Review: Virulence – infectious card came?


Many people think the virus, that gets into the body, has already won. But this is not true at all. As soon as I cross the first line and get in, the real challenge and battle begins. The antibodies and various protective mechanisms jump me and try to repell me back outside. Sometimes it is too much and I have to go back and look for another host. It is a constant struggle for the survival.

That’s what John J. Covey will tell us, if we ask. What’s more, he even gives us the chance to become viruses and try to survive in hostile environment of the human body! All this in  card game, created under auspices of Genius Games and illustrations created by Matt Franklin. The game came out in  thanks to the successful campaign on  server (1125 fans with over 20 thousand dollars support).

In blue box with the action scene, where viruses invade cells, hides a deck of cards. It will not surprise us. Virtually all (except for some bonus ones) have some viruses and their parts printed on them. At the beginning of game, player sets thirty-three starting cards aside, ie those with numbers from one to six and one reassortment card. There are also four special bonus cards in the stack that are shuffled and only the top one is revealed. The rest of the cards then create a drawing stack in the center of the table.


At the beginning of each round, players reveal several viruses in the shared stack. Their number corresponds to the number of participants in the game. Based on this offer, each of the opponents then decides to play one of their cards in front of them, and so far in secret down with the picture. And on the basis of the selected values, that are collectively revealed, players can choose cards from offer in order from the highest bid to the lowest value.

The card will be placed either in the player’s scoring pile or in player’s deck according to its type. However, it is not possible to increase number of cards. Instead, for a new virus, the player must discard one card from his deck and no longer be able to use it in the game. Other cards then add (or subtract) points from the player’s score, which will be important only at the end of the game.

In case two or more opponents play the same value, the draw must be resolved. And they simply use a pair of dice. Sum of rolls then determines who will be able to choose first. However, the value of the dice can be increased if the player has used one of the mutated viruses. As a special ability, he can add a few points to a comparative result.


Bet cards remain on the table, so players could not use them immediately again. Only after rest card is played (instead of the betting card number) player can take all the cards back into his hand and use them again in the following roudns. This action, however, costs whole round and possibility of getting a new virus into collection.

But you also have to remember bonus cards, which are still a matter of interest. The player can get it if he can create a set of cards according to the assignment. Then, after collecting his reward, he turns a new bonus card. And the whole collection of viruses, cards and dots continues until the whole package is exhausted. This is the end of the game and players add up their points for cards and even sets. The one, who has most of them is the winner.

Virulence is a simple card game about collecting sets and building deck. Players must maintain a balance between improving their actions and collecting points. Only then can you get most points of all.


The whole effort is decided by the ability of players to push in the right moment and offer a higher card. At the same time, he must have his hands, because each value can be used once and then again after sacrificing one whole turn.

The whole mechanics are nothing new. Games with similar progress are definitely already on the market, but Virulence can forget about them. That’s because it’s all beautifully smooth, fun and variable. In addition, the game does not last for more than thirty minutes, which is the ideal timeout for such a relaxation.


The game works much better if there is more participants in play. There is a choice of more cards and possible variants. At the same time, however, there are usually much more dice decisions because of draws. The dice are rolled very regularly, but usually, thanks to the use of two dice, one hour is enough for any number of participants.

The theme is interesting, but it is not somehow connected with the mechanisms. Thanks to this, it does seem that it got its coat after finishing the whole gameplay section. On the other hand, processing itself is fine and game looks pretty nice and colorful.


Virulence is a good card game where you have to bluff, tacticize and get new cards. Aligning everything is the right way to victory that will test players‘ skills and their luck. Together, Virulence plays on the more relaxing note of those interested in games and it does it well.

DesignerJohn Coveyou, Paul Salomon
ArtistMatt Franklin
PublisherEdiciones MasQueOca, Genius Games
Year Published2016
# of Players2 - 5
User Suggested # of Players Best with 5 players
Recommended with 3, 4 players
(10 voters)
Playing Time20
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
User Suggested Ages6 and up
(3 voters)
CategoryBluffing, Deduction, Dice, Medical, Number
MechanicAuction/Bidding, Betting and Bluffing, Deck, Bag, and Pool Building, Dice Rolling, Hand Management, Push Your Luck, Set Collection, Simultaneous Action Selection, Variable Player Powers
FamilyMedical: Diseases, Series: Science Games (Genius Games), Theme: Biology, Theme: Science
Primary NameVirulence: An Infectious Card Game
Alternate NamesVirulence

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Virulence – infectious card came?
Final word
Virulence is a good card game where players fight for a joint bid. They always has to sacrifice one card from hand and they cannot use it again until sacrificing one full turn. Game requires tactical thinking and luck in dice, that together give chances to win. The game is fun and does everything well. An exception is perhaps only match in two, that lacks the necessary tension. Virulence is despite this a great card game.
Reader Rating0 Votes
more scoring options
upgrading cards
great in high numbers
matching game time
collecting sets
weaker in two
theme for decoration only
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