Review – Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

A cooperative, hand management game.

Title: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

Year Published: 2014

Designer: Jonathan Gilmour, Isaac Vega

Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Players: 2-5

Game Time: ~ 100 Mins

Set-up Time: >10 Mins

Ages: 12+

Theme: Zombie Apocalypse

Mechanic: Action Point Allowance, Hand Management, Cooperative

How to win: Complete the goal as listed on your personal goal card.

Game Description

Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game. This means players are working together toward one common victory condition — but for each individual player to achieve victory, he must also complete his personal secret objective. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that’s fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or (worst of all) vengeance against the colony! Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing. Work toward the group’s goal, but don’t get walked all over by a loud mouth who’s looking out only for his own interests!

Set Up & Game Play

Once again, I will leave this in the hands of Rodney Smith from Watch It Played.

Game End

If the players complete the main goal, anyone who has completed their personal objective will win.

If morale drops to 0, all players lose. At this point, it is possible for the Betrayer to have completed their personal goal and win alone.

Round Up

This game has some great things…

Firstly, the Scenarios make the game very different each time. One game you could be killing Zombies and another you’re avoiding them just trying to survive.

Having a personal goal is great too. You have to complete it to win but sometimes you have to sacrifice something to working towards the Main scenario. This also especially important when it comes tot he crisis cards as you generally have to give up some items you need.

Of course there is no great personal goal than being the betrayer. If you’re the betrayer you’re trying to win and win alone by making the main goal fail without giving yourself away.

The Crossroad card keeps two people in the game on a players turn and adds tension when you go to take your actions.

I’ve played a few games with a betrayer mechanic in them and this one is has the best game around it.


A great “meta co-op”

I give it 8/10

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