Our Next Game: Dead Panic!

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Hey, guys! People have been asking what we’re working on here at Fireside Games, so we thought we’d take a break from our busy playtesting to let you know.  Due to popular demand, we’re working on Dead Panic, a zombie survival game that borrows several mechanics from Castle Panic and introduces new ones to create a very cinematic experience that has players recounting scenarios long after the game is finished.

They’re coming to get you Barbara!

We’re fine-tuning the mechanics to provide the best-playing game possible, and then we’ll move onto art development. Dead Panic will be available in stores sometime in spring 2013. As soon as we have a firm release date, we’ll make an official announcement. For now, here a few questions and answers to satisfy your appetites.


 What Is Dead Panic?

Dead Panic is a board game in which players take on the roles of various characters that are all working to survive the zombie apocalypse. Players start inside a Cabin, located in the center of the board, and Zombies work their way toward the Cabin from the edges of the board. (Sounds familiar, right?) Players search the Cabin for items and weapons, fight off waves of Zombies, and repair damage to the Cabin walls. Over time, other Survivors attempt to reach the Cabin, bringing with them pieces of a radio that the players need to contact the rescue team. After all the radio pieces are collected, the players call for rescue, but it doesn’t end there. The rescuers arrive and take up a position on the board, and it’s up to each player to make a break for it, leaving the safety of the Cabin to get to the rescuers before the Zombies overtake the players. If a player takes too much damage during the fight and dies, a Zombie version of the player, which the player controls, returns to the game to join the undead in chasing down his or her former allies.


That Sounds Awesome!

It is, trust us. We’re having a blast testing it! We’re still putting the finishing touches on it to make sure it’s as good as our other games, but we’ll have more photos, updates, and other goodies coming soon.


Is Dead Panic an Expansion to Castle Panic?

Nope. This is a completely new, stand-alone game with a new board, tokens, cards, pieces, etc.


Isn’t This Just Castle Panic with Zombies?

Definitely not! We knew we didn’t want to just make a “re-skin” and that’s why we’ve been working so hard on refining the great things that make this game different. You’ll play Dead Panic from the perspective of an actual character in the game. Your position on the board will matter and will affect what you can do and what can be done to you. You’ll need to manage your limited inventory of which items and weapons you can carry. Should you repair a broken wall to keep those Zombies out a little longer or search for a weapon before they break through and attack you? Should you keep your pistol, even though it’s almost out of bullets, or trade it to your friend who’s defenseless? It’s all about choices, and the actions you decide to take (or not take) will have consequences.


Is It Still Cooperative?

Yes and no. This game is more about surviving than winning. We like to say “Dead Panic is as cooperative as you want to make it.” Here’s why: In the beginning of the game, it’s in everyone’s best interests to work together and even make sacrifices for the common good. But once the rescue team arrives on the board, it’s up to you to get yourself to safety. That doesn’t mean you have to throw your buddy under the bus, but in the end you can only survive if you reach the rescuers and that may make for some hard choices.


Can I Play Dead Panic with My Kids?

That’s more of a question for you and your family than for us. We’re going to rate the game for ages 13 and up, partly for complexity and partly for theme. There are a lot more decisions to make, inventory to track, and choices to balance, so it’s much more like The Wizard’s Tower in terms of complexity, and younger players may not be able to manage all of that. As for theme, if your kids would be alright with everything you would find in a normal zombie movie, such as dead people trying to eat brains and living people shooting guns at said dead people, then they can handle our game.


I Liked/Didn’t Like Castle Panic, Will I Like Dead Panic?

Dead Panic is a great step up from the original game in that we’re giving the players more control and adding even more panic. We’re keeping some of the best parts of the original game, such as the ring system and simple damage tracking but adding more depth to keep even the most experienced gamers entertained. We haven’t yet met anyone who didn’t love playing Dead Panic, and many playtesters have told us that they like it even more than Castle Panic.


 When Can I Buy It?

We don’t have a firm date yet, since we’re still making final revisions and going into production, but look for the game to hit shelves early 2013. We’ll be making a formal announcement as soon as we can.

Stay tuned for more updates!


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12 thoughts on “Our Next Game: Dead Panic!

  1. […] game that has been a leading seller for years!  Now they are talking about their next game.  On their website, they announce… Hey, guys! People have been asking what we’re working on here at Fireside Games, so we thought […]

  2. When I played Castle Panic, I immediately thought that this would suit a Zombie Siege theme . This Will be a hit, I’m eagerly awaiting this.

    1. Yup. You could almost say it’s a “no-brainer!” Oooh, sorry. Still though. We’re excited to get this one out there.

  3. Sounds great. Can’t wait.

  4. Sounds great! Can’t wait to buy it and play!

  5. With the hordes of Zombie games already on the market, what makes this one any different than any of those others already out there?

    1. Hi Jim. Good question. One of the biggest differences will be the general feel of the game. Instead of roaming around a map, looking for supplies and becoming zombie-killing machines, players in Dead Panic will be in for a much more claustrophobic, high pressure situation. Supplies will be limited and the majority of gameplay will take place inside the cabin. We’re going for much more of a “Night of the Living Dead” feel with this game than other games have. Here, the zombies are continuously closing in and players will need to coordinate their actions and work together to keep from being overrun. We’re basing parts of the game off of Castle Panic mechanics such as the ring/arc setup and rotating to track damage, but adding lots of new gameplay opportunities. Since Castle Panic was first released, many of our fans have been making comparisons to a zombie movie and asking for something that fit that theme. We’re happy to be scratching that itch. We’ll keep you updated when we have more details to show and I think that will help clarify what sets our game apart.

  6. The theme sounds just a bit too close to the ‘oh no… zombies’ game. And “Get bitten…turn into a zombie” has been done to death. But I’ll reserve judgement until I see several user reviews on BGG. I hope I’m wrong.

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