Search and Survive – Kickstarter Preview

Dillon Flaherty Board Game, Kickstarter Leave a Comment

Deckbuilding and Zombies seems like they should go hand-in-hand. Lately, Deckbuilding ends up with almost anything really.

Search and Survive is Matt Simpson’s attempt to mix in a few new elements and see how the Undead hold up!

Reviewed By

Dillon Flaherty

The Pitch – What sets this Kickstarter apart?

For all the familiarity that a Deckbuilder offers, there is also a certain level of fatigue that can strike just reading or hearing the term. Kickstarter has really turned out to be an awesome proving grounds for the ideas and concepts, and helped usher solid potential into reality.

Matt Simpson seems to be well aware of that necessity for a hook, and has incorporated some pretty interesting elements into Search and Survive that do set it apart from others of the genre.

Dice are up first, and probably the most notable. Thinking back over games such as Legendary Encounters Alien or Apex Therapod Predators, or even as far back as Thunderstone Advance I can’t recall playing a Deckbuilder that also included dice.

The inclusion of dice can be a bit polarizing as well, especially in a genre that typically creates randomness through the drawing of cards in-hand and availability of cards for acquiring. Personally, I’m very often happy to see dice (aside from Catan)! In Search and Survive they serve a wide variety of functions, including randomizing zombie activations and damage with modifiers from weapons.

A singular form of currency, in combat is the next differentiator – and this one is a big one. There is nothing as universally annoying as having a first few ultra-lame rounds in Deckbuilding games where you have a little bit of combat, a little bit of money, and it all totals up to a marginal turn that MIGHT make a future turn more interesting. Splitting currency and combat as such and having bland starting hands offers that kind of turn up often.

To their credit, more recent Deckbuilding games have added mitigation in to make the earlier turns more interesting. Combining everything into one is a great idea too, and I’m glad to see Search and Survive making it a priority!


Variable Player Powers YES, YES, YES! This is one of the biggest wins in Legendary Encounters Alien Deckbuilding Game and adding it here is an easy item to put in the plus category. This also helps make the early turns unique and would hopefully create interesting cooperative abilities between the players immediately.

Game elements interacting with each other is another interesting inclusion that has me wanting to see more. One of the problems I run into a lot when playing Deckbuilders is that the concept of min/maxing occasionally becomes the only way to succeed – against sufficient challenge. Creating a game that dynamically alters and adjusts that challenge to force players to think on their feet and react is always a good thing and goes a long way to help the game’s replayability.

Chromacast Cajon Boardgaming Bag Front

The project is off to a fair start, with a few weeks left to go! The price for the basic version is $40, with shipping to be added separately.

If you’re looking for another new Deckbuilding fix and/or need some more Zombies in your life – go head over and check out what Matt’s been working on!

Click here to check out the Search and Survive Kickstarter