Review – Quarantine

Quarantine

  • 2-4 players
  • By: Mercury Games
  • Designed by: Mark Klassen
  • Review by Ted Cheatham

Running a hospital is hard work.  Not only do you have to design your complex and compete with other hospitals, but you have patients that keep showing for treatment.  Also, watch out for contagions that can really ruin your day.

In a game of quarantine, each player starts with a simple hospital lobby and four treatment rooms; one each of green, red, blue, and yellow.  Each treatment room can cure a patient of that that specific color.

Here is what happens on a turn:

The game  brings some great ideas together in a straight- forward light-to-medium weight strategy game that will play 2-4 players in about an hour.

There is a nice puzzle element as patients line up to your hospital.  There is efficiency planning on how to maximize your actions to get people into your hospital and cured.  Curing patients gives you income to enhance your facility. Do you purchase treatment rooms to be able to cure more people?  They cost two income each and unless you can move patients through them and cure them fast enough you may not get your return on investment.  

Special rooms bring out a whole new challenge to customizing your establishment.  They are a good buy because they always offer a bonus power to the player that acquires them, and they will give you a victory point at the end of the game.  The key to this part of the game is price setting.  How do you price these tiles?  You may want to set a price that you know only you can pay (for example, if only you had cured green cubes you could set those as the price and no one else could afford it).   Or you may want one other person to acquire the tile so you can get a bonus action marker.  Perhaps you want just the bonus action markers while you tempt the other players to spend their resources.

There is also an interesting element to tile placement.  Besides the standard of requiring a door path to the hospital lobby, there is the whole concept of building nurse stations (four tiles in a square pattern).  Nurse stations give you a victory point at the end of the game.  However, during the game, if you are contaminated adjacent to a nurse station, you get double contamination.  This can severely bog you down as you try to cure patients.

Finally, the gray contamination cubes are just a pain.  If there is anything that may put people off, it is the gray cubes.  They are designed to just slow the game down and give a bit of “take that”feel to the game.  It does add a bit of player interaction other than the race and competition to add tiles to your hospital.  As long as players are fair and managing the game, the gray cubes do not get out of hand and they fit the theme of the game well.  Also, there are times you really do need to slow a player down.  With a random draw of four cubes every turn, you just have to cope with your luck.

There is a lot to like in this game.  For me, Quarantine is a keeper and one that can easily be played by casual gamers who just want to have a good time and think a little.

 

Love it:

Like it:  Ted C.

Neutral:

Not for me:

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About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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