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Help/Feedback on a game idea. ZOMBIE!

13 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/19/2018

Hi All,

I'm trying to create a game that's along the lines of Assassin or a Real Time Warewolf/Mafia, for a small group of friends (8) to play during a weekend camping in the woods. The idea is that it can be played in the background while we're doing other things.

This is what I've come up with:


  • Have a bag with 8 differently coloured ink stamps
  • Everyone takes a stamp (without the other players seeing it)
  • The player with the black stamp is a ZOMBIE!
  • The ZOMBIE! must first stamp their own wrist (secretly)
  • The ZOMBIE! then has to try and stamp another player's wrist, without being detected.
  • If the ZOMBIE! stamps your wrist you are now a ZOMBIE! too. Try to hide your reaction so other players don't know you are a ZOMBIE!
  • All other players are trying to catch the ZOMBIES! If you think someone is the ZOMBIE! shout ZOMBIE! as loud as you can and point at them. They must then show their wrists and if they are a ZOMBIE! they are now dead and out of the game.
  • 1 point is scored for killing a ZOMBIE! and 1 point is scored for turning a player into a ZOMBIE! A point is lost for falsely accusing someone of being a ZOMBIE!
  • At any stage of the game any player can shout ZOMBIE COUNT! at which point all players must write either ZOMBIE! or NOT ZOMBIE! on a piece of paper depending on what they are. The papers are collected and a counted so all player know how many ZOMBIES! are in the game.
  • The game end when all players are ZOMBIES! or all ZOMBIES! are dead.

Looking for some general feedback, if you think it will work or not, possible problems etc. I'm not sure about the zombie count, but didn't know how else to tell if the game had ended! Also, not sure how easy it is to clean off the ink in order to start a new game, suggestions of what else could be used would be appreciated too.


Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Does it matter which side

Does it matter which side wins?

Isn’t it pretty easy to see a stamp on someone’s wrist?

Wouldn’t it be pretty hard to actually stamp someone against their will, and without anyone seeing? And if I saw you trying, couldn’t I just “kill” you before you got me?

I assume only a human can kill a zombie.

I can end the game immediately and win just by spotting the first zombie, maybe when he acts slightly suspicious. I end it totally by pointing at everyone, even though I lose. If it’s late in the game and I’m human, I can probably win by killing everyone else in the game.

Anyway I suspect this might not work in practice.

Joined: 06/19/2018
Hi Jay, Good thought about

Hi Jay,

Good thought about which side wins, maybe that's a better way of scoring...

I think with it being easy to see the stamp and hard to stamp someone else that makes being a zombie very difficult, which was my initial intention. I think it has to be difficult so people don't just quickly all become zombies, but maybe it makes it too easy for the humans. One thing I liked about the stamp was it made it easy to count the kills at the end, plus people will have to get creative about hiding their wrists, but it does feel like there must be a better way to do it. Any ideas?

I take your point about people purposefully ending the game, but the idea is that points add up over the course of several games (i.e over the weekend for us), so I don't think people will just randomly accuse everyone. I also think it's okay if the first zombie is spotted (unless it happens every game), just means one person gets a point, another loses a point and we start a new round.

The bigger problem you raise is if it's late in the game and your human - you know you can just accuse everyone and clean up on points. You only need more than half the group to be zombies for it to be worth it. Maybe a bigger penalty for false accusations fixes this?

I'm sure the best way to work out the kinks is to play it, but I'd really like to get a working version before the camping trip.

Thanks for your help!

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Friendly Weekend

I suggest you keep any reward or prize for winning this game be unique, but less valuable than any others you may distribute at your getaway. Otherwise you risk alienating your players through their paranoia and competitiveness during a weekend when they're supposed to be hanging out with one another.

LoveInPaintCreations's picture
Joined: 06/04/2018
Avoid Alcohol Ink

This sounds like a really fun game, I'd probably have fun playing it with my family, since we're a lively bunch with games. We'er also very competitive, so would definitely need a definitive way to find out who wins.

As per your question for the ink staying, or staining, the skin; I would stay away from any kind of ink that has alcohol in it. There are some inks that are water-based and that would probably be your best option. Also, how will you take off the ink with the game? You'll probably need wipes of some sort, so make sure you pack that as I'm sure you don't want everyone fighting over the sinks to wash their hands off for the next game.

Hope this helps and good luck!


Joined: 06/19/2018

Thanks both for the feedback, I'll definitely look for non-alcohol based ink.

I'm off to write 'wipes' on my packing list too!

Tim Edwards
Tim Edwards's picture
Joined: 07/30/2015
I like the potential of this

I like the potential of this idea. If I understand it, you're envisioning this being an on-going activity while people are eating, drinking, chatting, making camp-fires, etc. If so, I suspect that as it stands the activity will come to dominate the evening. No-one is going to forget about it and get on with other things.

If you agree that this might be a danger, could this be a possible alternative approach:

You tell everyone that "some kind of game will take place at some point, but...whatever let's make smores..."

Instead of stamping, you pass something (a pack of zombie business cards?) that briefly explains "you're now a zombie. Pass a bunch of these to someone else and make them a zombie' but don't get seen by the others.)

And see how things run? :)

Maybe a bit more exposition would be needed that I have suggested, but the spreading of information as well as the spreading of zombieism might be made to work somehow...?

Thanks for sharing a cool idea.

Joined: 06/19/2018
Good idea

Hi Tim,

Nice idea - I like that approach. Might make for a slightly easier trip!

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
How about using these BIO-HAZARD Tattoos!

These are "temporary" tattoos and only $1.39.

I'd make the game "over the weekend"... And place the tattoo on the leg so that it can naturally be covered up by "socks"! And they are "temporary too".

You'd need to work out the "logistics" about how a Zombie INFECTS a Human...

Lynch-ing the Zombies needs to be a harder thing. And the infection process needs to pre-determined...

But I really think the Tattoos for the price could be real cool... And it lasts for a Weekend!

Just my 0.05 cents!

Update: The Anarchy Tattoo is cool too!

Update #2: I had another idea... Using an RPS-3.

Zombies beat Humans beat Mutants beat Zombies.

The basic idea is that the Zombies don't want to infect ALL humans because they need them to defeat the Mutants. Mutants can infect Zombies turning them into Mutants (Zombie-Mutants).

The game starts with ONE (1) Zombie and ONE (1) Mutant. Everyone else are Humans. Humans need to eradicate the Mutants... Mutants are looking for Zombies to transform.

It needs some development, but I'm sure you get the idea.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Why bother???

Well the RPS-3 sets up a UNIQUE environment of co-operation and betrayal... For example, if a Zombie figures out that a player is a Human, he can secretly use that player for his purposes of discovering the Mutants.

And then once a Mutant is discovered, he can TURN on that player turning the Human into a Zombie...

I don't know if you see the "subtlety" of this idea...

Humans are the only players that can LIE during the game. (I think this would add to the tension...)

When you REVEAL a Tattoo, the RPS-3 takes over and the outcome is determined.

What I mean is that UNLESS one of two players CHALLENGE to determine the nature of a player, everything remains NORMAL. So if two (2) people are together and one player (A Zombie) asks the opponent if he is a Zombie, and that Human says "NO", the Zombie player can TRY to turn the Human ... or USE HIM as described above...

It would be FUN seeing the "couples" form and hanging out together... Game-wise ... but also through-out the game...

Definitely interesting dynamic using the RPS-3...!

Maybe only two (2) Tattoos: one for the original Zombie and one for the original Mutant. The rest of the players use "Cards" and the two originals can FAKE it too... IDK... Just some ideas for you...

Feel free to adapt or ignore. Cheers!

Joined: 06/19/2018
Cool development.

Ha! Love the tattoos!

I especially like the description on the website:


People get the biohazard temporary tattoo for any or all of the following reasons:

1. It looks cool.

2. They are DFLers for the band Biohazard.

3. Because they want to.

4. Because they pose a threat to other peoples health themselves.

Definitely an interesting development of the game. It would achieve the element of strategy and plotting that you get with good games of Warewolf/Mafia. I think it may be a bit too involved for this group, but I might try it out with another group to see how it works.


Joined: 06/19/2018
The ankle is a good idea too

The ankle is a good idea too (in the original version)... bit easier to hide and harder to get to...

Thanks again.

LoveInPaintCreations's picture
Joined: 06/04/2018
Tim Edwards wrote: Instead of

Tim Edwards wrote:

Instead of stamping, you pass something (a pack of zombie business cards?) that briefly explains "you're now a zombie. Pass a bunch of these to someone else and make them a zombie' but don't get seen by the others.)

I really like that idea!

Joined: 06/09/2017
a game my friends play (i

an interesting idea but if i remember from childhood, temp tats were a pain to apply, so doing it without noticing would be very difficult.

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