12 May 2020
Not sure we can relate to a pandemic, seems a bit of a stretch.
You may be waiting for the Pandemic Legacy Trilogy concluding game, and straight away we can tell you that this is not that. However, instead, it’s a great-looking new compact version of the game, named Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America, the first in a series of fun-sized Pandemic games.
We had some idea of this game before today, as information about it had been leaked in February, as it was likely to be released following this. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pandemic game releases were delayed, which is understandable given some of its parallels. However, with measures in place to stay home, it brings news of the game, as well as its development.
It began in April 2018, Steve Kimball, head of Z-Man Games Studios, explained, inspired by the shorter, demo versions of Ticket to Ride that had been released. In a no-rush exchange with Matt Leacock, the designer of Pandemic, they sought to do the same for Pandemic, to create a smaller game but maintain the tension.
Doing so meant there were a few changes to be made. Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America changes include focussing on a single region, reducing diseases, reducing the cards needed to find a cure, and trimmed the actions to isolate the critical ones. After the designer tested it on his daughter, who had refused to play Pandemic before now, it was a promising development.
Though initially intending to announce the game at the New York Toy Fair, as a result of COVID-19 the plans were changed, however as marketing and brochures had already been made, news of its creation reached the public, and so a soft announcement followed to confirm the rumours – finalising now, with more detail and explanation as to what to expect.
The full announcement can be read online, in which Kimball states they "hope it brings families together, raises awareness, and facilitates many hours of cooperative fun around the table." The announcement ends with saying they’re looking for a way for the game to be tried from home (presumably in lockdown), so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for any new developments!
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