First things first, Blood of the Zombies was a really fun book and a very worthy addition to the Fighting Fantasy series. It didn’t take itself too seriously and played around with the zombie theme in a way which would generally annoy the Romero-purist, but fitted the style of the book, nothing too deep, just cheap & cheerful.
There are a couple of criticisms I’d like to raise though. While I understand that the combat system was re-vamped to make it more exciting, facing large groups of zombies, it made combat an almost sudden-death situation. Make a bad roll and you could be getting hit for a huge amount of Stamina damage, not the 2 points we are used to. Even with the limited use grenades killing 2D6+1 zombies per attack round, there are instances where you could be taking well over 10 damage. Combined with the fact that there didn’t seem to be many ways to actually get Stamina back, Medi-kits being in very limited number, I spent a lot of time with basically no Stamina left. Yep, it’s a game book, not a novel, but I don’t have time to re-read it because I rolled a double 1 in a healthy state and got killed in one hit.
I was also a little concerned by the ending ‘puzzle’ regarding the number of zombies killed… now, spoiler-spoiler, but I counted 350 zombies felled at the end of my game. This was incorrect… fair enough I thought, I know there are things I missed. But a little Googling told me that the number was in-fact LOWER than this! Was I supposed to count every zombie, or just the ones in combat? Was I counting Yurr? Was I counting the one that killed himself in the clock-tower? What if somebody forgot to record a few? I know back in the day I never used those ‘Encounter Boxes’ on the adventure sheet… Just seemed like there is a massive margin for error and misinterpretation in making the ending work this way. Still, having said that, it’s a pretty cool idea in principle but could have maybe been worked a bit more clearly. The ‘bad’ ending that I got was pretty cool too!
Lots of things must have passed me by in the book too, the essential flak-jacket that alluded me, not to mention all the cool artwork I saw that indicated scenes I never encountered; a zombie playing drums being the one I wanted to discover the most! I did like this piece of artwork in particular though, a zombie eating fish from a tank –
Maybe I’ll give it another read one day, my map might help me find zombie drummer next time!