Last Week’s Gaming – August 5th, 2019

The steps of a Pandemic: a Contagion, a Rapid Response, and hopefully The Cure.

So this weeks game night was Pandemic dice themed! OK, only 2 of the 3 games were actually dice games, but the third was still radically different from the base so I am counting it 🙂

Dice and I have a complicated relationship. If rolling 6 of a kind will kill me, you can be sure it’s a 50/50 thing that I will roll six of a kind. That kind of relationship adds to the ‘draw a card and lose’ gameplay of Pandemic.

There are a lot of ‘the Dice Game’ variants out there. Some don’t have the same feel and miss, and some become more popular than the base game. A round of Istanbul the Dice Game anyone?

I don’t think Pandemic: The Cure is quite in the latter category, but it is a version I would like to get to the table more often. If you know players that are more interested in throwing dice than playing with cards, give Pandemic: The Cure a look.

It's very close to the original Pandemic experience, but with Dice!

Second week in a row, Pandemic: Rapid Response makes it to the table.

We had another new player, so I played it the same way as last time – no timer until we did the first city card, then the timer comes into play. Also, we didn’t play with the extra crisis cards, that additional ‘oh no’ when the timer runs out.

Another new player, same result – Rapid Response was a fun game to play. Yes, it takes a couple of rounds to start to see how everything works, but that is common among a lot of games.

Maybe next round I can play with the same group, and play with timer and perhaps crisis cards from the get-go.

I am really enjoying Rapid Response

After saving the world a couple of times (alright, once – we lost The Cure), I thought it would be time to give the virus a go.

Pandemic: Contagion was the first game I am aware of in the extended Pandemic universe, and you play as viruses trying to infect as many people as possible.

Even though the game night was Dice themed, I threw Contagion on as an end of game night choice just for something different, and it worked.

I had forgotten how much fun Contagion could be. It wasn’t a game that took the game world by storm, but it has a strong base and is a fun diversion. I am glad I pulled it back out for another round 🙂

Sick of saving the world? Pandemic Contagion may be for you!

Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (PSVR)

So something surprised me this weekend – I finished Wolfenstein Cyberpilot.
There was a bit of a story twist, but at the end of the day, it’s four levels that I think I played for about 2 hours and then saw the credits.

Looking through the trophy list I saw a few things that sound like fun and will be challenging to aim for, but while I didn’t expect an epic game I did expect more.

That said, it was fun, and I enjoyed it. I might go for the platinum. I am not sure at the moment. If I can make some time with Harls maybe I will probably try more for the Youngblood platinum, but Cyberpilot could remain a fun distraction on the side.

Good Doggy. It is fun playing the as the Panzerhund.

Beat Saber (PSVR)

Here I am, firmly back on the Beat Saber train. I haven’t been able to play as much as I wanted, but I did get to play a lot more than I have been this week.

And this week I finally got to do something I have been working on for ages with the Vive version – I finished every level of the campaign!

I have come close a couple of times, but without a cloud save for the PC I have had to start again a couple of times. Ah well, just means playing more Beat Saber!

Now to platinum Beat Saber I have mainly the Expert level trophies and some time ones to get. My goal is to have the Beat Saber platinum before PAX – wish me luck!

Expert Turn Me On with a window of required hand movement. But I cleared it eventually 🙂

Blood and Truth (PSVR)

I bought Blood and Truth when it came out, but I just hadn’t had any time to give it a try. That was unfortunate, as I had a ball trying it out Saturday afternoon.

Some tracking issues took me a while to sort out, and the start of the game has you doing next to nothing for an extended period. But once you get past that, I had a great time shooting my way through a casino, laying explosives and tagging bad guys.

I even got the ‘Bogey Man’ trophy very quickly, racking up six consecutive headshot kills.

Now I have finally started playing I will give it a better run through next weekend. But if you have a PSVR and haven’t tried it out, my take right now is it looks very promising.

And... my capture messed up and I didn't catch a screenshot. Oops. Next week.

Final Fantasy X (Switch)

Flying around a fair bit this week, I got in some quality Final Fantasy X time on the plane.

Story-wise I am still in the lightning plains partially as I am grinding a bit for sphere levels, also because I am trying to remember what the glowing cactaur stones do.

One feat for this run was winning my first league in Blitz Ball. Now I can spend some more time finishing the story, which I will need to start getting a move on with.

Sometimes you get bored and let a massively overpowered summons do your work for you

Tetris 99 (Switch)

Also on the plane, I thought I would play against the CPU a bit in Tetris 99. It is a paid add on that I bought for such occasions, so why not?

I jumped into the CPU mode, and just as I started getting into a rhythm, I won the match. I was a little confused but happy. Then I saw how many foes I KO’d.

Now I have said I consider myself an above average Tetris player with plenty of room to improve. But this taught me never to look at someone’s win screen now. I knocked out 21 level 1 CPU opponents.

I cranked the level back up to 5 and started fighting for top 10 again – more what I am used to. It was a lot of fun, but if someone tells you how good they are at Tetris and won’t play in front of you, this could be the reason!

Yeah I won't be trusting a lot of these screens again

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

A new Pandemic spin off is coming – Pandemic: Rapid Response!

So Alpal, you know how I wasn’t allowed any more Pandemic games?

So last weekend, the unpacking of the games room began.  There is still about 20 boxes to go, and I need to get some more shelves before the actual resorting can begin!

Alpal was giving me a hand (i.e. leading the charge) on the unpacking and was trying to put all of my Pandemic games together. From memory, all I am missing is the Pandemic spin-off expansion The Cure – Experimental Meds, and they weren’t sitting nicely on the shelf.  Alpal’s solution?  Ban me from buying more Pandemic games :p

Well, that rule is about to go right out of the window.  Last night, Z-Man Games announced a new Pandemic spin-off called Pandemic: Rapid Response.  Rapid Response is a real-time cooperative game from Kane Klenko of Fuse and Covert fame.

It's a theme that keeps on giving! Pandemic has another spin off game
The board already makes a lot of sense - the body of the board is your plane, with the outside the plane's location in the world

Players take on the role of an elite response team dealing with natural disasters all over the world.  This time it’s not just diseases you are dealing with!

Pandemic: Rapid Response refers as much to the theme as it does what players will need to do to win. Where in the normal Pandemic you have until you draw your card to make a decision, now you only have until the timer runs out to fix everything on the board!

Mechanically, Pandemic: Rapid Response looks like a fusion of the base Pandemic and another medical-themed Kane Klenko game – Flatline.

Players roll dice to do various tasks that boil down to rolling certain symbols to fulfill different tasks.  Movement is still sort of handled by dice, but it’s by paying/sacrificing a general die rather than rolling a specific one.

Like Fuse and Flatline, your choices are partly limited by how well you roll. And how quickly you can change plans.
It's not a Pandemic Game without different player powers

And there are the player powers. It can’t be a Pandemic game without everyone having different abilities!

Some examples are the Analyst gets more reroll opportunities, while the engineer gets to treat the plane symbol as wild (effectively).

Just like in the base Pandemic, it’s learning how these roles fit with your playstyle initially, then changing them up to increase the difficulty and help replayability.

Because you are dealing with more than ‘just’ viruses, each city needs different aid depending on what disaster has befallen it.  This helps make resources more generic, helping limit the number of resources what you need to create and manage.

But Pandemic’s requirement of needing to read the future hasn’t disappeared entirely – each city has it’s own problems, and that means it’s own solutions!  There may only be a small number of resources required in total, but stock up on the wrong ones and you will be losing cities in no time.

City cards are of course returning, and show what that city will need to help it

So today I have given general gameplay thoughts, but in a more definitive way than other game announcement articles. That’s because Rodney Smith of Watch It Played has already got a rules video up!

You don’t need to be a Pandemic fan to play Pandemic: Rapid Response.  It’s a completely self-contained game that while in the Pandemic universe, backstory and previous game mechanics won’t really be of help.

And we won’t have to wait long to play it either!  In the US, Pandemic: Rapid Response is a Target exclusive, and their website has the launch date of 15/6/2019.  Rapid indeed!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD