Play with the Zombiejäger

Very few Swedish cult films, if any at all, have been transformed into games, let alone physical board games. What may be a first is the Die Zombiejäger game, based on the 2005 low budget zombie film of the same name. 

Possibly Sweden’s first zombie movie, Die Zombiejäger (2005) shows us what could happen if Gothenburg was invaded by zombies. A virus has been spread in in the city via milk, turning people into flesh-eating, blood-sucking zombies. The police is inept and so a German zombie hunter squad is called in, led by a mad professor-like guy called Hans Buttgereitz (horror fans will get that reference). They take the ferry (!) to Gothenburg and start to kill zombies with an Uzi, throwing stars and a Colt. However, they soon run out of ammo, and need support!

Made on a budget of about 4000 euros (6000 dollars), the film is an amateur hobby production made by devoted horror fans, and while that is not uncommon, what may happen now is probably unprecedented at least in Sweden: The Zombiejäger board game is in the works. The Swedish art publisher Vildhallon has signed an agreement with director-producer Jonas Wolcher to develop the game, and the goal is to finance it with a Kickstarter campaign next winter or sometime in 2020. By then the film will have its 15th anniversary. It is still shown at film festivals and referenced in online film communities. -I love the film because it takes place in Gothenburg, and for its underground status and because it’s made with so much love and punk attitude. In spite of your eyes bleeding when you watch the film and you get spasms from it, there’s so much cool stuff in it to make games from, Vildhallon owner Mattias Dristig says.

The game will be suitable for up to five players and you’ll act out either one of the German zombie hunters or the reporter Ingela. A basic prototype has already been built and the game mechanics are already in place. Illustrator Anton Vitus Westerlund has been employed to give the game’s graphics a cartoony feeling. The Kickstarter campaign should raise around 180.000 SEK (around (17.000 euros / 19.000 USD), Dristig hopes.

-I have long wanted to see Die Zombiejäger as a game and would also like to see it in other media such as comic books and novels. The base story is so simple and strong and with such vivid characters that the brand could continue in other formats, and this is now turning into reality, Jonas Wolcher said in a press release.

Below are concept art and illustrations for the project.

Art by Anton Vitus Westerlund, courtesy of Vildhallon.