July 29, 2009

Pandemic: On the Brink Rules Preview


Please Note: Pandemic On the Brink has been released!Click Here for Full Details

The cooperative board game Pandemic [Amazon, Funagain] was one of those clean and simple hit games from last year, putting players in control of a team of scientists trying to eradicate the world of numerous viral and bacterial outbreaks. The game sported simple rules, colorful components, and fast gameplay. Plus, cooperative board games have become all the rage lately.

Now it's only a few short weeks before the Pandemic's expansion On the Brink [Amazon, Funagain] hits shelves (August 2009), and as a nice treat the Pandemic rules are on the game's official preview page.

We had already written about some of the details of the new expansion back in April, including some of the card previews. But now we have all the rules to peruse. So what's new? First, the game allows five players to participate now instead of the old four. This rocks of course, since 4 players is a tad too small for most gaming groups.. like, say, ours. The game also sports 8 new Roles that players fulfill, each including special rules, or special actions that the player can use to contribute to his or her team's success.

But some of the coolest new aspects are in the expansions new game modes, which have been dubbed Challenges, that can be mixed and matched to make the game more difficult or interesting. The Virulent Strain Challenge takes one of the game's existing viruses and randomly makes it even more potent and difficult to control and cure. The Mutation Challenge adds a fifth (purple) disease that latches on to other diseases, spreading along with them.

The Bio-Terrorist challenge is the most unique. It sets a fifth player the role of a bioterrorist antagonist who's running around the planet infecting cities, destroying research facilities and just causing general havoc. The bioterrorist remains hidden from view from all the players (its controller keeps track of his/her position on a special map pad) and 'surfaces' whenever they're in the same city as the other players, which should keep things pretty interesting... so long as you don't play with a cheater!

While the original Pandemic is a fun romp, these new features should definitely bring the game to new heights without making things complicated. We're looking to getting our hands on it thi August. We'll let you know as soon as it starts shipping.

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at July 29, 2009 4:03 PM

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