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Save Patient Zero, a GM-led team deduction game about rival medical companies, lands on Kickstarter next month

Pharma drama.

Save Patient Zero, an upcoming board game about rival medical companies searching for an antidote, will launch a Kickstarter campaign next month.

Alizée Dabert and Hadi Barkat from publisher Helvetiq told Dicebreaker that Save Patient Zero will be arriving on Kickstarter on April 20th. The base number of players supported by the board game is two to seven, however, should one of the Kickstarter stretch goals be successfully reached, then between one and seven players will be supported thanks to the addition of a companion app.

Save Patient Zero is a deduction board game in which two teams attempt to discover the cure for a disease currently threatening the world. According to Dabert and Barkat, a prototype for the title was created as early as October 2019, meaning that the concept for Save Patient Zero was conceived before the current Covid-19 pandemic began. Instead, the idea for the board game was inspired by a history of rival pharmaceutical companies, with each team representing a medical corporation desperate to gain recognition for their achievements.

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Throughout the game, the red and blue teams will both be seeking exactly the same combination of three molecules - using the various tools on offer to gradually narrow down their choices. There are seven different types of tools in Save Patient Zero - represented by a deck of cards - with a certain amount of each being available to the opposing teams. Whenever players want to use a tool, they must hand the appropriate card to whichever player chooses to be the games master.

Depending on the chosen tool, the GM will then perform a particular action intended to give the active team more information, which they can then use to deduce the correct molecule combination. The potential tools include handing three sample cards - which display different types of molecules - to the GM, who must then identify which cards depict any of the target molecules, or using the game’s scanpad tool to highlight six molecules on a five by five grid so that the GM can indicate whether any are included in the correct code.

The information provided by the GM is shared in secret with the currently active team, with each group having their own screen to hide their tools and answers. However, players can use certain hacking tools against the other team, gaining the option to use the tools at their opponents’ disposal themselves - which is especially useful as each team will have access to a randomly selected pool of tools.

Save Patient Zero components

In the two-player game mode, the duo can either choose to compete against one another in order to discover their own unique combination of molecules, or can choose to play as one GM and one scientist - with the GM serving the same role as they would in a normal game. Games with larger player counts can also choose to play without a GM, with the other team knowing the solution to their opponent’s antidote and serving as their games master.

Save Patient Zero was created by Cédric Martinez, who previously co-designed the party game Sombrero! Apart from publishing Save Patient Zero, Helvetiq is also responsible for releasing smaller titles such as the co-op card game Bandido and the animal themed game Kariba.

The retail price for a copy of the core version of Save Patient Zero will be €35 (£30/ $41), with an expected arrival date of August 2021.

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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.