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  • Writer's pictureXeo Lye

Announcing Our New Game: Zombielife Insurance

Insurance... a necessary evil that we all buy but pray that we never get to really make a claim of it. It is also one theme that was literally ignored by the game design industry. Other than a few bespoke insurance games published by insurance companies as a form of customer engagement tools, there are literally no other board games that designed a great insurance game on this difficult topic. Capital Gains Studio is well known for tackling financial theme games and we took up the challenge of developing an insurance game that is both fun and accurate in portraying how various types of insurance actually work in real life. After 2 years of intensive development, we feel that we have overcome this challenge. Introducing our next game: Zombielife Insurance!

A zombie virus has been spreading, turning people into zombies and an insurance company launches different types of insurance policies covering the different stages of zombification. Achieve victory by accumulating the most money and trying to survive the zombie virus outbreak or simply purchase insurance for that huge payout in case you do become a zombie... and start infecting the other survivors!

In this game, we tackle the age old question of what to do with your cash. Should I deploy my cash into investments or endowment savings plans to accumulate for retirement, or do I commit significant resource into insurance to protect my future income in the case something do happen to me.

We have made use of the zombie theme to denote the different types of insurance, which includes medical insurance, critical illness insurance and life insurance, using the different stage of zombification to denote the severity of a real life illness. One of the biggest challenge we had in designing the game is how to tackle the theme of "death" and making a claim on life insurance, and how to let the player continue playing despite being "dead". That's where the zombie theme comes in to save the day. In this game... You do not die, but instead become a shambling zombie going around infecting others. And the game has been designed around this premise: Living people gain money slowly over time and can win the game by letting their wealth snow-ball over time, while players who plan to become zombies, will plan around huge insurance payouts where you end the game early with a lot of wealth and try to slow down those who are living.

The players who accumulate the most wealth wins the game!

One of the key highlight of the game is how you infect others... or yourself. It resolves around the Hot Potato mechanic in which players will end their turn by drawing on a card. If they draw an infection card, they will lose health and start their zombification process. The player who drew the infection card, can now insert the deadly infection card back into the deck in any order he or she likes. That's where card counting becomes the key to winning the game and the ability to disrupt that card counting using action cards is the key in deciding who the winner is.

We also tried to integrate real life insurance concepts into the game mechanics. Key insurance concepts such as insurance getting more expensive as you buy at a later age or buying with a pre-existing condition are showcase prominently in the game. Concepts such as early policy termination penalty and maturity bonus are also designed into the endowment card, though we have to take some liberty to simplify some the mechanics as it will make the card too complex to understand for non-gamers.

The game testers who have tested the game are pleasantly surprised by the depth and balance of the game where both the zombie and the human strategy are equally strong and fun to play as the game becomes as human vs zombie game during late game. The hot potato infection mechanics also keep all players on their toes as people try to guess where that infection card is being slot based on each player's dominant strategy on the table. A game often involves tears of accusation and proclamations of innocence as players drew on an unexpected infection card. Due to COVID-19 social distancing, we will be sharing our game in small scale gatherings and on virtual online platforms for the community to try out the game.

We will be launching the game on Kickstarter in Q2 2021 so look out for more news!

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