Rising 5: My Pandemic Killer

Pandemic is considered by some to be a staple in one’s board game collection. It is easy to play, can be challenging, and cooperative. But as I’ve expressed earlier about the game and being very unimpressed with Pandemic Legacy Season 1, the game is not in my collection. That is why I was excited when I got this game.

Hit the jump to find out why!


Rising 5: Runes of Asteros is a cooperative board game that is pretty similar to Pandemic but with key differences. The first obvious one is end game conditions. The object of the game is to open the gate and in order to do that you must play a mini game of Mastermind, the code-breaking game. The game uses a free app to do the code guessing and it works well; I’ve only had a few hiccups with the camera scanning but it was just alignment.

This gives the game a bit more logic to work with by having the puzzle being the end game. It is a more solid element to work with the game instead of an unknown, random assortment of cards.

Another big change is players/characters. This is one of the biggest changes to one of my major concerns of the other game. In this game, you don’t control one character but all of the characters. You get a hand of cards with pictures of characters; that determines which character you can control and how many times on a turn. Other players won’t know what you have and you are not regulated to only use one character. This alleviates some of the Alpha-Gamer-ness that could happen. That is totally a word now, deal with it.


There is still a bit of alpha-gamer-itis but that can be expected with any cooperative game. Having people playing as all the character is the right step towards fixing the possible issue. Unless people are playing with their cards just laying flat, you can only talk about what the team needs to do on other people’s turns instead of actually tell them what to do.

Plus, it is space. Space is better than earth, it is a fact. Sci-fi is fun. Which movie is more popular, Star Wars or Outbreak, enough said!

Rising 5: Runes of Asteros plays 1-5 players and if you don’t have an app available, someone (not playing the characters) can be the mastermind as it comes with a screen and mat for that. I could see myself hosting an event where I ran the mastermind while playing a different game with others. It is not ideal but it is great the game includes that option for those who don’t have an app.

2 thoughts on “Rising 5: My Pandemic Killer”

  1. Alpha-gamer-itis is the worst. Even when I know what a player should do, I just let them make mistakes. Then point out why that was dumb, so hopefully we do better next time. If I wanted to control everyone’s moves, I’d just play alone.

    Rising 5 looks interesting. I think the app may turn away some gamers, but I don’t view it as any different from VHS board games back in the 80s/90s.


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