A perennial favourite of mine since it was released way back in 2010, Zombie Dice – by Steve Jackson Games – is a fast playing, push your luck dice game in which players are zombies trying to devour brains while avoiding shotgun blasts.

It’s a game that’s easy enough to teach to anyone and – despite, maybe even because of, the slightly gory subject matter and illustration on the dice shaker, which also doubles as the game’s storage container – kids seem to love playing it too.

Batman – The Animated Series Dice Game is essentially the same game, smartly reimplementing the theme in a more kid friendly form with a few changes.

No longer are players zombies hungrily hunting for brains; instead, they’re super villains on a heist, trying to collect as much cash as possible without alerting the attention of Gotham’s Dark Knight.

New to this version are individual characters, doled out randomly to each player at the beginning of the game. Each character has a different ability that’ll help them in their quest to loot Gotham – for example, if Catwoman rolls a money bag on a blue die, it’s worth two cash instead of one.

Players must also reach a score of 30 in this version, rather than 13 in Zombie Dice. Though it would seem that this would drag the game out and make it outstay its welcome, with the bonus powers and slightly different threat levels on dice compared to Zombie Dice, it actually is reasonably comparable in terms of each game’s length.

Otherwise, its business as usual – if you know how to play Zombie Dice already, you’ll be right at home here.

Players blindly draw three dice from the shaker (they mustn’t look as the colour of the dice determine how difficult it is to roll a success).

They roll, keeping any cash or Batman symbols, but if they choose to re-roll, they must draw up to three dice again, keeping and re-rolling any alarm symbols just rolled.

If at any point three Batman symbols are rolled in total, they’re caught and lose all cash collected – with a point for each bag of money – on their turn. However, points can be banked at any time before three Batman symbols are rolled – then play passes to the next villain for their turn.

First to 30 – or the highest past 30 points once everyone has had an equal number of turns – wins.

That’s it.

The addition of characters adds a neat twist to the Zombie Dice formula and it’s in a nice, plastic shaker with similarly gorgeous dice to those found in the original, undead-themed title.

It’s a good way to play the game with younger players who might be a bit too squeamish for the original theme – and it’s just as addictive to play.

Sadly, it’s long out of print so – unless you’re lucky – you’ll likely have to pay a ridiculously high price to get your hands on a copy of Batman – The Animated Series Dice Game, which is a shame.

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