Building Better Board games Together

Unpub Preview: Dead End

One of our upcoming events is Protospiel-Milwaukee (and Mid-West Unpub.) This is not an event I will be able to attend, and it is being managed by James Mathes of Minion Games. Games coming to Protospiel-Milwaukee register through a different entity, and by doing so don’t get a page here on This is our first time with this type of partnership and we’re testing these policies out. One way we can support the games and designers coming to this event is through these previews. So, today we continue our series of previews of games coming to Protospiel- Milwaukee.

The last game in this series of previews is Chevee Dodd and Neil Robert’s aptly named Dead End. It’s a card driven zombie game that I played last year at Origins. I have no doubt it’s been through many changes, so I’m curious to see how this one turns out. You’ll get a chance to play it at Protospiel- Milwaukee and should.

Here, let Chevee tell you about the development of his Dead End game involving the undead!

What was your inspiration for Dead End? I love zombies, but most zombie games are either A) thematic, but slow and boring or B) fast but lacking a connection between theme and mechanics. I wanted to design a zombie game that both ties the theme to the mechanics and plays quickly and fun.

What is your favorite part of Dead End? The players are near death from the first few turns of the game and it is a constant struggle to survive while also trying to knock out your opponents.

To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Dead End? Most players have commented about how well the theme is tied to the mechanics.

What has been the most challenging part of designing Dead End? Keeping it fun. As one of my two design goals, I have struggled with it the most. Neil stepped in to help me after months of frustration and has ironed out many of the wrinkles holding it back.

What advice would you give to players attempting Dead End for the first time? Worrying about yourself is not going to win the game. You also have to concentrate on taking your opponents down!

What has surprised you most in play-tests of Dead End? Trash talking. Typically, when I hear trash talking, that means the players are into the game. I am always surprised when people get into my games on that level.

People who like___________ will like Dead End. Why?  Zombies and Lunch Money. It’s zombies, it’s take-that… it’s a struggle to survive.

What do you hope to accomplish at  Protospiel-Milwaukee (and Mid-West Unpub)?  I have not tested the new version that Neil has been working on and I’m excited to bring this out again and get some valuable feedback from new players.

Tell us anything else you want to say about Dead End that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already. I got John Moller to play it once… and he HATES zombies… but he liked my version! 🙂 (ED: This is true.)

Make it your first game, make it you last game…whatever you do, don’t END your time at Protospiel- Milwaukee without playing Dead End!


Other Protospiel- Milwaukee games that we have previewed:

Arsenal by Keith Matejka

Author: Darrell Louder

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