Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Build A Cure
Publisher: SkyDeveloped Games Designer: Paul Hinton Player Count: 1-6 Age Appropriateness: 8+ Playtime: 30-45 Minutes
“Build A Cure is a cooperative strategy game in which you and your team avoided a nuclear explosion. However, the bunker that saved you was a storehouse for some of the world's worst diseases. The shockwave of the explosion caused the containment vials to break. It is up to you and your team to work together to build the chemical compounds to cure the diseases before you run out of resources. You may see your team experience symptoms and even contract more diseases that could hurt your chances of survival. Remember, the longer you stay, the more you are exposed. If you can manage to cure all of the diseases before you run out of resources, you win and can live to see another day.” If escape rooms or doomsday scenarios are up your thing this game will be right up your alley!
Use elements and bonds to create compounds to cure all of the diseases that your team is infected with. Win the game by eradicating all of the diseases that are in play. If you can't eliminate them before the resources run out, then you lose the game and everyone dies a slow and painful death, locked in the shelter. Each turn every player will have the chance to complete three actions from the following options: Place an Element Play a Bond Card Give a Card to Another Player Make sure to bond, or get your team to bond, your elements before the start of your next turn, or you will lose your precious elements! Also, be cautious not to hold too many cards, because at the end of your turn you will have to discard down to your card limit! Every resource is vital!
What We Think
Gameplay & Rules When I first heard about Build A Cure I immediately thought to myself, “Meh, another Pandemic rip-off that brings me nothing new.” Boy was I wrong! This gameplay is completely different from Pandemic and it provides a unique experience giving you a thematic mashup of Pandemic and Escape Rooms. You truly begin to feel pressure to build a cure as fast as possible. The designer has done a great job of finding the balance of providing a game that is easy to learn, yet hard to win. As we played we found that we wouldn’t be able to coast through to victory, but we would have to seriously work as a team and be tedious in our decision making since one wrong move can result in losing a very important resource. Personally I felt as if the fate of our team was in our own hands more than I did with Pandemic. All games with dice or card drawing have some element of luck, but the design of this game in my opinion lessened the feel of luck having too much power! Every single turn you must make the risky decision to utilize your hand now or save it for a safer time, which more often than not isn’t an easy decision to make. Play an element when your team isn’t prepared to bond and you suddenly take a big step backwards in your efforts. This all seems to point towards it being a strategy card game (which I believe it 100% is), but every play seemed to feel more like an enjoyable party game due to its cooperative/escape room nature. Personally I have not played a card game that utilizes this theme this well while also combining the mechanics of hand management and a variant of resource management. (EDIT: The solo mode that was added to the final game is so enjoyable. It definitely gives the same feel as you experience tension while watching your rupply deck dwindle way.)
Components & Art
Components for card games are typically minimal, but I think SkyDeveloped did a great job of meeting the industry standard when it comes to components. Since this is a review of the unfinished product I can’t say how good they’ll ultimately get as stretch goals are met on the Kickstarter release, but I do know the base game with no stretch goals works just fine for me! (EDIT: The cards for the final game are phenomenal quality and the box insert is great!) Plus, there will be an insert! I’m a geek about inserts and feel like often times card games miss out to leave a messy pile of cards in the box to sort through prior to playing, but that won’t be an issue here! Take a look at the card count as well, this for most people will be a lot of bang for your buck! The only negative I can find here is the artwork isn’t quite on par with some other games I have backed in the past year such as The Grimm Forest, Spirits of the Forest, or Dinosaur Island, but it’s not poor by any means!
Here at Green Akers Games we love games. It sometimes can be difficult to be a reviewer since almost every game has at least something to love about it! So what we like to do is simply let our readers/viewers know if we think this game is a game we’d choose to pay for, play, and recommend to others without hesitation. A 3 out of 3 is a perfect score while anything less means the game has missed the mark somewhere in our eyes! We chose to do this in addition to our star system above because a game should not be deemed “bad” just because better games exist! Please keep in mind, our perception of or feelings about any game should not trump your feelings about that game. We believe that if a game interests you that you should at least give it a shot! Utilize your local FLGS or local gaming group to test out games before you decide to go all in!
Build A Cure gets a 3/3 from us as it is a game we will happily pay for given the price point and what you get for your money. We also would absolutely have no problem putting this in the game bag regularly to have as a play option. Lastly, we would recommend this game without hesitation. This does not mean YOU will love this game as not every game is for everyone, but here at GAG we think SkyDeveloped Games has gotten off to a great start in the publishing world with Build A Cure!
Be sure to check out our video review below for a bit more info on Gameplay and Components! We’d also love you to join us in the comments section with your thoughts! Create a member profile and let us know what you think!