Dead of Winter


    Dead of Winter is a game that puts 2-5 players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity is either dead or diseased, flesh-craving monsters. Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game.

    (68 customer reviews)

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    Dead of Winter
    Dead of Winter $59.99
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    Dead of Winter is a game that puts 2-5 players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity is either dead or diseased, flesh-craving monsters. Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game.

    In Dead of Winter, each player leads a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game. Players are working together toward one common victory condition, but for each individual player to achieve victory, he must also complete his personal secret objective. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that’s fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or (worst of all) vengeance against the colony! Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing. Work toward the group’s goal, but don’t get walked all over by a loudmouth who’s looking out only for his own interests!

    Dead of Winter is an experience that can be accomplished only through the medium of tabletop games. It’s a story-centric game about surviving through a harsh winter in an apocalyptic world. The survivors are all dealing with their own psychological imperatives, but must still find a way to work together to fight off outside threats, resolve crises, find food and supplies and keep the colony’s morale up. Dead of Winter has players making frequent, difficult, heavily- thematic, wildly-varying decisions that often have them deciding between what is best for the colony and what is best for themselves.

    Dead of Winter is recommended for 2-5 players, ages 13 and up.

    Additional information

    Weight2.00 kg
    Dimensions29.50 × 29.50 × 7.10 cm
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    68 reviews for Dead of Winter

    1. David M. Schoelen

      The Investment to Learn It Pays Off!

      It will take some time and effort to learn. We were all confused. The instructions are detailed which can be overwhelming. Look up the support videos on YouTube! This was very helpful!Once the game play is understood, it immerses you into the game! Both cooperative and individual strategies must be developed. The number of card variables allows for repeated playability. I look forward to more!

    2. Michael & Corinn


      This game is AMAZING. First off, the quality is incredible. It includes SO many pieces, I’m surprised it doesn’t cost more! And they are super sturdy! Learning to play the game is a little tricky because there are so many different components. But let me tell you, it is so worth it to figure it out! Once you know what you’re doing, this game is SO much fun. The replayability factor for this game is super high. I feel like it’s always a new experience. I’m obsessed with this game and already ready to buy some expansions! This is our favorite game, and for us it ranks higher than popular games like Betrayal at House on the Hill (which we also love).

    3. J. Fuchs

      Who knew the zombie apocalypse could be this much fun?

      I hate zombies. I hate zombie movies and TV shows and comics.But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this game.This is storytelling + game playing at its finest. You control one or more survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse, who are trying to survive the winter with their morale intact. And all the while the food and fuel are running low and the zombies are multiplying.Will they be able to get to the various locations and find enough items to survive? Or will they die of zombie bites, frostbite or despair?A small word of warning: this game is a bit dark and has somewhat complex gameplay, so it may not be appropriate for young children. Also, it’s not a game you can just open and play.Be prepared to spend a little time setting up and a little more time learning how to play. I suggest you watch a video the first time unless there’s someone who’s played it before to teach you. It has a moderately steep learning curve.But what a great game!

    4. Aaron

      Be sure to read the rules carefully

      There’s a couple of commonly missed or mistaken rules: like Outsider cards are *item* cards that you can keep in your hand and not have to play right away. And Crisis contribution cards go face *down*. And Crisis contribution cards do *not* go into the Waste pile; they leave the game. This is a problem with several games. For example, in Terraforming Mars you can do unlimited actions per generation, it’s only *per turn* that you do 1-2 actions. You keep doing turns until everybody passes (or in solo mode, when you have nothing else you want to do). So I wish rules were spelled out more clearly and that there was a more compact rules cheat sheet that came with the game.I also have a nitpick with the artwork. I wish the zombie standees had a red dot on them or something. They can blend together with the survivors too easily. It’s also a bit much having to put all the characters and zombies into stands. There’s just a LOT of stuff in this game box. It took me a good 10-15 minutes to pop out all the card board and organize all the cards. For this reason, you’ll want a large table to play on, too.All that said, I’m giving a 5 instead of a 4 because pretty much every game has rules and components problems to one degree or other, and it is still a fantastic experience. Great artwork, lots of story telling (the Crossroads cards are a neat idea for keeping a non-turn taking player involved), having short/medium/long scenario options is great, and the betrayal/social deduction mechanic works wonderfully.

      2 people found this helpful

    5. kimber

      Really awesome game if you don’t mind a million pieces

      We own a lot of board games and i had wanted to check this one out for a while. The first thing i have to say is that this game has A LOT OF PIECES, that being said, it isn’t overly complicated to play. I would recommend a large table to play on though, especially with more than 4 players. This game is really fun! It also has great replay value with many different scenarios. This is one of the more detailed and interesting games we have tried. If you like zombies and board games, this is a must have.

    6. Polarbear

      Great Game

      This is a great game. I love zombie horror and my young one loves boardgames. They’re younger than the recommended age, but they love the challenge and the sense of urgency this game creates. We ditched the secret objectives, since they add a bit more complexity than necessary for us to play together, and we have a ball trying to figure out a strategy, cooperating on hunting for supplies, killing zombies, trying to feed the hungry. I run soundtracks from Romero movies or Resident Evil in the background as we fight our way through the dead, search for supplies, and try to keep our colony up and running. It’s a great game.

      5 people found this helpful

    7. Dan Oles

      Best Zombie/Survival Board Game Ever Made

      A truly excellent game as long as you have a group of friends willing to wade through some of the nuanced rules. The irony was the initial breadth of paper standees and dice and game boards made people nervous about Dead of Winter, but after the basics were mastered in one session everyone just kept wanting to play it. No two scenarios are entirely the same and it’s a fascinating mix of co-operative play and paranoia about who is doing what and for what sinister reason. This is a zombie game in which fighting zombies is a last resort and the real test is gathering supplies, surviving other survivors and accomplishing objectives, both those known to all and secret (sometimes traitorous) goals known only to yourself.This combines all the golden qualities of the Battlestar game and other zombie games which focus exclusively on fighting but balances both out so it feels satisfying and useful to slay the undead but the focus of the game remains on making or breaking alliances. And yes you CAN exile people, but you’d better hope they’re traitors or you might have lost valuable allies who could turn vengeful!Some games claim to be ‘storytelling’ games but you don’t get moreso than this. The Crossroads cards, the unique looks to all the survivors and the different crisis scenarios give you all the fuel you need to invent all manner of personalized tales surrounding the diverse characters and their misadventures during a frigid apocalypse.This is complex but user friendly which indicates a studio who really did put this sucker through the play testing ringer until it ironed out all the kinks.Well worth it if you have a group of friends with broad imaginations who enjoy intrigue and the horror genre!

      12 people found this helpful

    8. Adam Simrell

      but damn if it isn’t a ton of fun. If you’re like my group of friends you’ll …

      Oh boy. This game is fairly difficult, but damn if it isn’t a ton of fun. If you’re like my group of friends you’ll probably lose the first several games, but eventually the wins start coming in. Getting familiar with this game is part of the learning curve. While I do wish there were more objectives, characters, items, etc there is more than enough content here to last many games. My group has already played at least 20 games and we plan on playing many more. Well worth it if you like the zombie theme, or just want a mostly coop game that will put your ability to cope with things and survive to the test.

      One person found this helpful

    9. LearningJaneLearningJane

      It will entertain you for hours!

      To get the most of this game, you have to watch the video tutorial on how to play this game. They include a link for videos or you can even find it on YouTube. It is crucuial to learn about the set-up and how it works to take all frustrations before giving up.This is a fun game to everybody who is a zombie fanatic. There is an an option to play this as an adult or kid-friendly set up as well. You will have an individual goal and a group goal to finish, so it is a game of teamwork and strategy.One of my kids actually requested this for Christmas and we are glad we bought this. This is perfect for spending time with your family and friends!

    10. Jayde Hansen

      Excellent game!!

      If you’re into board games that are very involved, this is an awesome game. It’s also relatively easy to organize and pick up, so if you’re trying to teach family or friends that isn’t typically into those types of games, it’s great for that too. My biggest concern was that the 2 player variant wasn’t going to be any fun, but it is great! Highly recommend. One note is that it is not super kid friendly – there are cards you can remove to make it more kid friendly, but there are still some semi gory descriptions and such. I wouldn’t recommend for kids under 10-12 even with the expletive cards removed, but probably depends on the kid.

    11. Samuel H.

      New Gamer

      I saw this board game demonstrated on a YouTube channel (Geek & Sundry) and I couldn’t wait to try it out. The initial learning curve is a little high for people like me who are new to more advanced board games, but there are plentiful tutorials from PlaidHat Games and other sources if you’re a visual/experiential learner.My sister and my brother-in-law played it with me the first time, and though it was slow at first we were started to catch on by the third game and gained an appreciation for the layers of strategy behind it.I would recommend this board game to you if you are a fan of role-play (there are some opportunities for creativity in the game) and if you like zombie-lore. The current version of this game is for 2-5 players (the more the merrier up to 5), but I wouldn’t play with less than 3.

    12. bunra long

      Now my favorite board game!

      This game is outstanding!! I wish I knew about this game sooner but hey I’m happy it’s in my life now. It’s a great game if you’re looking for an exciting, zombie/ apocalypse themed, co op game that is challenging, fun, and fills you with desire for MORE! Extremely high replayablility and couldn’t come at a better time than the latest zombie craze. Relive your personal Walking Dead story and enjoy! This is essential and I’m excited for the expansion The Long Night, set to release this or next week!

    13. Mike the guy

      My story…

      This is an amazing game. Many have written good reviews on this, so instead I am just going to talk about what happened the last time I played this game (last night).We started the game with the “We need more samples” objective. This objective requires you to roll a die every time after you kill a zombie, and if you roll a 4, 5, or 6 you get a “sample”. 15 samples and we win the game (if we complete our secret objectives of course).Game begins. For the first couple of rounds, things were going incredibly well. Zombies were dying, samples were being collected. A couple of us said, “I can’t believe we are going to win for once!” but did we speak too soon? Then, a crisis appeared, we needed more medicine. Contribute one per player or multiple locations will be overrun! Several players contribute during the round, no problem, we have this easily. End of the round and we check the crisis… There is two food in the pile… every non helpful item negates a helpful one… We don’t have enough medicine. Both the library and police station are overrun. Instantly 5 survivors are killed and our morale drops from a very comfortable 6 to 1. To say the group was in shock at this turn of events would be a fair statement. But wait, one of these items was from the gas station! there is only one player with a survivor at the gas station… Betrayer!A new round begins, the first player calls for a vote to exile the player who caused so much havoc. The vote passes and he is exiled! The game continues with four non exiled players in a desperate bid to somehow keep morale from falling to zero and collect the rest of the samples (while somehow, some way, achieving our secret objective). One death and the game is over. Every roll for exposure is fraught with tension, every move second guessed and analyzed. Should you go there? Is it worth the risk? The betrayer continues to work with his group of survivors outside the colony, still trying to achieve his own mysterious goals.Finally, the last round ends. We have done it! Somehow, we made it through to the end with 1 morale still intact! Oh yes, one last colony phase. Let’s get that out of the way so we can claim our well deserved victory! (for those who have completed their secret objectives) Step 1, pay food… pay food… No! NOOOOOO!!!! In our mad scramble for victory, how could we possibly have forgotten food on that last round? A collective groan rises as we realize what we have done to ourselves. So concerned about morale, so focused on every move, we have forgotten to feed ourselves! A starvation token is added… Morale drops to zero… The game is over and everyone has lost.But wait, not everyone has lost… A quiet chuckle is heard… The betrayer…The betrayer reveals his objective. 5 survivors are killed throughout the game, something he accomplished long before.The betrayer has won.Without a doubt the most tense I have ever been playing a board game, and I was honestly ecstatic that the betrayer won. He couldn’t have played it better.10/10 would be betrayed again.*EDIT*Since people seem to be reading my review, I would like to add one tidbit. In this game, when you are exiled, you have to discard the original secret objective you were given and draw an “Exiled” secret objective. The original objective in this case was “5 survivors are killed and the main objective is not completed.” The exiled objective (and there are quite a few and they are very varied) was “5 survivors are killed.”The amazing thing about this to me is that it was the same as his betrayer objective, except that it removed the “main objective must fail” portion. This means that it was possible in this instance for EVERYONE to win had we not forgotten to feed ourselves that last round. That kind of blew our minds when I mentioned that after the game was over.Anyway, I have finally won a game of this! It is really a great game.

      323 people found this helpful

    14. Eduardo

      A fun game

      I’ve played it before years ago, with friends and so I decided to buy it to play with family for the holidays. I was worried they might not understand all the mechanics but after a trail run, where even I was confusing my memories of the game, we played a better 2nd game (and lost).It is kinda hard to win, but it makes it fun.

    15. Meg

      Excellent Meta-Cooperative Board Game

      My gaming group has played it two nights now — and they’re asking to break it out again. Really amazing, considering how everyone has such large collections of games and some that haven’t ever even been played.As far as game play, this game is not easy to win. You aren’t at any particular advantage being either an honest (relatively) colonist or the traitor. Thematically, it feels like we’re playing through an episode of Walking Dead or living in the world of 28 Days Later. You and your group of players control different survivors, and each player has an over-arching goal of meeting the main goal without running out of morale or, as the traitor, you want the morale to hit 0 before the other players meet the main goal. In addition, each player has individual winning conditions on top of their main/traitor goal.As a colony, you collect food and other resources, kill zombies, avoid crises that add extra requirements each round, and make choices based on “crossroads” — events with a trigger unbeknownst to the current turn’s active player. This game is exciting, painful, and rewarding; it’s enjoyable even when we lose.Learning the game is a time investment, but worth it.

      3 people found this helpful

    16. Abby S

      Fun game with so many possible plot twists

      Sooo much fun! I’m not usually one who likes table top games, so I thought the price was a little steep at first. Totally worth every cent. There are many twists in the game since there could possibly be a traitor in your midst. More so, even if you don’t have a traitor every player has their own win-condition objective they must meet, so there is still a bunch of tension in the group. Every person is still out for themselves, so I was very suspicious of everyones’ motivations when they played. I’ve played it a handful of times with different groups of people, and has always been a big hit. Even if you are not into board games, give this one a chance.

      2 people found this helpful

    17. Amanda

      Excellent game!

      I purchased this product as a gift. The receiver LOVED this game. This game takes at least an hour to learn and even then there are nuances that you will continue to question for some time to come. However, once learned, this game is incredibly fun and has a lot of replayability. You can modify the difficulty of the game if needed to suit your tastes. This is a very fun and competitive game for adults. I would definitely purchase this again.

    18. samjane

      Really Fun, Really Involved Game

      We’ve only played this once, but my husband is dying to play it again. The instruction booklet is like 16 pages and my husband thoroughly read it through before we attempted to play. The first turn took a half an hour because there are so many steps and we were getting the hang of it. We played it on the shortest option, and it took 3 hours to play. I imagine if we played it again, it would probably take 2 hours or so. We really had fun playing again. This isn’t a game for your average game lover. This is for the people who love all of the settlers expansions or Pandemic. It’s a really involved game.

    19. Jeff

      Great Game

      Great game, hard to win but the journey is fun. If you play with traitor then you are always on edge

    20. itemrating2

      First game like this

      Husband loves these type of games- I but the bullet for love- and it’s FUN! It’s intense and funny but can cause some hurt feelings with accusations of being a betrayer!It is super complicated to set up and learn the rules so learn from my mistake and set it up/learn the rules PRIOR to having friends over to play. It took over an hour just to do the first set up and learn the rules. We didn’t have time to finish the game. (We are 30 somethings and it was a Sunday evening).

      One person found this helpful

    21. David

      I’ve found it really easy to get into character of the people you control

      Huge replay-ability factor. It really generates a lot of group thinking with an exciting feel. I’ve found it really easy to get into character of the people you control. Incredible artwork too. It creates a fun colony feel and you get to really use each character to their strengths and panic over their weaknesses.My biggest gripe with it is how dull the game can be if you’re having bad luck. I’ve played a few games now where my characters die on their first roll and no matter how much I search (literally went through half a supply deck in one turn) I can not find anymore, all while other people are collecting 5+. The luck element is fun, but it can also be frustrating to play an hour and a half game where you have all of two actions a round while everyone else gets 6 or 7.

    22. J. Kohl

      Dead of Winter is simultaneously fun and infuriating (in a good way)

      Dead of Winter is simultaneously fun and infuriating (in a good way). The nature of the game creates tension at the table–not unlike what you might feel having to trust strangers in a zombie apocalypse. Forget the details of the mechanics; the atmosphere and tension this game creates is tremendous. If you enjoy games I suggest trying it for that accomplishment alone.

      One person found this helpful

    23. Liam H

      Worth the buy!!!

      Good game and fun as well! Totally different and love the coop feel. You have lots of freedom to do anything you want during your turn and it feels like you are really doing what it takes to survive in a colony during a zombie apocalypse. There’s a coop version where everyone works together and there’s also a version with a betrayer addition. The game can be challenging but only if you play recklessly. If you take your time and discuss action options with you teammates, you will have a fun, board game experience. Can’t wait to play this with more friends once Covid-19 is over!

    24. Stephanie

      Highly Recommended.

      This is a great game! I recommend watching videos online to help you understand how to play. The game lets you make decisions as a group on how to keep your colony alive. You can choose to kill zombies, collect food or search for supplies. It’s as if you were inside your own zombie movie. The game has 18 main game scenarios along with personal goals and a goal for each round. Anyone in your party can be a friend or foe. This is a role playing strategy game. In our experience the game takes a lot longer than an hour and half to complete. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. Also the came can be adjusted to different difficulty levels by playing different scenarios and leaving out certain decks of cards.

    25. Creighton Brown

      An exciting game and a challenge.

      I had been excited to purchase this game for a long time after seeing it played on Tabletop. It certainly delivered! I have to admit, it was a challenge to learn how to play this game in the beginning. However, the individual player sheets are super helpful in reminding beginning players what steps to take each round.Dead of Winter is a semi-cooperative zombie game. It allows players to control two or more characters with different personalities and skills. Each round, a new crisis presents itself and the players must resolve it. As if that weren’t enough, crossroads cards may be triggered each turn and present new obstacles and opportunities.It’s important to note that this game can be rather heavy. Most cards with mature content are marked as such. You can remove those if playing with younger players. However, it is still a game about the end of the world and the darker side of human nature and heavy issues still come up.This is one of the most impressive games I’ve played in a long while. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

    26. Michael A. J. Chavarria

      Can you survive the Zs?

      This is a truly board game… if you have the time and patience to play it. With almost 100 or so pieces to set up and use, it can be a chose to set up, but it’s well worth it. This meta co-op board game is great fun and is plenty of challenge for those who like to dedicate themselves to board games. In a post apocalyptic era where zombies are abundant, food, medicine and weapons are scarce, you truly need to strategize to pull resources and efforts to keeping your colony alive, completing crisis cards, and at the same time fulfilling your own secret object. Definitely worth a buy. But also, I’d recommend watching the youtube how-to video rather than reading the instruction manuals, and/or watching the tv series table-top (available on youtube) on how game play goes. Definitely helps get a good idea of what to expect.

      2 people found this helpful

    27. Danny


      Really fun in how you can play this and the ways to go about the objectives! Really take some time to learn the game and maybe watch some videos because once you fully know how to play this, it’ll probably become one of your favorite board games to play like myself!

    28. Christopher E. Colby

      Don’t forget to draw

      This games take a playthrough or two to get use to. Lots of rules. I’d say it’s better for people who know how to play boardgames.However with the right group this is one of the best games to have. You can play this game over and over again and get different scenarios each time.

    29. MagicMagic

      Super fun co-op game!

      One of my fav co-op games. Story and goal changes every time you play. The additional of a possible traitor helps to add to the excitement! Clear rules and comes with a link to watch a how to play video for people who are maybe new to playing heavier or co-op board games!Tip if you are someone who likes to keep your board games in great shape. Do NOT remove the plastic stands from the cardboard characters and zombies every time you play. You will start tearing the cardboard! We keep all ours in big plastic bags in an ice cream bucket on our gaming shelf.

      2 people found this helpful

    30. Amazon Customer

      Fun for older kids and adults

      This game was beyond overwhelming for me at first. Then on a drunken bored night with my boyfriend, I decided to give it a try. And I now love this game! Once you learn how to play, its definitely entertaining. There’s a video on youtube that we watched on how to play, and that helped A LOT.

    31. Mundy

      Can be overwhelming at first, but so rewarding and fun!!!

      We tried learning and playing this and ended up quitting half way through as we finally understood after playing it. This game is definitley more complex, it’s not something you can just set up and play (especially the first few times). Now that a few of our friends have played, it is a very fun game! The game takes 30_45 minutes for us on average. This is not a good game for “casual players” and a few of our friends have quit because of how complicated and overwhelming it can be. For those who stuck around, it is a fun game and it provides new challenges every time!

    32. David N.

      Steep learning curve but so much fun!

      I absolutely love playing dead of winter with the family and it’s always one of the games I recommend for people to try out. My board game collection is right at 75 and dead of winter makes the top 10.It does have a very steep learning curve and will be a little slow the first few games. But once you have two or so people that know how to play the game, teaching others takes no time at all. There are some great YouTube videos (albeit long) that do a fantastic job of instructing you about the flow of the game and I recommend watching them prior to your first play through.This game is all about working together as a group to survive the zombie apocalypse but with a twist – the game dynamics has at least one person whose objective is to secretly destroy the colony.Great game. If you have time on your hands because of quarantine, pick it up.

      5 people found this helpful

    33. Verna

      Enjoyable game. Fun experience

      Awesome game. There is a bit of a learning curve but if you watch “how to play” videos or other people playing it you can get a hang of it faster. The crossroad cards give a sense of randomness which adds more dimension to the game. There are plenty of characters each with different abilities and and skill levels. It has a storytelling element With each Crisis that happens. Everyone has to work together to fend off the crisises but then they also have their own agenda they need to complete. There is also a possibility of a traitor so you have to be careful who you trust. The game is very satisfying to win but even if you don’t you can take it as experience and it makes you want to play again.

    34. TonyTony

      Better and heavier than expected

      I haven’t played it yet, but it’s all there. I have read some reviews that they got a knock off, but this one I got definitely isn’t. Everything is of high quality, from the cards to the character models.I’m surprised about the 3 sheets of 3D printed (i think) characters you see in my photos. I assumed they would just come in baggies, which they give plenty of btw (zip locks I might add). It’s pretty heavy too, 3 pounds. I didn’t know that until I got it.Can’t wait until I play this with my family. $45 is worth it now because of how high quality the items are.

    35. ritz

      I loved this game but not sure if its for you? Check out this video Table Top did[…]

      This game can be for everyone. The rulebook is a few pages long, but nothing overly complicated. Each round has several steps within it and once you learn those you are ready to go. What I like so much about this game is 1) it is meta-cooperative (there is a group goal and individual goals) 2) it has a very accessible theme–who doesn’t like zombie stories? Played several times now, each time with 4 players. We have lost against the game more times that we have won– which I think is the point. A zombie apocalypse is most likely going to kill you. There isn’t much I can add here besides as a buyer you should realize this game takes roughly 1.5-2 hours to play. I’ve taught it to several people who do not play board games often and they loved it and it was not difficult to teach. All of them wanted to come back and play it again. If you are wondering if this game is worth the money for you check out this video Table Top did with Dead of Winter featured first: […]

      One person found this helpful

    36. Kel

      Absolutely love this game

      We absolutely LOVE this game but I want to throttle people when we are on our last wave and someone turns out to be a traitor. Lol worth every penny

    37. Kelsey

      This game is a lot of fun! It always takes my game night group longer …

      This game is a lot of fun! It always takes my game night group longer to play than the box suggests. It is very difficult to win sometimes without cheating at least once or twice per game (i.e. pretending that someone didn’t get bitten and reroll the dice instead, shuffling the location cards and reusing them once a pile runs out, etc.), but this becomes less necessary once you get a feel for the game and know how to play the best way. It is nice to have a cooperative game (assuming you don’t play with traitors) that you win and lose equally!

    38. Hollie

      Love this Game!

      This game is perfect for a couples game night. It allows you to play as a team against the board game itself or against each other. We needed another two player game and this was perfect. My husband and I have played it almost every day this week because it is so much fun!

    39. Shay

      Don’t be intimidated by this awesome game!

      It’s intimidating at first bc of all the pieces and set up, but easy to get the hang of once you start. There are detailed instructions and a link to a video you can watch that describes how to play. A really fun group game! Set aside a big chunk of time the first time you try it :). I love that it it a co-op game, but with a possible twist of betrayal.

    40. K8theGr8

      An A+ game that you can play over and over again…if you can convince people to play with you!

      Peel away the thematic elements and the excellent storytelling and what you’re left with is, simply put, a semi-cooperative worker placement game. If you’ve been burned on other worker placements, though (I’m looking at you, Agricola!) don’t hit the back button just yet! Dead of Winter somehow manages to take two things that I’m sick to death of–worker placement and zombies–and combine them into a game that is one of the top ten in my board game circulation.Here’s why the game works so well:1) It’s semi-cooperative–emphasis on “semi.” One problem with fully cooperative games like Pandemic is that it’s really easy to have one player quarterback the entire game while the rest of the table sits back and waits for the (usually unelected) team captain to tell them what to do. It takes a lot of the fun out of it if, when it finally gets to your turn, you go to perform a certain action only to be told, “NO! That’s wrong. Don’t do that.” In Dead of Winter, everyone *might* be on the same team, but there’s the possibility of a traitor. So people will often bite their tongues and watch what their alleged allies do so they can identify the traitor. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! In addition to having one possible traitor, everyone in the group also has a secret objective. That’s critical. If you’ve played other hidden-traitor games, you know that it’s often easy to sleuth out the traitor. Just watch for the person who is making questionable choices. But if your table has to get four fuel resource cards or else face dire consequences, and one of you also has a hidden objective to end the game with three fuel cards in-hand, you might make suspicious decisions even though you’re ultimately still on the good-guy team. It’s unreal how well this mechanic helps mask the actual traitor!2) Exile is not game over. Speaking of traitors, it’s really nice that, in this game, you can still play if you’re found out. In fact, you’ll trade in your initial secret objective for a new one, so your enemy players can’t try to play keepaway using what they already know about you! The gameplay shifts when the traitor is exiled, and it’s really fun.3) Crossroads cards are so fun! It took some getting used to, but these things do SUCH a great job of creating an immersive gaming experience. In addition, there are about a gazillion of them, and a lot of the time you won’t end up activating the ones that you encounter during your playthrough, so we’re still experiencing new crossroads after literally months of play4) The worker placement mechanic is actually enjoyable. Maybe it’s the excitement of the RNG. Maybe it’s the individual character abilities. Maybe it’s just the cooperative element–for whatever reason, I love the gameplay of this game, where I’ve hated it in other games.All of those combine into a magical bundle of replayability and family fun. This game is an absolute blast to play and no two ever seem to shake out the exact same. I won’t quite call it a universal must-have, because there are some downsides, but it definitely earns its place on our shelves.Downsides:1) Open the box for the first time and your eyeballs will be assaulted with over a dozen teensy ziplocs, which bodes ill. Setup can easily take 25 minutes your first few times, and then you’re still left to rummage through baggies every turn for the various pieces that you didn’t take out. This is a game that benefits enormously from an insert. Amazon sells one by Broken Token. 

      Broken Token Box Organizer for Dead of Winter

      . I am cheap, so I looked up the Order of Gamers insert plans on Google and made one out of foam core. Took about 1.5 hours. Worth every second/penny.2) It’s intimidating for newbie gamers. This isn’t the game to play with your mom who “sort of enjoyed Settlers of Catan that one time.” This is the game for you and your core game group. The insert helps lower the sheer terror factor when we bust this out for first-timers, but there’s no way around it: there are a ton of rules and components, and it’s going to take a while to get the hang of it. I don’t think it’s a particularly difficult game to grasp, but it’s a mental psych-out factor that’s hard to overcome. Don’t buy this as a gift to get your loved one hooked on board games.That’s about as exhaustive as I can give you while leaving everything unspoiled for your gaming pleasure. Please leave a comment if you have questions!

      6 people found this helpful

    41. Gordy

      The most fun I’ve had inducing desperation and stress upon myself and friends…

      Lots of pieces and prep but a very tense, fun and entertaining game for a mature (not just the ‘age’ reference; I’ve gamed with many kids more mature than many “adults”) audience.Pros- Optional &/or Chance Traitor mechanic- Competitive Co-opCons- Might ruin real life relationships- Should really only play if you and your friends are in the mood to abuse & punish yourselvesThings to know going in- Lots of pieces- 5 to 10 min prep time (much greater if you don’t sort and put things back in an organized manner) with experience players- A very bleak setting (quite obvious from the game’s premise), that is a fun and enjoyable experience by making ‘less tragic’ events feel like a triumphant victory…- You may want to pre-schedule some therapy sessions for post game recovey

      3 people found this helpful

    42. Jupsten


      I love this game. A lot of reviews I read mentioned the rules being complicated. I gotta say, it’s not too bad. There is definitely a lot going on between the main objective, the crisis, the waste, the food and the crossroads. But it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. By the third game we were breezing through. This game is really fun. If you’re into this type of game, I say go for it. It’s really nice looking on the table and very fun. I can’t wait to get it out again.

    43. Andrew Cai

      Fun, collaborative, unique

      This game is a bit more complex to learn at first, but the overall objectives are easy to understand. If you like more collaborative games (with a twist, because there is the possibility of a traitor) this game is for you. It forces you to think by balancing a lot of tasks at once, and also gets more difficult as the game progresses. This keeps everyone engaged and on their toes the whole time. Great for anyone high school aged and up.

    44. Jason

      Everything you would love about a winter survival apocalyptic game is here

      This game is unbelievably detailed. Everything you would love about a winter survival apocalyptic game is here. This semi-coop game is just so great, and it all fits perfectly with the theme. There is some strategy and a lot of social interaction which makes it great.Pros:- Nail the theme perfectly- Everything makes sense- Aesthetically pleasing- Keeps you constantly engaged- Fun- No Elimination- Always things to do on your turnCons:- Fairly complicated for those not used to “gamer” games (could be a lot for people to remember in the beginning)haha Thats really the only complaint that I could think of

    45. Adventurer

      Great High Quality Game

      Oh, Dead Of Winter, how I love hate you!I’m huge on table top games and my biggest grip with some games are their package quality and game parts quality. This game is at the high end for me as far as the actual physical quality of the game. It’s a strong nice sturdy box, great sturdy well made pieces and overall just a great well designed and thought out game. For those of you who have bought the newer of editions of Catan only to discover the cheapest made box, the cheapest made game board, cheap everything, this game is the exact opposite.As far as actual game play, this game is great. It takes awhile to set up and challenges you. I’ve played it about a dozen times now and it has been a different game each time, huge re-playability. This is a HARD game, especially for us since we’ve only been able to play with two players and two player mode is hard.This is for sure a top ten game for me now. If it’s on your wish list I’d take the plunge and get it. So worth it.

      8 people found this helpful

    46. Troy V.

      fun game, but be wary

      a game designed specifically to ruin friendships, just what I needed!!!! LOL In the game, you have personal objectives, and malicious or innocent, they can cause discontent among friends, and let me tell you, it got a friend of mine who’s otherwise level headed very heated on an innocent objective which caused us to shelf the game indefinitely! LMAO It’s a fun game, but just make sure you’re either playing with people who are able to write it off as just a game, or someone you really don’t care whether or not they’re in your life anymore!!!!!! 🙂

    47. Jaime Nunez

      Awesome game!

      Awesome game!!!Games has a great game play with lots of ways to keep you entertained for hours.Each challenge has a “Short”, “Medium”, “Long” time frame. Short should be about an hour long of game play but, in our experience, the games has always beaten us in about 40 mins.There are lots of on-line videos showing you how to play this game but I yet to find a video where the players beat the game, which is a great challenge for my friends and I to be the first to beat the game.

      One person found this helpful

    48. S Schafer

      An intriguing game of survival

      Great game with some interesting twists and turns. Not an easy play for the beginner at first, but lots of fun. Companion app for the crossroads cards adds a a really cool theatrical component and “masks” the outcomes of your crossroads options that are easily seen when using the cards. The betrayer possibility and individual goals for each player add a really fun unpredictability to the game. Can’t wait for the next expansion!

    49. J. D. Partain

      the game is extremely fun, well constructed

      Bought this game for my sons (8th grade and freshman) and although the game has many pieces and is fairly complex, they read through it within a half hour and played several games by the end of the day. I come home from work in the late afternoons and often find them gathered around the dining table playing DoW with friends or sometimes just the two of them. They walk away with stories, which I appreciate. There are mature cards/situations – but the game makers label these well enough that I was able to tailor the content to my parental liking. The authorship seems to try too hard, in my opinion, to come across as crass and bad-ass which ends up sounding forced and honestly, a little cheesy. But other than that, the game is extremely fun, well constructed, and meticulously thought out. It is filled with options for infinite variety and story combinations. Highly recommend!

    50. Brooke


      I gave this to my 25 year old son. Our family has always played a lot of table top games and he is the biggest gamer of us all – he’s played almost everything and has games he likes and games he hates. He dislikes many cooperative games because they are too easy or easily dominated by one player. We all like this one and have played it several times. I think we win maybe half the time.

    51. Chelci Miller

      One of My Favorite Boardgames Ever!

      This board game is very in-depth, immersive, and requires a lot of dedication in order to learn the mechanics and get into the flow of things. I would not recommend this for people who are either new to board games or prefer a more casual style of game, as this one in particular can get very intense, especially when playing with lots of people.The game pieces itself are very detailed and well made, however I did have to buy a piece organizer to put in the box because they can get a bit scattered if not put away correctly (though you absolutely don’t have to). As far as gameplay, I love it. It’s very detailed and there are so many ways things can go, and because it’s so complicated and there are so many facets to it, you can never play the same game twice.Overall, I give this game a 10/10. Wouldn’t recommend for newer players, but once you get into it, it’ll be a game you’ll love for life.

    52. Shannon McConnell

      We Love This Game

      My 17 year old has been wanting this game for 5 years! It’s a family favorite and can be fun to teach to friends. It is not an easy game to learn, but the instructions go through each step and it gets easier as you go, since the phases repeat. It can be a long game, but it’s lots of fun!

    53. D. Bryden

      Great game with tons of replay value!

      This game is an absolute blast to play. I don’t want to repeat other reviewers, so I will just add a little blurb about replayability.Yes, therer are several scenarios, but there is almost no limit one can go to with the right amount of creativity. For example:Four players started the game with one survivor each, all of us at the school, with the following–additional–changes to the core rules:–We allowed only four starting characters that would realistically be at a school at the beginning of a zombie crisis (Teacher, student, principal, janitor)–We kept track of all of the food usage/waste helpless survivors on the colony board and acted like the school was our colony (this was just for ease of tracking).–We decided we could not leave the school and move to the colony–or other locations–until we cleaned out the school deck–We then followed the standard rules of the game and whatever scenario objective we drewIt made for a fun game, and held lots of roleplaying value.Additional scenarios we pondered: Hospital with doctor, nurse, fireman, mother. Gas station with truck driver, etc. etc. etcOther scenarios

    54. Serena Sweet

      One of my favorite games!

      Dead of Winter is like Pandemic + Resistance. You have to work together as a group to survive the zombie apocalypse by gathering supplies, dealing with crisis, and trying to figure out if there’s a betrayer at the table so you can exile him. There are dozens of characters to choose for your group, each with their own benefits (GO SPARKY!), and there are lots of different ways to customize your experience by changing the length and object of the game; it really is a completely different game each time.Gameplay takes a few hours, and although the rules sound confusing and there are a bajillion pieces, it’s really not hard to figure out once things get rolling.

    55. Jamie McKinnon

      Best Game Ever!

      i play a lot of games, and this is my all time favorite so far! It is so much Fun and it has a ton of re-playability! Every game you get a new main objective and new character cards. I have struggled in the past to find a good two player game for me and my husband…this one takes the cake! It’s so well thought out! The instructions are very detailed. It does take a little while to learn because there are a lot of aspects to this game, but I would recommend it to anyone. I only wish it could play more than 5 people. When our friends come over there aren’t enough places for the number of people who always want to play this game.

    56. Bear

      all the mind games!

      THIS GAME RULES! There’s a lot of pieces so the initial set up is kind of a pain, but once you wrap your head around it, set up is exponentially faster.As soon as it gets set up, my living room feels dingy. The artwork and vibe of the game allow for pretty immersive play sessions (assuming you and your friends are into that). My favorite aspect of the game is the betrayer. It leads to so many mind games around the table.My first play of this game was incredibly fun. One friend kept stirring the pot until we exiled him. Turned out he wasnt the betrayer! After we kicked out the wrong person, the real betrayer took full advantage of the situation. She began to attempt to convince the last person that I was the real betrayer and started a war against me. Since it was 2 vs 1 in the colony, i had no chance to exile them to save myself, but the real betrayer refused to vote me out because that would have ended the game (and the betrayer would have failed).In the end we all lost but it was constant second guessing, back stabbing, and fun!

    57. Q Family

      Awesome fun!!!

      This game is outstanding. The secret missions always add a tinge of mystery when betrayals in the crisis cards arise.I recommend fully reading the manual and understanding the rules before playing a game to reduce confusion. The first game was a disaster, but once everyone knew how the game was played, everything settled down and smoothed out.The crossroads seem to hardly take effect.. especially on the first round.. but when they do come into play, they always make for either laughter or fright in the party.This game is amazing fun with incredible amounts of replayability and varying twists

    58. LieutBubbles

      Competitive and cooperative game of “life decisions” .

      I think its best played with more people- 3 is minimum I prefer.—The paper pieces are decently sturdy if treated ok, Almost enough room in the box for things to be sorted without getting all over the place. This is one of the games i recommend a box organizer. (like “Broken Token”.)— It is complex first read through- Recommend reading rule book and scanning the crossroads cards, then playing through it to learn.—Can be played with or without betrayer cards if you like a more co-op game.*Parental warning – i think teens will be ok. Box cover shows you what to expect- there is some violent themes- killing, injuries, etc as its a zombie game.

    59. Sara CookeSara Cooke

      Love at first bite!

      Absolutely love this game. Granted it was a little tricky to learn at first but once we figured out the rules we were able to teach our friends pretty quickly. You definitely need a big table for this, at least a 3 by 6 For 3 or more players (see picture, table is definitely not large enough). the three of us played without the betrayal cards at first just to get used to the game play.Pros: zombies. Critical and strategic thinking for yourself and with/for your friends. It’s not based on chance though there are times a move could be because of a crossroads card. I really wondered why the game was so much money, there’s so much thought and story put into this game and that’s my opinion as to why… really keeps you engaged.Cons: if you’ve never played a board game like this, you will get impatient with the instructions. The video really didn’t help either. My two friends did the reading and figuring out and then taught me after. It’s much easier to start the game and learn as you go rather than sit there and try to read the manual before playing.

      9 people found this helpful

    60. Corinna Haller

      Complicated but fun

      We love this game. There’s a lot of thought and detail put into it. You could play this for a long time without the story blurbs starting repeat. Well done! High quality materials with great artwork.When playing it, know that it’s a big time committment and not incredibly easy to learn, yet doable if you’re committed to it. My only weird negative is the odd pronoun use in the instruction manual. I think the creators were trying to be inclusive so keep switching between “she,” “he,” and “they.” It makes for an annoying and confusing read-along. Pick one and keep it consistent throughout if another edition is put out there. Trust me, as a female, 99% of us don’t care.

    61. Van Dang-O’Callaghan

      If you like fun…

      This is such a well balanced game. It’s difficult. It’s exciting. This game can be terribly brutal at times, but it makes the wins that much better, and your wins will be few and far between. No matter what, you and your friends will all be sitting around the table after the game talking about how this could have happened or how someone had to play this way, that is if you haven’t already started another game.The directions are pretty poor and there’s a ton to do, so don’t get yourself down. The first game you play will be a challenge and your worst game, even if you play with someone who has played before. The learning curve is steep, but you should have a great grasp of the game by the end of your first game!Enjoy!!!

    62. Amr H Helmi

      Excellent Atmosphere ZA Game

      Great game! I love the new crossroads system, it ensures every game is different. If you are thinking this is like Zombicide, it is not. This is a far more resource based strategy game, and it has the added component of each player trying to fill their objectives independent of the group objectives, as well as possibly being a traitor trying to work against the mission objective.In terms of gameplay, this game does take a little getting used to. None of the rules are counter intuitive, but a lot happens each turn. I’d say most tabletop players will have a fair understanding of the rules after about 10 minutes of read time and an additional ten minutes of play time.Beyond that, this game does a terrific job of building an atmosphere of dread and despair, both fitting as this is meant to be the zombie apocalypse with humanity dying out.

    63. Kaiti

      In Depth, but Worth It!

      This game is actually super fun! It is quite complicated and the set up alone took about an hour. It is definitely an interesting game that keeps you on your toes! It is the first table top game I have ever played, but I really enjoy it.

    64. William Nelson

      It really is that good. The only complaint I have is that the …

      What can I say? It really is that good. The only complaint I have is that the down time between turns can be rather long when/if players start to amass a lot of followers. Of course, being a cooperative game (traitor!), you’ll likely have a say in what others are doing and “down time” doesn’t necessarily equate to “dead time” (ha! See how I did that?? Get it?? Dead?…never mind…).My initial play through was with four players and it was kind of funny because we had to collect samples (recommended by the rules for first time players) and it started off pretty good. No one seemed to be trying to screw us over and we were all convinced that no traitor even existed. We were getting lucky and rolling well (to determine if we found samples on zombies we’d killed) up until the very end when suddenly we found we didn’t have enough food…and Our luck ran out on the rolls…then several were bitten and started dropping like flies…My only other complaint is in how to “win” the game. Basically, just surviving doesn’t make you a winner (as a group). You have to survive AND complete your secret mission. Don’t complete both? You don’t “win”. Out of the four of us, we all did manage to survive but only one of is was able to also complete their secret mission and thus the winningest winner (the rest of us only winners in our own minds) walked away truly triumphant.I guess that’s not really a “complaint” as it didn’t make the game “bad”…it just made us realize that you have a lot to manage as a group and while SOME of us CARE about trying to feed survivors, take out the trash, keep the zombies at bay and just get through it all (!) OTHERS are out to collect books or weapons.Losers!Get the game, it really is fun.

      28 people found this helpful

    65. Beth K.

      Great game! I really like that the game changes …

      Great game! I really like that the game changes each time – from the storyline to the crises to if there is a betrayer or not. I also like that they have labeled the cards that are a bit too vulgar for children as our daughter likes to play with us as well. I would say this is most fun with four people, adding more makes it a longer game if you like to have conversation with friends at the same time. We are a big table top gaming family – my husband most of all – but this game has quickly become one of our first go to options. If we are headed out to dinner with friends we always bring some games along and this one is always in the pile.

    66. David Rogers

      So many ways to play

      Play full cooperative, or semi coop with a traitor, play with the possibility of a traitor, you can solo play it, there is an easy “mode”, a “hard” mode, plenty of scenarios to play out, you’ve got variety. The components that come with the game are really nice and there are a lot of characters to choose from. Very pleased with this game. I suppose it will take a while to grow tired of this one.

    67. Jeff Smith

      When you find the right group to play with – this one is phenomenal

      One of those games that takes a little while to set up and learn, but boy is it worth it. Have played with some friends who were not quite ready for this game and they didn’t enjoy it but once we found a solid group of 5 of us to play we’ve really gotten some fantastic experiences. Every time we play there is at least one memorable “event” that we are still talking about today. Crossroads cards that line up just right, betrayals that no saw coming, or a dice roll right at the end that pushes the game to failure when we saw the final path to victory. This game is not a”quick play” but if you want a great theme, even better story, and the ability for every game to feel different – this is a winner.

    68. Kevin Karges

      A Great Game plus Zombies

      Got this game for a friend’s birthday and it is really fun. Great zombie survival action where one player may be an enemy but none may be just to keep everyone paranoid. It is really great thematically and my group keeps going back to it. The only downside that it is sort of complicated especially when a whole group is trying to learn on the spot, but by the second game we had it all figured out. I’ve found it takes about 1-2 hours for groups of 3-5.

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