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Tabletop Spotlight: Pathogenesis

3 Minute Read
Jul 28

It’s the Science-based Deck Building Game of Bacteria & Immunity – Pathogenesis is under the Tabletop Spotlight!

Our friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy have a knack for bringing over games that combine things I enjoy. Pathogenesis combines two things I never thought would mix: A Deck Building and the science of a Bacteria Infection:

Pathogenesis is a game where players take the role of Bateria trying to evolve and overcome the immune system and do as much damage as they can before the immune response kicks in and takes them out. It’s actually kind of morbid if you think about it, but at the same time, the ideas are rooted in science. That’s something I really appreciated about this game – as the note on the box says:

Pathogenesis blends the feel of center-row style deck builders such as Star Realms and Ascension with mechanics based 100% on real science, simulating the roles of pathogens and the immune system at each phase of the game.

Now, science facts aside, when a game name drops Star Realms or Ascension I’m in! The core game play has players purchasing cards in order to make their deck better bacteria. As the decks get more cards, they should in theory become more powerful and be able to score more and more points. Eventually one of two outcomes will happen – the body will run out of counters and the game ends, or the body will become immune and all the players lose. If the first case happens, the player with the most counters wins. If the latter case happens, all the players have lost.

I liked this subtle change because it allows players to sort of work together, but at the end there can only be one winner. The game is also designed to be easily scalable and touts that it’s great for students and teachers alike. Hey, if I could have played a deck building game in biology I would have enjoyed that class more that I already did (what – I liked my science classes). It comes with different game modes and has a lot of replay value as well. If you’re curious about this one you can check out their website for the full rules HERE. Pathogenesis is in stores now, so go check it out!



Pathogenesis is a deck building game in which players take on the role of bacterial pathogens attacking a human host. The pathogens must survive the body’s powerful immune response, adapt in an ever changing environment, and evolve to take on virulence factors to increase their attack, defense, and other abilities so that they may do enough damage to defeat the body before the human host becomes immune and all the players lose the game.


This game made me want to wash my hands…but in a good way!

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