Pandemic’s latest iteration (Rapid Response) sees the game swap its map-based shenanigans for the skies. Instead, you're in a mega plane that can dispense vital aid all over the world. To do so, players will roll dice against the clock in order to meet the specific needs of various cities around the world. This is a real time co-operative game from Kane Klenko, who has previous experience with real time dice games in Flatline and Fuse.
The game comes with some gorgeous marbled dice and the usually array of recognisable city cards and characters with unique powers. The board represents the inside of your plane and around the outside is the track that shows you where in the world you currently are. Inside the plane you are resented by a pawn in the same colour as your dice. On your turn you roll your dice, with up to two re-rolls, and use them for various actions. You can use any icon to move into an adjacent room, the plane icon can be used to move the plane and drop supplies and the rest of the icons are all linked to one of the five machines.
To place a dice and use the machine you must be in the same room. Each machine has similar placement rules with a certain amount of dice having to be placed at once ranging from 1-3. Once you have met a certain level the machine produces a cargo cube which you move to the cargo bay. A quick roll of the dice used will tell you how much waste is generated. Waste is one of the ways you can fail the game, the other is running out of time.
Each player will get ample opportunity to be involved due to the turn like structure of Rapid Response. Multiple players can contribute to the same machine, so you have to work out whether you best efforts are spent helping at the same machine or wondering off to do something else. Completing a city gives you extra time whereas having to turn over the egg timer results in another city card being played to the board for you to help. Once you are used to saving the world you can add in challenge cards for extra difficulty.
Pandemic: Rapid Response is a different take on a familiar world, but one that is true to its roots.
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 20 Minutes