You don’t have to outrun the Zombie Horde, you just have to outrun your friends.
So…the Zombie infestation has begun and you and your friends figure something out really quickly: Everyone is out for themselves. If it means you have to be eaten so that I can survive…so be it.
Bullets and Teeth is a card game of betrayal and cutthroat survival. There can only be one winner, the rest get their brains eaten. This game relies heavily on a Take That mechanism, where you are always trying to make things worse for your opponents and easier on yourself. So let’s take a look.
One player is the Bait.
Once you become the Bait you stay the Bait until you face the Horde or find someway to make someone else the Bait.
On the Bait’s turn they must fight or outsmart the Zombie Horde, cause someone else to become the Bait, or die. At the end of the Bait’s turn, the Bait card passes to the right (whether they survived or died).
If you are not the Bait on your turn, you try to make things worse for the person who is the Bait.
Basically you Draw cards, Play cards and try not to die. Play always passes to the Left. The Bait card always passes to the Right (but only after the Bait’s turn).
Let’s take a look at the different types of Cards, so that you can get an idea of how to play:
There are 2 basic types of cards in the game, Bullets and Teeth.
On every turn, whether you are the Bait or not, you will draw 1 of each. The Bullet cards go into your hand, the Teeth card are always added face up as part of the Horde that is chasing you and your friends.
Teeth cards: There are 2 types of Teeth cards, Locations and Zombies.
Location cards add a special condition or effect to the Horde, either allowing you to do something fun or preventing you from doing something useful.
There are 6 location cards included in the basic game and only 1 can be in play at a time. If you draw another Location, the previous Location card is discarded.
Zombie cards come in 6 different varieties, each with their own special flare.
Shamblers are your typical slow Zombies, with no special power, just creepy. Crows of Murder can be avoided by discarding a card from your hand (i guess you are feeding them?) Hoarders cause you to have to draw another 2 cards to add to the Zombie Horde. Toxoplasm causes you to search through the Teeth discard pile and bring all of the previously discarded Toxoplasms back into the Horde. Scabby Tabby cards cause you to become the Bait, which is particularly bad if you were not the Bait at the beginning of your turn. There is also 1 unique card called Moldylocks (the 3 headed Bear on the cover of the box). Moldylocks cause you to add 2 more Teeth cards to the Horde, and cannot be killed if any Shamblers are in play. Oh and you also become the Bait.
Bullet cards: There are 3 main types of Bullet cards, Weapons (orange), Traps (purple) and Supplies (green).
All of these cards do exactly what you would expect them to. Weapon cards kill Zombies. Trap cards cause trouble to your friends, and Supply cards allow you to avoid fighting Zombies, or at least not be eaten by them.
If you are the Bait, you can play as many of one type of card as you want to try and defeat/outsmart the Horde. You can play 2 weapons or 3 traps or 3 supplies, but you can only play cards of one type, unless you play one of the Duct Tape cards.
Duct Tape cards allow you to play multiple types of cards (ex: 3 orange, then the Duct Tape card, and then 2 purple). This can be extremely helpful if the Horde has grown to an unruly size. There are also special abilities on some of the cards that only the Bait can use. At the end of your turn you can only keep up to 5 cards, so don’t be afraid to combo your attacks.
If you are not the Bait, you can only play one Bullet card per turn, so choose wisely.
If you are the Bait and cannot avoid the Zombies or kill them all, you die. That’s it. Sorry. Last one standing survives and is the winner. The are no ties. Everyone else is a Zombie now.
So…What do we think?
Bullets and Teeth has a really strong Take That element that has you planning the demise of your friends in the hopes that you can barely escape. Has the Horde chasing you grown to a crazy size? Don’t worry there are Bullet cards that allow you to escape from all the Zombies of a certain type. Just survive and move on. Force the next guy to actually kill the Zombies, while you run for your life. It’s a fun fast theme that works really well and is really a lot of fun.
The mechanic of having the Bait move to the player on the right while gameplay moves to the left assures you that there will be turns when someone is not the Bait, thus allowing you dedicated turns to screw your friends over. Not the Bait? Time to get to work tripping up your friends so the Zombies can eat their brains instead, and save up some cards for when it’s your turn as the Bait. Oh wait, now you are the Bait? Well…try to find a way to make someone else the Bait, or get to work taking out Zombies.
There is also a fair amount of luck in the game. Depending on the current Horde and the cards you have in your hand, your turn as the Bait can be really simple or incredibly difficult. If you don’t have the right card, you are Zombie food. But, most of the cards are repeated several times, so there are times that you draw just the card you need in order to make it out alive, at least for the moment. I for one, was always surprised when I actually died.
The cards themselves are pretty great. The artwork is just dark enough, without being too creepy, and also humorous. All in all a pretty fun. The text is easy to read and tells you just what you need to know without being wordy. There is some flavor text on some of them, but not to the point of becoming annoying.
The game brags that it sets up in less than a minute, and it is pretty much that easy to teach too. That is because the concept is very simple. Draw cards. Play cards. Don’t Die. The gameplay is really fun and doesn’t suffer due to the simplicity. I’m sure it would be easy to add in new Weapon cards, new Locations, new Supplies (and those may be stretch goals), but it doesn’t really need all that. It’s pretty great as is.
I know there are like 45 other games about Zombies. But, we need this one. It takes all the best things about a Take That game like Munchkin and does it in way less time – around 20 minutes. This game is great because it lets you take on your friends instead of only the Zombies. Plus the less people that are left in the game, the faster it feels, because you are the Bait on almost every one of your turns.
All you have to do is survive. Just long enough.
Bullets and Teeth is fun, quick and ruthless. This is one Zombie game that will definitely be staying in my collection. Ninja Approved!
Last Ditch Games sent us a copy of BUllets and Teeth in exchange for an honest review, which is what we’ve provided.