystery Connection Contest
Can you find a connection between these two games? We find a mystery connection each episode and challenge you, the listener, to hunt for it! Post your guesses to the Forum . Find the connection and you could win a pair of coveted custom Spiel Dice!

spiel dice

Congratulations to Scotty "Knucklebones" Dickey our winner for episode 40!

Anathema BGG Entry | Official Site

Fear. Paranoia. Hysteria. These were commonplace in Salem Massachusetts during the year 1692. To be sure, white magic had been practiced in this sleepy community before now - charms to help the crops grow, potions to heal the ailing. But when some young girls became mysteriously ill and began ranting about witches, the village became alarmed. Was the Devil in Salem?


Frog Juice BGG Entry | Official Site

Cast spells, brew concoctions, melt witches...Use a smidgen of match and a pinch of probability. Capture cards by matching or adding cards from your hand, then count the ingredients and measure the powers. A splash of strategy, and the potion is magic! The player with the most points wins.

Truckloads of Goober

All Wound Up BGG Entry | Official site

Wind-up zombies!! Need we say more?

It's boring when you're dead. So, you and your deceased friends have decided to have a little race around the graveyard...." Thus begins the wackiest game from Twilight Creations yet! The players control pawns as usual. But, the pawns in this game are self-propelled, windup toys! Game play determines how many winds you get or if you can change direction. Special areas of the board grant you bonuses for landing on them, and some areas slow you down. The first one out of the graveyard wins


Game Sommelier

The Challenge: (submitted by David Gullett) find five games for David to play with his three kids at Halloween time.

Dave's List

Stephen's Vote

Trick 'R Treat Thumbs Up
Knock Knock Thumbs Up
Which Witch Thumbs Up
Macgregor Thumbs Up
Unspeakable Words Thumbs Up
Torches & Pitchforks Thumbs Up

Other Halloween game suggestions: Betrayal at House on the Hill , Fearsome Floors , Midnight Party , Chill: Black Morn Manor , Mall of Horror .

Next Challenge: Find five games for a library to display and demonstrate to get others interested in games.

Mail Bag

New donor to The Spiel!

Ron "Mystery Train: Barnette

Ron responds to his Sommelier Challenge from Episode 39: 5 games for his very picky wife. She wasn't impressed with my choices. Ah, well!

Alan Tabor sent us a corporate statement from a company whose profits skrocketed after a 25 million dollar investment in Goober. I wonder when our goober investment will start paying dividends... :)

Remy Gibson and Michael Debije both wrote with responses to our Twilight Imperium review. Michael applauded our criticisms while Remy wants us to give it another chance with some variant rules.

New Spiel Shirts

Hoodies, sweatshirts, baseball jerseys, and kid's t-shirts. Just in time for colder weather and the holidays! You can peruse our swag at the store .

Spiel Photo Album

Eventually, I'll have a photo gallery integrated into the site. Until then, you can see our pics on our public gallery at Picasa .



In Vampire the board game, the Guest Vampires are valued 1,2,3, and 5 NOT 1-5.

The instrumental music inbetween segments is a theremin .

I'm sure there are some other goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!


Your link for Frog Juice goes to Ricochet Robots.

Also, you're missing the "www." before "boardgamegeek.com" which means that when I follow these links, Firefox doesn't give BGG the cookies that automatically log me in (because they are assigned to www.boardgamegeek.com).


Hey Robin.

Thanks for catching those goofs. The links have been fixed. Looks like BGG has all their internal links set to drop the www now as I usually just copy the link straight from the corresponding listing.

While not quite as free form as Fluxx, Democrazy by Bruno Faidutti approaches that mechanic. Players take turns offering up laws (e.g. rules changes) to the group for a vote. There are both long term (scoring) and short term (instant effect) laws. While the format of each turn is consistent throughout the game, scoring can vary widely based on what laws get passed.

Of course, I don't remember there being any zombies involved...

Also, another Halloween game recommendation: Vampire, by the good Herr Doctor Knizia. It's been described as the closest thing to a 4 player Lost Cities. Simple mechanics, addicting gameplay, great creepy vampire artwork... what more could you ask for?

The Pilot

"There are more old drunkards than old doctors."
- Benjamin Franklin

Democrazy! Yep, that certainly uses a similar shifting game score mechanic. I've played it several times and really enjoy it, especialy with a big group of people.

The one thing that makes it not quite fit is the fact that the goal of the game essentially stays the same, namely to score points. Laws can change how much the counters are worthy but the object of the game remains unchanged, where in Fluxx every aspect of the goal can be changed from card to card. Granted most goals require at least one keeper, but there are several that don't.

Totally agree with Vampire as an excellent Halloween choice. Excellent mechanics plus buckets of blood equals fun!


I haven't played it, but at the top of any halloween to buy list would be "It's Alive". Zombies are fine and all, but crazy scientists and monsterous creations? That's where it's at. My sons would all definitely want in on the game winning declaration of "It's Aliiiiiive".

Hey that one looks great! And so new that it slipped right by us! We'll definitely have to add that one to The List.

Here's a link to the BGG entry for It's Alive!

Perhaps Dave was referring to a Hallo-weenie? ;)
Still, I thought the Walt Disney story was interesting.

-Aaron Lambert

About once a month I learn a new word in the Dave lexicon. Weenie certainly caught me at a loss!

You don't know how close this episode came to being titled: Walt Disney's Weenie.

I'm sure that would have gotten a rise out of the Mouse's legions of lawyers...

Ok, I'll stop. :)

Just to prove Dave is not a raving madman, here's a quote from Disney himself explaining "weenies."[quoted from justdisney.com ]

Walt made Main Street U.S.A the entrance to a "weenie," as he called it. He said:

"What you need is a weenie, which says to people 'come this way.' People won't go down a long corridor unless there's something promising at the end. You have to have something the beckons them to 'walk this way.'"

If Walt can have weenies, perhaps one day goober will be traced back to Dave!

I guess Dave gets to keep his ever-fluctuating sanity...for now.

Diffle flip hipper road goober? Sputty Weenie!!

Good to see someone else familiar with the ways of Walt. If an Mouse throwdown ever takes place here on the forums, I've got your back Dave.

Hot on the heels of Steve and Dave sounding like Dick Van Dyke instead of Cockney Sparrows, we now have the pair sounding more like Roman Abramovich than Transylvanians :-)

Great Episode. I've ordered Zombie Fluxx already.
It would have been rude not to.
We don't stop playing games when we get old...... We get old when we stop playing games

You cut me to the quick, sir ! I didn't have four years of diction classes in acting school for nuthin! Or maybe I did... :)

You have to admit our Halloween voices were MUCH better than the cockney, right? Plus, I'm half Transylvanian, so I 've heard my fair share of bad dracula accents over the years.

In regards to the Fluxx comparisons, Betrayal at House on the Hill is another game where you don't know how to win (or lose) until later in the game (when the "haunt" is revealed). It's been the Game of the Month at our weekly boardgame night (the Hypermind Boardgamers in Burlington, NC - www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/43), and it's really about the best Halloween game that I know of (as long as you have all the fixes and errate put out by Hasbro).

And another really cool Halloween game that is great for "kids of all ages" is Wicked Witches Way, which is a dice-rolling memory game with a flying broomstick race theme. Its graphic design makes it look like it's all for kids, but it's pretty entertaining for adults, too.

In fact, I wrote a blog entry about the various Halloween games our group played through the month of October (http://gamerchris.com/2007/10/23/halloween-games-review.aspx), but I have to admit that I didn't think as highly of Zombie Fluxx as you guys did. My zombie card game of choice is definitely Give Me the Brain.

Can't go wrong with Betrayal at House on the Hill or Give Me The Brain. Fun games for sure.

Betrayal's endgame is not set and in fact there are two different sets of victory conditions set in motion once the traitor has been revealed. The endgame isn't continuously up for grabs like Fluxx, but it's definitely on the same branch of the great game tree.

I'll add my vote for checking out the errata to Betrayal at House on the Hill before playing through any of the game's scenarios. Annoying the number of games that seem to be released these days where it seems as though they did not thoroughly playtest it to work out the kinks.

I wish I could meet you at Chi-Tag, Stephen, but I'll be at BGG.COM. Still, though... If you need any recommendations of the area, let me know. My girlfriend works at Motorola, which is right across the street from the Chi-Tag venue.

Here's your free unrequested advice: While deep-dish pizza gets all of the glory, the real food of Chicago is the italian beef. It's thinly sliced boiled beef with either sweet (bell) or hot peppers, with the boiling "gravy" spooned over it.

You want to go to the nearest Portillo's restaurant (611 Golf Road in Schaumburg) and order "a beef, sweet peppers, dipped" substituting hot or no peppers as you prefer. Hopefully you'll agree that it's awesome. It'll be messy (they dip the sandwich in the gravy), but man is it good.

Portillo's also has Chicago-style hot dogs, Maxwell street polish sausage, etc. It's pretty much the greatest fast-food restaurant chain in the world.

(Al's Italian Beef is almost as good, and their fries are awesome, but there isn't one as close.)

Enjoy your time in Chicago!
Mark Wilder(a.k.a. JoeyHemlock)
Evanston IL

Hey, Mark, thanks for the recommendations! I was just pondering what I should do for dinner on Friday night since I am driving up by myself and will have some time to kill. My Mom was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, so Italian Beef and Chicago Dogs are foods that instantly make me salivate! I think I'll definitely give Portillo's a go. It's making me hungry just thinking about it. MMmm!

Sorry I'll miss you since you'll be at BGG Con. Next year, in Jerusalem,err, I mean Dallas!

If any of you out there (yes i mean you listeners!) are going to be a CHITAG and want to share a meal or play some games, send me an email: stephen@thespiel.net.

I'll be arriving Friday late afternoon, staying over night and then leaving late late Saturday night. There's a home Colts game on Sunday, so I have to be home in time to catch a few winks, don a jersey, and head to the dome.