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Pandemic: On the Brink - Board Game Box Shot

Pandemic: On the Brink

| Published: 2009
Expansion for Pandemic

Pandemic: On the Brink is an expansion to our popular cooperative game, Pandemic, wherein players take on roles to work together to find cures to 4 diseases.

In this expansion you will find six new roles (plus 1 revised OpEx and a Bio-Terrorist), eight new special events, and several challenge kits to be added to the basic game play.

Virulent Strain challenge: makes one disease become particularly deadly in unpredictable ways.

Mutation Challenge: adds a fifth (purple) disease that behaves differently than the original four.

Bio-Terrorist Challenge: pits one player against the others!

You may also play with 5 players and play on Legendary level!

User Reviews (33)

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Critic - Level 3
Junior Reporter
Explorer - Level 4
138 of 145 gamers found this helpful
“Don't play without it”

On the Brink is a great expansion for Pandemic. You get new characters, new specials and some wicked variants that you can pick and choose from to make the game more interesting and stressful.

What’s New
1) Three new rules variants (mentioned in the overview above) that add some real challenges to the game,
2) Six new roles that add more characters abilities,
3) Eight more Special Event cards to help ease the pressure a bit,
4) Six nice Petri Dishes to store your components (no more plastic baggies),
5) Rules for a 5th player,
6) Legendary difficulty level — 7 Epidemic cards!

What’s Fun About It

Pandemic is never a walk in the park, but it does get a little repetitive after a while. That’s not to say it isn’t always fun, but this expansion adds some variety and new features to the mix that makes things much more interesting in my opinion. The variants all increase the game’s difficulty and the specials and new roles tend to help the characters keep the world alive longer.

The ominous pressure is still there and the fear of where the next infection card will target still makes one hesitate before turning it. Theme and play balance is preserved (although there seems to be more discussion and analysis going on in my group than in the base game) but a win seems even more satisfying with louder sighs of relief.

If you like to have a live player enemy working against the group, then you have the option of using the Bio-Terrorist variant too!

Bottom Line

If you like Pandemic, this is a must-have expansion. It does add a bit of complexity to the base game, but not enough to turn anyone off. As long as one person understands the new mechanics (i.e., the variant rules) other experienced players should pick it up very quickly.

I wouldn’t use it when introducing new players to the world of Pandemic, but most should be able to graduate to the expansion after playing the base game a couple times or so.

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Gamer - Level 1
89 of 96 gamers found this helpful
“A worthy addition for any Pandemic fan”

On the Brink is almost essential for those that enjoy Pandemic for one reason and one reason only: it fixes two of the roles of its predecessor. Previously, two of the roles were almost entirely useless as their abilities rarely assisted the team. These have since been fixed up with updated cards: simply put the new role cards into the deck, and throw away the old- you’ll never have a use for them again. While we’re at it, the new roles have been well thought out. They won’t make you crave them every game, but you won’t be disappointed to receive them. This is certainly a good thing, as it indicates the new roles are sufficiently balanced to ensure the abilities of one person are never more important than the abilities of the collective team.

The components are a nice addition. The comparatively huge meeples of Pandemic have been replaced by smaller meeples that seem more in place on the board. The petri-dishes provided to house the virus counters, while no more useful than a zip lock bag, are a nice touch.

Then you have the bio-terrorist role and the new purple virus. This provides an interesting mechanic where the bio-terrorist travels the world secretly spreading a virus of his or her own (purple) which provides an added layer of difficulty. How does it go down at our table? Meh, take it or leave it. It certainly amps up the difficulty, but we find the difficulty is just fine without them. Ultimately, the bio-terrorist role just comes off as messy to me, and doesn’t seem to flow with the original game as much as I would like.

All in all though, it’s a worthy addition, if only for the added variety of roles, the repairing of previous roles, and downsized meeples alone. At $33 on Milsims, it’s not a bad pick-up by any means. It fixes and adds to the original game, and if you have a particularly destructive or uncooperative player that just wants to watch the world burn? You’ve got the bio-terrorist role right there for them.

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Novice Reviewer
Gamer - Level 4
Advanced Grader
71 of 78 gamers found this helpful
“An expansions that makes a good game great!”

Many expansions just add more of the same and potentially upset the balance of the original game. On The Brink builds on the foundation that Pandemic offers by adding new twists, and it brings along great components for the ride.

The components:
The new pawns fix my only complaint about the original game. Their size makes game play much easier.

The components:
The petri dishes are great for storing and organizing the components, and they add to the thematic experience of the game.

New game play options:
The virulent strains replace the epidemics cards of the original game, and each changes the game play in minor (or major) ways. Since they are randomly selected, there is no easy way to prepare for them. It adds a great layer of difficulty for the experienced player.

The mutation diseases adds a new purple disease to the game. It behaves differently than the original diseases, and it can throw a wrench in the standard strategies. There are so few of the cubes that the players must be especially careful in managing the threat.

I have not used the bio-terrorist. I prefer the Pandemic experience as a cooperative one. I can not comment to how well it works.

The new roles add the most to the game play. Even if you don’t use any of the other components, you can add the new roles to a standard game and add to the experience.

If you enjoy Pandemic, then you should strongly consider picking up this expansion.

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I Am What I Am
67 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“Makes a Great Disease Even Greater”

Firstly, the petry dishes are just adorable. Secondly, the best things about this expansion are the new roles. the five base roles were (and still are) fantastic, but these new roles all embody something different that the core five wouldn’t have dreamed of, home in Atlanta. Flying around like crazy isn’t a bad thing, anymore, since there’s a role for that! Discarding cards isn’t quite so taboo, since there’s the Archivist for that! Finding cures with five cards getting you down? The Field Operative would like a word with you!

On top of the additional roles, we also gain a few different ways to play (and make the game a bit more difficult). The Mutation option adds a fourth (purple!) disease the game, which can be cured by a combination of any five location cards, so long as at least one of them shows a location with a purple cube. It spreads…in interesting ways, as well as the standard outbreak. Whenever a card is drawn from the Infection Deck, if it has a purple cube on it, add another one. There are also special Mutation Spreads cards in that deck, which work similarly to Epidemics. In the Hero Deck, the mutation can also…mutate, by adding one cube to all spaces with one purple cube, etc. It’s an interesting shift.

Additionally, there is the option to make one disease way worse than the others, by naming it the Virulent Strain. This disease will spread faster and harsher than the others, thanks to special epidemic cards with added text, many of which link together to cause mayhem for every turn to come.

Finally, there’s the Bioterrorist method of play, which lets one player become the antithesis of what Atlanta bred, and he/she will spread disease around the board (moving in SECRET), while the others try to find HIM, as well as cure the diseases.

Of course, all of these can be combined at once for an exciting game of Virulent Mutated Bioterrorists. This just takes a great game and gives it more options. There isn’t anything that hampers the original at all. Like a good expansion, it only expands the best!

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91 of 101 gamers found this helpful
“My favorite game for good reason”

The first game we played when I started playing games over lunch at my new job was Pandemic. Pandemic is a game I have had for quite a while, and I also have the expansion. I really don’t need to say much to convey my feelings about Pandemic: it is my favorite game. I’m not crazy in that enjoyment of the game either. My coworkers who played with me were instantly addicted and wanted to play it whenever we had the chance. We did not, though, because I can get sick of Pandemic just like any game. I have learned to pace myself and not play Pandemic too much in a short span. Otherwise, I get sick of it and won’t want to play it for months even when others want to play it. Even when I do get sick of it, though, I still come back to it. It is simply a great game. Accordingly, it gets to my table more than any other game.

So, I guess if it behoves me to write about Pandemic because it is my favorite, then it in turn behoves me to explain why Pandemic is such a great game. You should know that in Pandemic the player is on a team of specialists that are trying to cure 4 diseases before they decimate mankind. You take turns, do actions, and play cards to travel the world and hold-off/cure disease and discover cures. I now will jump right into the game’s aspects.

First, it is cooperative. Cooperative games are great because you rarely if ever get mad at each other. It is the game that is mean to you and potentially beats you, not other players. Of course, one must keep in mind that this is depend on the personalities of the players. If one person is too dominant and the other players don’t speak up, the game can quickly become a solitaire game with the one player vicariously performing all the actions. Likewise, even when their isn’t a domineering player, the game can get boring if even one player is apathetic or too quiet. In the former case, the other players may as well not play, leaving it to just the one player. In the later case, the quiet/apathetic player may as well not play, leaving the game for the others.

Part of the reason that the cooperative nature works so well is that the roles are well defined. The roles each have special abilities, and that is where the key lies. The special abilities make you change your strategy based upon them. Moreover, it is fun to see how you can roll your abilities (& thus your turn) into your friends’ roles. Using your abilities in tandem is where your team’s true power lies, and when such cooperation is done well, the resulting success is fun to watch and be a part of.

Another element of greatness is the balance in this game. Some roles seem more powerful than others, but none are over-powered or too weak. Once players have played a few times, they start to learn that none of the roles are useless and all have their place and their use. The number of actions per turn versus the amount that the disease spreads each turn is well balanced as well. One loses the game via the spread of disease either by running out of cubes or having too many outbreaks. I would say I have about a 45% win rate; that gives you an idea of that balance between a player’s ability to do actions and the ability of the disease to wreak havoc. The other nod towards balance that the designer implemented is the ability to ramp the difficulty up and down. There are epidemic cards in the player card deck. When they come up, they increase the rate that disease spreads each turn and they make it more likely to have outbreaks. So, the game rules give the option to have 4, 5, or 6 epidemics in the game session. 4 is easy, and 6 is hard. So, depending how good your strategic mind is and depending on how much you like to lose, you can shift the balance of actions vs. disease spread one way or the other. That ability to throttle difficult is fantastic; their is nothing more frustrating than a game that is too hard and nothing more dull than a game that is too easy.

The strategy and replay-ability are another superior aspect to Pandemic. They go hand-in-hand. The cities impacted by disease change every game. Likewise, the team’s strategy must evolve and change as the cities impacted change and grow. Developing the strategy (such as player 1 will do x actions so that player 2 can do y actions) is just plain fun. Since that strategy does change every game; it is an important part of what makes Pandemic excellent.

Finally, one cannot forget about the theme. The theme of racing against time to cure disease is very well done. It feels like a ingrained, required part of the game like as if one can’t have the game Pandemic without the theme (even though technically that is not true). The theme works very well with the mechanics of the game and gives a dose of the tension such specialists might feel in real life. I love it.

If you haven’t played Pandemic, you have to try it. If you have the right group of people (no one too timid or too dominant), you might find yourself so addicted that you play it until disgusted (or at least bored) at the sight of it. Then you’ll come back to it because it is just too good. Then, hopefully in enough moderation to not kill your enjoyment, you will play it again and again and again and again and…

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Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue
59 of 66 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“All Expansions Should Be So Nice...”

Expansions can be tricky. If they alter the original game too much, they can spoil the mechanism that made a game so appealing in the first place. And if they don’t provide freshness and add variety to the primary game, expansions might not seem worthwhile. It’s a delicate balancing act for sure, and quality and substance of expansions varies greatly.

Pandemic has been a wildly successful and popular cooperative game, and it currently has three expansions available. The first of those is Pandemic: On the Brink, and it is excellent. I had only played the base game, and I was eager to try the one of the expansions. But, I secretly worried about tinkering with the game I loved so dearly. I have played Pandemic more than 150 times during the last 11 months, and I still enjoy it thoroughly. Two weeks ago, I obtained a copy of On the Brink, and it is a welcome addition to my collection.

Pandemic: On the Brink is exceptionally well done. Beginning with the box itself, the artwork perfectly complements that of the base game. The edition I bought has a great insert that holds everything from the base game and the expansion perfectly. All of the new pawns, cards, markers, and petri dishes fit the new insert flawlessly. I put all my components (including the board) into the new box and placed the original box in a closet.

The expansion includes seven new roles with specific and unique abilities. Each role has a reference card detailing the role’s abilities and a matching pawn. Surprisingly, the colors of the new pawns are easily distinguished from the seven included in the base game. On the Brink has three new modes of play. And players can choose to play either of them separately, or play two or more of the new modes at the same time. Among the new ways to play are the Virulent Strain Challenge, The Mutation Challenge, and The Bio-Terrorist Challenge. Also included in the expansion is a seventh Epidemic card that allows players to increase the difficulty of the base game in its original form.

And is if that were not enough, Pandemic: On the Brink has several new Event cards that extend the game and give players more options. For a truly unique gaming experience, there are blank Role and Event cards that let players create their own characters and events. Lastly, there are the nifty purple disease cubes and the thematic yet useful petri dishes. The petri dishes are so much nicer than the small baggies included with the base game.

I have yet to find an expansion that I would consider absolutely essential, but On the Brink comes closest to being indispensable. It blends seamlessly with the base game, and its design allows players to ease into new modes of play. I have tried all the variants except the Bio-Terrorist Challenge (which is best for three or more players), and I am quite pleased with the new gameplay. My apprehension that the expansion would negatively impact my favorite game was unfounded. Pandemic: On the Brink is a delightful addition to Pandemic. It more than justifies its existence with loads of lovely components, new modes of play, and a near perfect box insert. I couldn’t reasonably ask more from an expansion.

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Grand Master Grader
Guardian Angel
Advanced Reviewer
Rosetta Stone
7 of 7 gamers found this helpful
“Ill fated for mankind, but a perfect prescription for any Pandemic fan”

A swift opinion:
*Nice amount of add-ons for a decent price.
*Modular extras that can easily be swapped in or out dependent on how challenging you want your game.
*Even more variations to make each game interesting.

A video opinion:

A wordy opinion:Expansions are… delightful little curiosities. Cardboard add-ons are nowhere near as egregious as some of their video game counterparts have become, but near to all the ones I’ve added onto my tabletop experiences have surmounted to a party wide exclamation of ‘Oh, that was neat!’ before delving into discussion about the main mechanics that existed before we even bolted it on. Barely any have made an impact, but one expansion in my collection is one that’s shuffled itself so well into its base game that I never play a game without it.

Pandemic: On the Brink comes with a whole host of add-ons, both positive and overwhelmingly, Earth endingly negative. Leading the flu frontline for the latter is a 5th disease, a fresh batch of Purple Pain (working title). Purple cubes can litter themselves around the map in unpredictable ways, through mutation cards hiding in the infection deck that, when drawn, spawn cubes according to the card in the bottom of said deck. Whilst these aid those cubes appearing, 3 Mutation cards hide in the Player deck to ensure they can spread in ingenious/annoying ways.

This 5th disease adds air of unpredictability to the game, as literally any city can succumb to its wrath, and with only 12 cubes, the danger of running out of them looms over the entire game. But if that’s not worrying enough, you can always add the new set of blood red Epidemic cards to proceedings.

Virulent Strain Epidemic cards both replace regular Epidemic cards and do the unthinkable; make you miss the pesky little blighters that caused so much pain in so many games of vanilla Pandemic. When drawn, not only do they add a trifecta of cubes and shuffle previously infected cities back, they can also hit the players with extra negative effects that could last the remainder of the game. Whereas the addition of Purple Pain (Patent Pending) feels like a funky mod to shake things up, this feels like a true step up in terms of difficulty. Before, Epidemics were a disgusting nuisance. Now, they can potentially be a genuine blow to a team’s morale.

Thankfully, the team has backup. 6 new vaccine viscounts enter to find a cure to the cubes, ranging from the humble Generalist who has 5 actions instead of 4 to the stern Field Operative who can hold cubes of a certain disease in a bid to lessen the number of cards needed to find its cure. The Containment Specialist almost acts like a toned down version of the souped-up Medic post cures, removing a cube from cities that have 2 or more of them. They’re an interesting bunch, ones that don’t complicate the abilities of the original team and bring enough variation to be welcomed into your squad.

One new role isn’t so handy though. The Bio-Terrorist can be claimed by a player if they wish to play an odd variant of Pandemic where they go in direct competition with those trying to save the world. As the team attempt to hoover up cubes as best they can, whoever is playing as the Bio-Terrorist is spreading purple cubes in a bid to end the game early. As their moves on the board are shrouded in secrecy unless a player crosses paths with them, in which case they must declare their presence. It plays like a strange hidden movement game that’s… fine? Just fine. It’s a nice variation on the formula, but doesn’t exactly add much to a game which brings so much joy to teams that come together against a faceless, relenting foe.

That negativity doesn’t really effect the end product though, thanks to On the Brink’s modular format. Anything that makes the game more of a challenge can be easily added or disregarded depending on how much pressure you want to be put under, and the more positive aspects like new team member and event cards shuffle in so easily, they practically become part your vanilla Pandemic experience.

It take a truly special expansion to integrate itself so well into its main companion that you can’t really imagine playing without it. it also takes a truly special expansion to add copious amounts of stress to an already daunting experience and still make it enjoyable. Pandemic: On the Brink fits the bill, and out of the three expansions the game offers, is arguably the most essential.

Oh, it also includes petri dishes for your cubes. Sorry to waste your time with the above, as I know those make it an insta-buy.

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Advanced Reviewer
Rosetta Stone
55 of 62 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“Essential Expansion - Completes a Great Game”

Pandemic, the base game, sees much play time in our gaming groups. The base game is almost without fault, however, after repeated plays the game can feel overly familiar. This is where the On the Brink Expansion enters. Unlike the In the Lab Expansion, On the Brink does not fundamentally alter the game play but rather introduces 3 modules that serve to enhance this already great game system.


As I have indicated above, the core aspect of the game is largely unaltered. Gameplay is still cooperative but introduces a number of additional roles that serve to refresh the proven gameplay of Pandemic. The introduction of the Containment Specialist, Generalist, Epidemiologist, and Contingency Planner (I may have missed a couple) are a great asset at different times in the gameplay. As well, new emergency assistance cards are added to compliment the cards in the base set.

The introduction of resistant strains that make one of the virus strains more difficult to treat also creates interesting challenges without making the difficulty level unmanageable. In addition to the resistant strain, an addition strain can be introduced when players are ready to tackle a new strain caused by mutation.

I would have to say, the most interesting addition that this expansion brings is the addition of the Bio Terrorist Role. I love that not only does this game more interesting, it also adds an element of investigation and in my experience changes the inter player dynamics in that they are not just playing against the infections brought on by the game itself but that the cooperative team is also pitted against another player. I love it.

I have observed that the addition of these modules does not prolong the play time of this game. Games using this expansion are generally wrapped up in just under an hour, perhaps and hour and a quarter with the addition of the bio terrorist.


The version that I purchased had the same styled painetd wooden pawns as the original game. The new infection cubes are purple but are a match in size and composition as the original strains. I have viewed newer editions that replace the wooden pawns for plastic, I have found this to be largely irrelevant. The cards that are included (roles, epidemic cards, and the new emergency assistance cards) are the same size and quality cardstock as the 2nd generation Pandemic. The artwork is nice and in keeping with the base set. I will note that the aspect that impressed me the most was the inclusion of the petri dishes that the infection cubes can be stored in and the plastic insert that houses them. I have found this be a very thematic and practical asset to storage of the base game. Overall I was impressed in this category and would recommend this expansion if for no other reason than the petri dishes and box insert.


As you can see from my comments above, I am very impressed with this expansion. I am so satisfied with On the Brink, that our group no longer plays Pandemic without this expansion. Any expansion that does not alter the fundamental charecteristics of a game and does not substantially increase the playing time of a game is a winner in my books. When I recommend Pandemic to new players I always advise that they also pick up a copy of On the Brink as well as it completes this already great game for me.

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43 of 50 gamers found this helpful

On the Brink is a necessary expansion for Pandemic. My wife and I beat the base game the first six (6) times we played (with increasing the difficulty level each time) and were about to give up on it when a friend told us to try this expansion first. It was like when your car breaks down and you’ve checked seemingly everything and someone says, “Do you have gas?” and you realize that one thing makes all the difference.

On the Brink adds several modules, each providing another layer of rules and complexity. The most important one being the Virulent Strain. This module replaces the Epidemic cards from the base set with all new ones which have special rules for the Virulent Strain. The Virulent strain is the disease with the most cubes on the board when the first Epidemic card is played. These special rules drastically increase the difficulty factor by often creating ongoing effects that reoccur for the remainder of the game. One even brings the Virulent Strain back after it has been eradicated!

Using the Virulent Strain module our winning percentage is at a solid 50% and we love it. The expansion also contains many more role cards giving players many more possibilities. It upgrades the components by including plastic Petry dishes to hold the disease cubes (Uber-thematic!). There is also a module for one disease to mutate and in effect become a fifth disease to cure.

The only part of the expansion I am not super-positive on is the Bio-terrorist. This is another role a single player may play basically to add the traitor element that is all the rage now. I’m not sure how I feel about that part because we really like the co-op element, but if you like that in such games as Battlestar Gallactica or Dead or Winter, then it’s probably another plus for you.

This expansion took a game that was likely to be shelved and has made it one of our favorites.

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38 of 45 gamers found this helpful
“Awesome expansion! Must have!”

I am totally addicted to Pandemic the base game. I’ve played it the most times out of all the games I own. I like that even though I keep on playing the base game and varying the difficulty levels, I still end up with varied end results. I win some and then I lose some. But for the most part, I win most of the time.

So I was ready for the next level and that would be of course with the On The Brink expansion. This expansion is a lot of fun. While there are 3 modules (virulent strain, mutated strain and the bio-terrorist), you only need to play 2 of them. The bio-terrorist module is quite silly and I am not really a fan of the hidden movement mechanics.

But as for the virulent strain and mutated strain, I absolutely love it. I love that the game still feels the same but not only is it more difficult but it feels like there will always be surprises. No matter how much you think you know this game, it will always be unpredictable. However with the right team mates and the right roles, you can really use your turns effectively and efficiently and the game will feel very fun and exciting.

There are a lot of great things about this game other than just the modules but also the addition of new roles. Everyone loves new roles and their new abilities. So that is always exciting. Also the ability to make this game to have a nightmarish difficulty level is a great option. You can combine the virulent strain module with the mutated strain module together to give yourself a really hard time. And even though you might not win the next 5 or 6 games, you still want to keep on playing because you feel like you could’ve done something smarter. That’s what I love about this game. It gives you that constant need to play the game again and again and again.

Anyways, end the end, this is a very solid expansion and it is an absolute must have for Pandemic fans. Be prepared for some challenging and exciting gameplay.

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Comic Book Fan
Book Lover
Pet Lover
40 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Favorite Pandemic Expansion”

One of the few times I will ever say this : “If you love the game, get this expansion”.

On The Brink brings 3 new options to your Pandemic Game :
Virulent Strain challenge: taking one of the Pandemic diseases and causing it to keep popping up, introducing 8 new Epidemic cards.

Mutation Challenge: adding a fifth disease with Mutation cards and its purple tokens and cards.

Bio-Terrorist Challenge: allowing a single player to actively work against the others

These can be mixed and matched to really complicate things. My group ALWAYS plays with this expansion, usually using either the Virulent Strain or the Mutation disease in regular play. Both bring a lot more challenge to the game without breaking the basic feel or bogging down game play with over complication. Its just more of what you like about Pandemic with a twist.

Admittedly the Bio Terrorist is not a favorite option, taking away a bit from the coop feel and adding a bit too much aggression for some players – BUT the other 2 options are awesome, and the 7 new role cards and the petri dishes for storing your diseases (both easily can be used with just the basic Pandemic game)make the expansion well worth the price.

If you are a Pandemic fan, then this expansion is a must. Just be sure to get compatible editions so you have cohesive components.

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Professional Reviewer Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
56 of 69 gamers found this helpful
“This is how you do an expansion!”

I really like Pandemic, but this expansion just makes the game so great! I love the fact that they added lots of new roles! I’m not sure which is my favorite now, but it is somewhere between medic (original game), troubleshooter, and field operative. My daughter really enjoys the bio-terrorist version of the game.

More powerful strains of viruses are added by new epidemic cards that really increase the challenge, along with a new mutating virus to mix things up a bit. This expansion really adds a lot of replay value to the game.

The petri dishes add such a nice touch to the game! You can now store all the virus cubes in them, and an extra dish for the player tokens and research stations. Only problem is that it just doesn’t quite fit in the original game box, but I cram it in anyway.

Well worth getting if you like the original game.

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My First Favorite!
41 of 57 gamers found this helpful
“Must-get expansion”

This expansion is worth getting for the petri dishes alone.
The new roles are logical explorations of the theme, and make sense game-play wise and within their roles in the them of the game world.
The new disease livens things up.

I haven’t even got to using the virulent strains and bioterrorist. This was a game that didn’t feel like it needed and expansion, and I’ve only been moving in the expansion options slowly. It’s just that good. We don’t need the extra game options yet, we are thoroughly satisfied with the experience at every stage of the basic game and with the expansions for added variety. I really recommend this to anyone with the base game. Do you need it? Nah! But it’s a great addition.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Viscount / Viscountess
Champion Beta 1.0 Tester
41 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“Amazing expansion to a great game.”

On the Brink takes a good game in Pandemic, and makes it great. The components (especially the petri dishes) really make organizing the game much easier. The new varieties of epidemics, mutations and bio-terrorist add a lot of fun and replay value. As a co-op game which you can completely control the difficulty factor for, this is a terrific game to introduce new people to.

It’s rare that I consider expansions better than the original game, but with Pandemic, I believe On The Brink is mandatory. If you enjoy Pandemic, I highly recommend this.

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Knight Beta 1.0 Tester
41 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“Mandatory Expansion”

Pandemic is a great cooperative game with a huge amount of replay value, On the Brink, adds even more to that.

The first thing you will notice is the incorporation of petri dishes to increase the overall look of the game. Next you will notice the increased selection of role cards. This gives each game a even more diverse setup than the base.

Playing this game with the expanded rules and offerings, will increase enjoyment, difficulty and replay value for all fans of the original Pandemic board game.

A must for all Pandemic fans

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Old Bones
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
44 of 75 gamers found this helpful
“A family with a 8 y/o daughters favorite game”

When we purchased the original pandemic last year based on reviews and looking for something different than candyland, monopoly, chutes & ladders, etc… I had no idea we’d all have so much fun with a cooperative game. This expansion just adds to the fun.

We have never played the bio-terrorist variant, instead enjoying cooperative play, but we have played both virulent strain and the purple mutation, we can’t get enough. When people ask us what we like to do and we explain we enjoy saving the world from diabolical viruses we get strange looks. When we invite them over and show them what we mean they get hooked. This is always a family favorite and makes it on the table regularly.

I’d say this is a must have expansion for the extra characters and the cool petri dishes to store your disease cubes in. The added purple virus makes this game a bit more challenging and a whole lot more fun and we love when the virulent strain throws a wrench into our plans.

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41 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“The Devious Bio-Terrorist”

I love this expansion. Beyond the new disease, the new roles, the new event cards for the player deck, the petri dishes, evil virulent strain Epidemic cards, there is a Bio-Terrorist.

If you have played a lot of Pandemic it can be difficult to play with people who are new to the game. It is a great game and you want them to play, but you don’t want to take over their turn and tell them what to do. Advice is fine, but the decision should always be theirs. If you are in this situation, you can now have the most experienced player play as the Bio-Terrorist.

The Bio-Terrorist is a fifth player that actually works against the players. It is a fantastically thematic and fun way of adding to an already fantastic game. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Intermediate Reviewer
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Guardian Angel
Master Grader
37 of 68 gamers found this helpful
“Can't recommend this expansion enough.”

Here are the 2 main reasons why this expansion is a must-have for lovers of Pandemic.

– Amazing new role cards
– Fantastic new components (re-print set comes with a droolable functional insert) (New disease, new pawns, new event cards, new newness!)

Playing the base game is still a lot of fun, but this expansion brings this game to a whole new level. I personally won’t play without it.

Thank you Matt Leacock!

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I play red
Strategist Beta 1.0 Tester
The Gold Heart
36 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“How to make a hard game impossible”

I love this expansion, or at least what parts of it we’ve managed to play, but some of it seems insane. My gaming group has managed to win the easy version of the game a handful of times, but Legendary??? Is it even possible? It seems to me that at this level only cheaters or the extremely lucky can possibly even hope of coming close to winning.

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36 of 75 gamers found this helpful
“Just great”

The added roles would have been enough for us, but the other parts are good fun too. The smaller pawns and petrie dishes were great touches.

Must have! Honest.


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