Once upon a time there lived a beautiful, yet spoiled princess. Her fondest dream was to rescued by a handsome knight. However, as she grew bored of waiting, she asked her gardener to build her a maze. Not just any maze, but an enchanted maze. With a mini castle in the middle. She waited and waited and waited for her knight to come. Unbeknownst to her, no one knew she was there. In her mini castle, her only companion was a rat…a zombie rat. Eventually the rat decided to take a bite of the princess. The scream that came out of the princess was so loud, the entire kingdom heard and knights began making their way to rescue the princess. However, the princess was no longer waiting for her knight in shining armor. She was very hungry and waiting for her lunch to come through the maze to her.
What Is Zombie Princess?
Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze is a competitive tile placement game for 2-5 players, ages 10 and up, and takes about 45-60 minutes to play. It’s currently available at your FLGS as well as online retailers including Amazon and sells for $39.99 for a copy of the game. Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze was designed by Andrew Beardsley and published by WizKids, with illustrations by Lou Luke Webb and Graphic Design by Renee Lasater.
Zombie Princess Components
Here is what you get in the box:
- 1 Board
- 4 Princess castle pieces
- 4 Key tokens
- 48 Maze tiles
- 4 Knight standees and bases
- 4 Zombie Knight standees and bases
- 1 Zombie Princess standee and base
- 20 Extra action tokens (for advanced play)
- 1 Zombie Princess die
The board is divided up into a 7 x 7 grid where you can place the maze tiles. The castle is placed in the center and the knights start out in the four corners.
The Princess castle is easily assembled for play and then disassembled to return to the box.
The standees are a thick, clear plastic with images painted on them. The slide into the bases. Each knight standee also has a matching zombie standee. There is also a standee for the Zombie Princess.
There are four starting tiles and 44 regular maze tiles. There are several different designs which allow for some crazy mazes. Each tile is divided into four square spaces.
There is a key token for each knight. The Zombie Princess die has six sides and is used to determine if the Zombie Princess gets a turn and how far she can move.
There are four different types of extra action tokens. These are used for advanced gameplay. They give players an extra action during their turn where they can remove a maze tile and return it to the pile, rotate an occupied tile, place a maze tile on any unoccupied space, or slide a maze tile one space orthogonally.
How to Play Zombie Princess
You can download a copy of the rulebook here.
The goal of the game is to be the first knight to enter the center of the maze with their key. If a player is the Zombie Princess, they win if they can turn all of the knights into zombies.
Start off by placing the map board in the middle of the play area. Assemble the castle and place it in the center of the map. Find the four corner maze tiles, the tiles with the light-colored back, and place them in the four corners of the board. Now each player selects one of the four knights along with its matching zombie knight and key of the same color. Knights are positioned on the corner tiles with the sigil of their color. Then place each knight’s key on the diagonally opposite corner tile.
Place the Zombie Princess standee in the center of the map, in the castle. Next, mix all of the maze tiles together face down. Each player draws three maze tiles and places them face up in front of them. Place the remaining maze tiles into several stacks positioned where players can easily access them. The bravest player will go first or you can randomly choose instead. You are now ready to play the game.
The game is divided into turns, each with two phases: The Zombie Princess phase and the Knight Phase. After a player completes their Knight phase, the player to the left starts their turn.
Zombie Princess Phase
At the start of a turn, the currently player rolls the Zombie Princess die. If the ‘X’ is rolled, the Zombie Princess phase is skipped and the player continues onto the Knight phase. However, if anything else is rolled, the player gets to control the Zombie Princess. During this phase, the player can do three actions in any order: place a maze tile, rotate a maze tile, and move the Zombie Princess. To place a maze tile, take one of the three in front of you and place it orthogonally adjacent to the tile the Zombie Princess is on. If no adjacent, open space is available, do not place a maze tile. When rotating a tile, you can rotate any unoccupied maze tile, the tile with the Zombie Princess, or the center castle. Moving the Zombie Princess depends on the die roll. Move her one tile space if you roll a ‘I’, 2 spaces for a ‘II’, and 3 spaces for a ‘III’. If you roll a ZR for Zombie Rampage, you can move her as fast as she can go along an open path of squares. The Zombie princess cannot move onto or through corner maze tiles and one she leaves the castle, she can move through it but not stop inside it. After the player has completed as many of these actions as possible, advance to the Knight phase.
The Knight is able to take the same three actions as the Zombie Princess in any order. You can place a maze tile adjacent to the tile your Knight is on. You can rotate any unoccupied maze tile, the maze tile your Knight is on, or the center castle. You can move your Knight through open paths in the maze as far as you want. After the last action has been taken, the player draws maze tiles form the stacks so they have three in front of them at the end of their turn. The Knights are trying to get across the map to get their key. When they reach the squares with the key, they must stop. Take the key and place it in front of you. You can’t move any further this turn.
If the Zombie Princess or a Zombie Knight moves and is able to land on a square with a Knight, they instead stop at the square in front of the Knight. Turn the Knight into a Zombie Knight. If your Knight is trapped by Zombie Knights and/or the Zombie Princess and you can’t move your Knight, they you automatically become a Zombie Knight. Players with Zombie Knights still play the two phases as before. However, during their Knight Phase, they can only move up to 2 maze tiles and have the same movement restrictions as the Zombie Princess. They are no longer trying to get the key, but instead are trying to turn the other Knights into Zombie Knights.
The game ends in one of two different ways. The first Knight to enter the center castle with the key in their possession is the winner. The rest are stuck for eternity in the enchanted maze with the Zombie Princess. However, if the Zombie Princess has turned all of the Knights into Zombie Knights, the Zombie Princess is the winner.
Why You Should Play Zombie Princess
Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze is a fun, yet challenging game to play. While the rules are fairly simple and straightforward, there is also a bit of strategy and tactics involved as well. When moving the Zombie Princess, you want to go after your opponents while also keeping the undead royal away from your Knight. Rotating tiles can help you get where you need to go or can be used to cut off opponents or even open up paths for the Zombie Princess. As a result, the game does have a ‘take that’ element and keeps players on their toes and engaged.
In addition to the regular rules, you can also play with a fifth player as the Zombie Princess. That player gets 3 maze tiles in front of them and during the Zombie Princess phase, they roll the die and perform the actions until an ‘X” is rolled. You can also play with one player as the Zombie Princess in 3 and 4 player games as well. As you are ready for a challenge, add the extra action tokens to the game. Give each Knight player 3 of these tokens which they keep in front of them face down. Place the rest in a pile face down. During the Knight phase, a player can use one of these tokens for an extra action. They then return the token to the box and draw another. When the supply of tokens runs out, no more are drawn. The four different types of actions on the tokens let you do actions that are not normally allowed and further add to the strategy of the game.
My family and I really enjoyed playing Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze. The rules are easy to learn and teach to others. Setup is quick and within a matter of minutes, you can have the game ready to go and the rules explained to new players. In fact, the best way to learn the game is to play. Even thought the game has zombies, the art is family friendly and not gruesome. There are no body parts falling off, nor blood or gore. I like the randomness of the Zombie Princess phase. We had several turns in a row where they phase was skipped and at other times, the Zombie Princess was on a rampage and moving all over the maze. Since the game plays in an hour or less, this is a great choice if your time is limited or if you have more time, you can play 2-3 games in a sitting. If you are looking for an accessible game with thinking and a fun theme to play with your family or game group, I recommend Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze. It also makes a great gift
For more information, visit the Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze webpage!
Click here to see all our tabletop game reviews.
To subscribe to GeekDad’s tabletop gaming coverage, please copy this link and add it to your RSS reader.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.
Click through to read all of “Help Your Knight Get to Safety in ‘Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze’” at GeekDad.If you value content from GeekDad, please support us via Patreon or use this link to shop at Amazon. Thanks!