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Pandemic: On the Brink» Forums » Reviews

Subject: On the Brink of Opening the Box - A Components Review rss

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Adam Parker
Australia
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Great game design makes the complex simple, replayability maximum, and abstraction credible.
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The thing I like about Z-Man Games, is that no two games seem packaged the same way. Whether internal storage facilities are adequate for post game put away is another issue but at least with Z-Man a gamer is not stuck with a bookshelf box mentality, meaning cavernous boxes for games that don't require them.


Seeing the Box First Time

Visiting my local store today to pick up a pre-order of the game, I was struck with how effective and mood evoking the On the Brink box is, compared to its parent game.

The grunge art looks superb, truly something that will be hard to walk by without noticing. The warning "Expansion" is clearly evident and I hope stores are clever enough to shelve the two games side by side, despite the fact that their boxes are different dimensioned.


Box Size

I immediately gave Z-Man kudos for a box size just two-thirds the span of the original game. It's square, robust and deeper in height than the original game too. I couldn't wait to look inside.


Contents

Lifting the lid was a tight squeeze but once popped open a full color book half the size of the Pandemic rules sat atop a thick log pad for a Bio-terror scenario, under which sat an equally sized sheet of semi-circular stickers.

Did you notice the term "log pad"? What a change to the encounter I recently had with GMT’s Kaiser’s Pirates, in which its log pad comprised a single, solitary log sheet (in a game twice the price)!

Lifting these, the bottom of the box revealed a thick divider separating the cavern into two equal halves. Three-quarters of this space lay filled with clear plastic petrie dishes for game part storage - awaiting the application of the aforementioned stickers to their tops.

In the remaining space sat a small deck of cards to supplement the main game and a plastic baggie of 12 purple wooden cubes, 12 small-sized wooden game pawns of 12 different colors to replace Pandemic's own and a small, euro-thick, die cut cardboard sprue containing the Purple Disease icon and a square mat to place the icon on in the disease tracking area of the map.


Quality

Every single wooden piece of this offering reached me in perfectly squared and rounded condition. A couple of the light colored pawns showed some thinness in paint but I'm very satisfied with this box, this time.


Summary

Given the size of the Pandemic map board, one is entitled to ask, what are we meant to do with this smaller box once emptied?

The map won't fit in it and I had placed all of my original game parts inside the Pandemic game box, housed within a 20 compartment counter tray, usually reserved for the counters of cardboard war games. I found that it just fit so snugly inside!

With ample room to include the purple cubes and new pawns, that would mean that the cute petrie dishes really serve no purpose for me.

The extra cards get assimilated within the original card decks and the log pad fits inside the main game box too.

So what to do? Well, the On the Brink Box being smaller sized and containing that great divider, just happens to be perfectly dimensioned to house the playing cards themselves and that's exactly what I've done. Plastic card boxes protect the cards and the On the Brink Box makes transporting these to the game table now a much simpler fare.

It just means that I've now got 6 petrie dishes and a sheet of stickers that I don't really need.

Maybe my local pharmacy can use them?!

Great effort Z-Man. Really looking forward to the new game play these fresh components promise.

Happy gaming,
Adam.
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Randolph Bookman
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Kind of off subject, is there a cure for the purple virus in the game? I ask because I was making a vial for it.
 
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Randolph Bookman
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Kind of off subject, is there a cure for the purple virus in the game? I ask because I was making a vial for it.
 
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Kito Impsta
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I'd ask for a cure for repetition if i were you. Surely that's more important than the purple virus.
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Henry Mueller
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Why would he do that...
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Henry Mueller
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Why would he do that...
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Matthew Sharp
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There is a purple cure token which is identical to the other 4 (except the colour of course).
 
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Will
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There's another thread about making the components all (including the petri dishes) fit into the original box. From what I recall you can do it if you don't put the entire pad in.
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