Z-Man Games has announced a new game in the Pandemic Universe, Pandemic: Rapid Response. Pandemic (2008), by designer Matt Leacock is the absolute gold standard among cooperative games, winning numerous awards over the years. However, this time around the game is a real-time dice chucker, and the designer is none other than the grand poobah of real time, Kane Klenko. Klenko designed the popular co-op games FUSE and Flatline, and is known for creating tension-filled, unique dice mechanisms.
“Pandemic: Rapid Response is a race against time. Set in the beloved Pandemic universe, this real-time board game challenges players to create supplies and deliver aid to cities in need around the world.”
In Rapid Response, players work cooperatively to fly their rescue plane to troubled cities, and drop the supplies they require. The board represents rooms within the plane, each of which specializes in a task – generating supplies, dealing with generated waste, or controlling the cargo bay in order to make the drop. Around the outside of the board is a track of cities, with a token marking the plane’s current location. City cards sit on this track and show what cargo is needed where.
Everything takes place in real time, and players take turns rolling custom dice, Yahtzee-style, with 3 rerolls allowed. One die of any face can be discarded to move the player’s marker one room within the plane. Airplane symbols on dice can move the rescue plane itself one city in either direction around the board. The rest of the die faces can be placed on matching boxes in a player’s room to generate that type of supply – either vaccines, food, power, first aid, or water. Once a resource track is filled with enough dice, players need to activate that room to generate resource cubes into the cargo bay. But making cargo creates waste, and dice need to be placed in the recycling center to reduce the buildup. Finally, activating the cargo bay delivers cubes therein, and as long as the plane is in the right city and the correct cubes are in the cargo bay, that city card is cleared. Remember, all of these actions are done during a 2-minute sand timer: When the timer runs out, a new city card is placed on the route, one time token is discarded, then the timer is flipped and the insanity continues. Players all win if all the city cards are cleared using their required resources, but lose if time tokens run out, or the plane becomes overwhelmed with waste.
Pandemic: Rapid Response will be exclusive to Target stores in the U.S., but will hit your FLGS in the rest of the world. Look for Rapid Response in stores on June 23, 2019, and for more details, check out Z-Man Games’ website here.