“Humanity has proven itself singularly unsuitable for the stewardship of this planet.  Maybe the roaches will fare better.”
— ‘The Manifesto of Dr. Mutos’ (excerpt)

The CDC believes that nearly 25% of the US population is now at Stage 3 of infection by the Z-B13 virus, leaving them reduced to shambling husks.  The numbers of Afflicted, as they’re being called, are growing by the day.  Major metropolitan areas through the US Midwest are emptying as healthy citizens flee for the coasts and as roving gangs stake their claims on the neighboring lands.  On the Internet, a madman just released his manifesto — he developed the Z-B13 virus for a reason, and he will continue to experiment on humanity until his demands are met.

Zero Hour, designed by Jay Little (X-Wing, Star Wars RPG), is a pulp adventure co-operative dice game for one to four players, with a playtime of 60-75 minutes.  In Zero Hour, you undertake the search for the person responsible for the apocalyptic outbreak of the Z-B13 virus.  Immune from the effects of the virus (so far), your characters will band together and travel from city to city, scavenging for the clues and resources that will lead them to a final confrontation against this madman.  Between cities, time will pass, virus mutations will be eradicated (or will bloom, impeding their progress and possibly creating an incurable mutation), your characters will rest and heal, and you will have to make difficult decisions as they encounter other survivors, raiding parties, and the Afflicted.  Hopefully, you will reach the next city before Night falls…

If the survivors run out of Ammo, Food, or Fuel; if two Incurable mutations take place; or if all characters are Unconscious at the end of any turn — the survivors are lost.

Otherwise, they will move from city to city until they reach a Final Showdown with the Mastermind behind the Z-B13 outbreak.  If they can clear that final city and capture the Mastermind before being forced to flee for their lives, the survivors are victorious and can begin the difficult work of reversing the virus.

We will be previewing the various elements of Zero Hour over the next few weeks, ending with a free preview PNP version of the game for download on our website and BoardGameGeek.com.  Join us this Friday when we talk more about… The Survivors.

Zero Hour Overview
The Survivors
The City Map
The Event Board
The City Phase
The Event Phase
The Masterminds
The Final Showdown