We have played a number of games about global pandemics and viruses being on the loose, but none have been as intense as Save Patient Zero. In this strategic board game, your team of doctors and the other team of doctors are both racing to find the cure, as fast as possible, racing right up until one of you does it.
Using a big divider, you each have your own little station with your team. We used an app AI that processes all of the two team’s data, but you can decide to assign a person that role — it’s just not very fun for them, which is why we used the companion app.
In front of each team, there’s a massive, drawable board (it’s a bunch of papers) which show all of the different forms and cell structures that you have to whittle down. Your goal is to eliminate the elements that are not in the cure, and find the right order, to then submit it and win the game.
When it comes to figuring out what elements you will need in the end, there are a lot of different cards that will be played. You have a set deck of these moves, and will be deciding, each round, what you want to do. Some eliminate loads of the forms on the board, like through the sampling cards, while others can eliminate ones in an area around a specific form. Some have you adding up numbers while others have you hacking the other team, to find out what their move was and what data they got.
There are a lot of different actions to do and learning these actions are really interesting. Using the right action at the right time can really bring clarity to which form you will need to select and what order they will be in. Some focus on the number of the different forms, others on the color — all of these details really do help in the game.
Once you have figured out the pattern, you can submit it. You can only be incorrect once, so your team needs to be solid on the result. One thing about Save Patient Zero, however, is that the team that goes first on each round is the team that selected their action first. This timing is really key in the game, as there are a lot of benefits from going first and even submitting your results first.
When it comes to Save Patient Zero, both teams will be submitting their results at the same time or within one turn of each other. It’s a ‘down to the wire’ game, where both parties can really make it to the end at the same time, even though they use different moves to discover what can be used and what is not a part of the cure. Our tabletop group really enjoyed the game and we ended up playing it several times, getting quicker and quicker at finding the solution.
Having to decide, quickly and under pressure, from a bunch of different and limited moves is a really challenging way to try to find a cure. Especially when the other team is hacking you!
You can find Save Patient Zero on Amazon.