Review: Plague Inc The Board Game – infect the world!
A world full of defenseless people, whose organisms have so many weak spots. This is exactly what can make all the diseases happy. They are waiting for their opportunity, hidden deep under the ice or under the crust of volcanic troughs. When the time comes, it will fly out and infect everyone. And then it will be like an avalanche moving towards civilized world and at the end of it will be an apocalypse!
Nothing less than to infect whole world will be your target in Plague Inc. The Board Game. And as the title suggests, this box builds on both the idea and the story of a successful digital game. James Vaughan, Peter Choate and Rosanna Vaughan made this variation for us and went on to produce it in Ndemic Creations. It was released by the end of 2016 and Esdevium Games is distributing it in Europe. At its inception was tested on Kickstarter, where it got support of 6500 fans.
The box indicates large things not by its size that is usual (it could be compared to Pandemic), but rather with red color and biohazard symbol. Player can also be expecting a red-colored map of the world with positions for cards on all continents. Only numbers ranging from three to five for the most populated areas are making continents different. This board creates a base in the middle of the table, while the players themselves each get colored board and place it with bacterium side up in front of themselves. Color at the same time determines shade of the tokens.
To this moment, all participants get five card of attributes, remaining package is shuffled and remains in the middle. There is a place for it as well as for other piles of cards on the stock board, together with cards of events and countries. From the last named package, however, it is necessary to eliminate starting countries marked with a red dot and give one to each of the opponents. The remaining cards of will produce a drawing deck and the opening three cards are revealed. Players then land their country card in the corresponding continent and mark it with one cube of their disease. In turn, they also place scoring tokens on the DNA points scale.
Players alternate on turn and each time they go through five stages. Beginning of each round is purely about point-winning. For every controlled country, where player has the most cubes, he receives a one-point receipt. He then draws one card of the country – he can choose from the three in the offer or take the top card out of the pack without knowing its identity. Once he holds it in his hand, he immediately has to decide, what to do with it. He may either place it on board in a position on the appropriate continent or discard it and completely replace the hand with cards of attributes.
Every disease develops with time. At the beginning, each has only a few points of infection and mortality. But with newly added cards on one of five evolutionary positions, individual illnesses will start to differ significantly. Each such card also has its price in the upper left corner. So the player has to spend his DNA points on the scale and only then he can play property card at any position on his board. There is a total of six different features – different spreading or resilience options, that can be combined, but players may also increase efficiency of their disease.
Apart from the already mentioned numerical properties, players can also use special actions. These are the evolutionary properties, that bacteria have gained over the years. Two are visible at the beginning. Each turn, player may only use one card from the hand even if the player has enough points to play more new features.
Only the fourth stage in the round is the infection of the world itself. Here, spreading of disease is subject to climatic conditions – while it can spread without limits between neutral climates, it needs a certain level of resistance in hot or cold weather. At the same time, it must also be a city within reach – either on the same continent, or disease needs to be earthborn or waterborn. For every point of infection that has the disease currently developed, a player can place one cube on city on the board. By omitting a given stage, a player may also use a special disease outbreak skill (unless he overlaps with another card) and can spread to locations, that would otherwise be out of reach.
Once there are no free cities in the country (= all cities are infected), people will start to die. But the player must control that country in the role of his illness (= most cubes). Then he adds up level of mortality on all property cards of his sickness and tries to roll the same or lower number with the help of the dice. If he succeeds, all players collect one point for each cube of their color in the ruined country. Each player also gets one event card, which they can use at any time later.
The given country card is removed from the map and game continues. When the last country card is played, then game enters final phase named Collapse of the world. Players continue to spread until one of them no longer has cubes on the map (after evaluating destroyed country, cubes always return to their master possession). They will then add extra rewards for active features of their illness, dominance on the continent, and majority of cities belonging one country. The player with the highest total is the winner!
Plague Inc is a game, in which you take care of the end of the world. Gradually, but only in a few weeks, diseases spread all over the planet and will wipe out most of humanity. And who else could enjoy it more than the players and their entrusted bacteria?
First and foremost, thanks to this original theme, the game is interesting and entertaining. But as soon as the newness goes out, is it still good enough to play it again and again? The answer is not unambiguous and (as it has been many times before) depends mainly on your relationship to luck. You have to rely not only on getting the right card at the right moment, but you still need the dice roll to destroy a country. These successes have a significant impact on the resulting score and can discourage some players.
But then there are others who will approach this box differently. As a pastime, in which it is all about becoming the most deadliest creature. The sense of destruction is really great, because all the conceivable lands fall to ashes. It does not matter how advanced their army is, how their political systems are done. One after another they fall into the joints of untreatable diseases and into oblivion of the new world order.
The game is a bit scary at the same time. Nowadays, when flying is so terribly accessible, one has to ask – at the threshold of what disaster we live in? Still, you just do not admit that something like that could happen and you just enjoy yourselves. There may be less players in the match of this game, but the rivalry of dominance over specific states and their cities is best in higher numbers. With more cube colors and more illnesses, the game gets the true rival spirit. Fortunately, however, it keeps the course fast enough and rarely exceeds hourly limit.
The game gives all participants a great freedom to improve their entrusted diseases. And that is also the main element that will make you entertained in the following matches as well. At the same time, it remains extremely easy to explain to others within minutes. In addition, as a bonus, there are other variants with viruses, various additional rules and also a solitary version. And this is interesting, even though the player is fighting a „AI“.
What could certainly be better is graphics. It remains faithful to its computer version. Unfortunately, there is not many illustrations and player’s plans are made of hard paper only. On the other hand, the cubes are colorful plastic hexagons and give the game a little bit of color. But the predominance of red could be too much for somebody.
Plague Inc is ultimately a game of control over territories. This is main focus giving players points. But the theme itself, which moves humanity into the role of a mere spectator, and on the main stage presents several indestructible illnesses, is sufficiently tempting. That’s why Plague Inc is sure to get a lot of attention and we do not have to warn you, because this game is not only based on a very successful digital original, but it’s also interesting and entertaining standing alone.
Review: Plague Inc The Board Game – infect the world!
Plague Inc: The Board Game shows humanity at its end. There are several diseases spreading across the country that competes with each other for most kills. The end is clear, because everything ends with the last person. But who will be the most successful disease in human history? This is the last question we do not answer to yet. Players will try to solve it, improve their own disease and spread across cities and continents. Collecting points is just the icing on the cake, for which you also need a good dose of luck. Plague Inc is an interesting game that is varied, entertaining and original.