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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > June (#31) > Pandemic: Rapid Response

Pandemic: Rapid Response

Pandemic: Rapid Response takes the disease-curing hit to new heights with a battle to save the world in real time. In an exclusive reveal interview, designer Kane Klenko tells us about his thrilling new direction for the co-op series


“I think any good game involves a certain amount of stress on the players.” Kane Klenko is well accustomed to getting players’ hearts racing. Since his 2014 tabletop debut, appropriately titled Pressure Cooker, the designer has specialised in realtime games that pit players against the relentless tick of the clock. Luckily, they don’t have to face the challenge alone; with the exception of this year’s single-playeronly Proving Grounds, most of Klenko’s real-time games have also been fully co-op, allowing groups of players to experience their breathless pace together.

“I enjoy designing co-operative games and trying to find new ways to increase that tension,” he says. “I think that real-time games are a great way to do that. You have certain tasks that you must perform, but you must always be aware of the countdown looming in the background.”

Klenko’s mastery of stressful situations and effcient co-operation in his games makes him the perfect designer to take on the mantle of the next instalment in the Pandemic series, creator Matt Leacock’s infectiously popular collection of co-op disease-curing board games.

Pandemic has been a favourite of my wife and I since it first came out,” Klenko says. “I read about the idea before it was released and pre-ordered it, and it didn’t let us down. Matt Leacock crafted something so elegant in the way it works, while adding an everincreasing stress on the players.”

This year’s Pandemic: Rapid Response takes the series in a brand new direction, but for a long while it seemed that Klenko’s real-time reinvention of the game would struggle to get off the ground.

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