Not that long ago I wrote about the best survival board games on the market. That was before I knew about the G.O.O.D. Game (Get Out Of Dodge). If there is a more “prepper” board game than the goal of reaching your bug out cabin, I don’t know what that would like. I promptly contacted the game maker, Killswitch Bunker Games, and had one sent in the mail. Wonderful to work with, the game arrived a few days later.
Get Out Of Dodge Gameplay
The gameplay is fairly straightforward. It comes with a large, well-constructed board, Equipment cards, and two dice. Missing were game pieces that would you to represent yourself on the board, your position. I’m not sure what the board game lingo is for these, but they’re the top hat, steamship-type tokens you use in Monopoly. Well-stated, the directions tell you this is a survival game – find your own!
I sat down to play it with my wife and son. We found our own survival tokens…
The game board starts you off in Big Nasty City. You roll to advance and then follow the directions of whatever square you land on. Along the way, you pick up Gear cards that you need to use to advance. Obstacles stand in your way the entire time, but there are times when you also get lucky.
The Get Out Of Dodge gameplay is a mix of chance and strategy. The elements of chance are obvious – your roll of the dice. The skill comes in when you need to decide what Gear cards to keep and what to use or discard.
G.O.O.D. Gear Cards
You can only “carry” a maximum of 15 pieces of gear, so – if you get that much – you have to try determining what you will need for the obstacles ahead.
You also draw one Gear card at the beginning of each turn, but you must also then immediately discard a Gear card. So, you are constantly debating what to toss and what to keep. If you land on the same square as another player, you can trade Gear. If you land at a Trading Post, you also have the option of swapping out Gear.
The Gear breaks down into 7 categories:
- Cold Weather Gear
- First Aid
- Food Rations
- Gas Mask
As you would expect, you want to maintain some level of diversity in your Gear. You also want to look ahead, making sure you have plenty of Cold Weather Gear for the mountains, and plenty of H2O for the desert. You always need a healthy supply of Ammunition.
If you don’t have the Gear you need, you roll to see how many squares you go back. If you can’t satisfy the requirement of that square, you roll again to see how many squares you go back. You repeat this until you are on a square for which you have the Gear, get Gear, etc.
Survival Board Game Obstacles and Opportunities
This game is fraught with obstacles. It’s a survival game after all! You can get bit by a snake in the desert, costing you Ammunition (to shoot it) and First Aid (to recover). You might also encounter “creepy meth heads” who try to steal your gear. It costs 2 Ammunition cards to get out of that.
The worst obstacle of all, however, are the F.I.M.A. camps. You go into these when you are arrested by the Forced Incarceration Malicious Agency. You lose all of your Gear and the only way to get out is correctly rolling even or odd on your turn.
There are numerous opportunities on the board as well. You can scavenge Gear off dead bodies. You can use a Gas Mask card to access contaminated areas to grab other Gear cards. Other times you might just land on a “free” space like Shady Tree and not have to do anything at all.
Game Objective – Get to the Bug Out Cabin!
The first person to make it to the Bug Out Cabin wins.
My wife ended up getting to the cabin first, winning the game. I guess my son and I were then left behind to die in the collapse with everyone else.
The game, from start to finish, took the three of us just over one hour to finish.
Game Likes and Dislikes
I really liked the prepper theme of this game. That probably goes without saying, however. I am not sure of another survival board game that is as prepper specific as this one is. You’re bugging out. Every prepper has bug out plans of some type. The G.O.O.D. Game is good. We had fun and it incorporated different elements of humor that you don’t find in many games of this type.
The only downside I found was that the gameplay lasted a bit too long. Specifically, we each had quite a bit of difficulty advancing around two corners of the board: up and over the mountains and around the bend to the Bug Out Cabin.
This was entertaining at first, seeing each other struggle to make it through a particular area, but after a while I think we were like “just get me past this part already.”
My wife took issue with the male language of the cards and board, where it all said “guys” and so forth, as though women are not bugging out, too. At one point she tried to use this to her advantage when a card was pulled directing the play to “Grab one Gear from each other guy.”
“I’m not a guy,” she said, attempting to get around it by technicality. My son and I overruled her.
What is your favorite survival board game?