Growing up, designer Andrew Rowse had two close friends with muscular dystrophy – a muscle wasting disease where the sufferer’s muscles become progressively weaker. Physical activities became closed off to his friends – but the three of them were still able to connect over their love for video games. As Andrew says, when you’re in the heat of a video game playing with friends, no one cares about disabilities anymore – everyone is equal.

Now it is easy to see why he created a boardgame and put it on indiegogo called Zombies at my Heels, where all profits go to supporting Special Effect, a charity dedicated to helping all young people with disabilities enjoy computer games.

Zombies at your Heels is a really fun little filler game in which players try to get points by getting their survivors into the rescue bunker. The game revolves around a straight line of players’ characters:  safety at one end, looming maws of the zombie horde at the other.

The game is genuinely good fun: during our review sessions we had people quoting lines from every Zombie film they knew and whenever a survivor was eaten everyone would make hideous, gargling Zombie noises.

Anyone that has seen a Zombie film can instantly recognize the archetypal characters that feature: “Surprisingly Heroic Gangster”, “Pushy Businessman” and the “Inspirational Chopper Pilot” to name a few. Of note are the Tragic Teenage Girl and the Tragic Teenage Boy that are destined to get the player victory points by being torn apart (literally) by the menacing zombies.

I spoke with Andrew at the recent UK Games Expo and I was very happy to hear his motivations and reasons behind the game:

[Special Effect] open up a world to disabled young people that I love being in, and by doing so help those young people fit in. […] Charities like Special Effect help make less fortunate people’s lives better. Several of my colleagues at Rocksteady Studios felt similarly, so we decided to run the Great British 10k Marathon on behalf of Special Effect. [But] I really don’t like asking people to donate money on my behalf, so I made a boardgame that I thought people might like to play on its own merit and donate all profits to charity.


1. Fun gateway game.

2. All profits to charity.

3. $15 delivered anywhere in the world.

4. Go and buy it.