MMM… Brains! Review

When the humans are all gone, the zombies will have nothing left to eat… but each other.

Or, that at least seems to be the unstated premise of Reiner Knizia’s “MMM… Brains!”. Known very well for Zombies!!!, Twilight Creations Inc. released another in a strong line-up of undead themed games, this one for a far more casual crowd.  Sold in a modest sized box, the game is primarily a dice set combined with a few colored cards, a nice collection of small plastic brain tokens, and a single sheet rules pamphlet.

The rules are quick both to learn and play and it makes for a nice throw-down-at-the-table sort of thing that you could teach your flesh craving friend-ghouls in under five minutes.

She’s not a looker…

Unfortunately, a few stand-out mistakes made the game a little tough to enjoy at times.  In a game where colors are critical, the choices for some of the numbers on the six-sided dice include blue and black, which under my light at least were almost indistinguishable without some serious squinting.  Also, aesthetically speaking, yellow on white is always a terrible choice, but particularly on a d6 where 4 and 1 can look pretty similar at the right angle.

How can you have any meat if you don’t eat your brain pudding?

The objective of the game is simple, you and your competing friends are insatiably hungry zombies that want to horde as many brains as you can.  Each turn you throw the dice up to three times, trying to get as many numbers of matching color as possible.  The 6 on the dice are replaced with a brain, which serves as a multiplier on your final score at the end of the turn.  You greedily consume a number of brains equal to your totaled result from the pool at the middle of the table, then pass the dice to the next player.  When all the brains have been grabbed from the middle, the zombies turn on each other.  Using the same mechanic as grabbing from the brain pool you find a total that you use to steal brains from other players (though they do not go to your pool, but are removed from the game).  The last zombie standing is the winner, presumably until he rots away all alone.  Poor, self destructive, zombie society.

The Verdict

If you can get past some of the production value issues, this is definitely a fun little game.  It won’t be replacing Zombies!!! or Last Night on Earth by any stretch, but it is neat and I can see breaking it out for something fast to play.  I could have done with thematically described rules and some more original art, though.  The player cards are just the game’s logo against a solid color background, and the rules are a little too direct with no narrative mention of what the game is about.  The rules set could easily be applied to any concept, this one just happens to ride the popularity of brain-eating Romero extras. I found it overall enjoyable and I’m happy with the purchase, but at the end of the day this product just isn’t a “must have“.  For the price though, 50 brain tokens make a nice toy for other games such as sanity tokens in a Cthulhu game or they could even be used in some other zombie themed fun.

You can take a look at Twlight Creations’ site, and download the game rules for free, here.

[tags]dice, cards, brains, zombies[/tags]

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