Pandemic: On The Brink Board Game Expansion by Z-Man Games Expansion

Pandemic: On The Brink Board Game Expansion by Z-Man Games Expansion

Raise the stakes and face new challenges with this Pandemic expansion.

This Expansion Works With:

Expansion Pack

Setup Time
15 Mins
Play Time
30-60 Mins
2 to 5
Age Level
8 and Up
Our Reviews
$17.00 USD
$17.00 USD
Our Reviews Details What's in the Box? Rule Book Reviews and Questions

Pandemic - A Family Review

Save the world with your family, but not as super humans—as everyday scientists! This globe-spanning game was a blast to play with our older kids.

Although Pandemic is based on curing four worldwide diseases, our kids loved changing the diseases to other dangers. Why combat a microbe when you can pretend there are zombies and robots you need to eradicate?

Pandemic is a rules-heavy game, so be prepared to read the manual before explaining and to answer many questions during gameplay. We found the kids needed a lot of direction their first few turns, but they got the hang of the game quicker than we expected.

One special note—be thoughtful about “quarterbacking” while playing, by which we mean directing all the strategy. Because the game is cooperative and everyone can see all the cards, it becomes very easy for one person (let’s be honest, usually a parent) to direct everyone on how to play their turns. Although this may lead to the most efficient game, it’s less fun for everyone else! We found the most enjoyment when we discussed our game strategy as a team but let the kids direct their turns.

9yo: “I enjoyed having to work out the plan with my family and hoping I got the cards I wanted.”

A big plus about the game being world-spanning? Our kids got to see and read many global city names they weren’t familiar with! The game also has a great look (very early 00’s action/drama aesthetic, think Kiefer Sutherland), lots of tactile cubes, and little scientist pawns.

11yo: “It was pretty cool it had real-world places.”

Pandemic is one of the hardest cooperative games to win, but you can modify the difficulty level to your taste super easily. Our first session took just over 45 minutes on the easiest difficulty… and we won!

Gameplay can take a lot longer depending on the difficulty you set and the amount of player focus. We found that (with adult help) 9+ seemed pretty suitable. And if you’re dealing with teens, they’ll easily be able to play it independently. After the game? Our kids were wishing there was a Pandemic Junior version just for them.

Want a cooperative game that takes teamwork, luck, and strategy to win even half the time? Definitely pick up Pandemic.

Helpful Hints

  • Pre-read the game rules and plan out how to most clearly explain them to kid players.
  • The epidemic interaction with the infection deck is one of the coolest, smartest game mechanics around.
  • Want a different aesthetic? Try two other games built on the Pandemic System: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King or Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu.



You’ve found the cures to four deadly diseases. But what happens when those diseases get stronger? Worse yet, what happens when someone spreads them intentionally?! Return to the world of Pandemic with On the Brink and prepare for the unexpected. The three challenges included with this expansion evolve the base game mechanics in exciting ways. One disease might become a Virulent Strain and become more difficult to treat as the game goes on. Or you could introduce an unpredictable fifth disease with the Mutation challenge and watch it pop up in unexpected places. Finally, teamwork is even more important if a fifth player dons the mask of the Bio-Terrorist and spreads panic while moving secretly across the board. Try each challenge individually or combine them all for a major test!


On the Brink also includes more of what made Pandemic an instant classic. With seven new roles and eight new event cards, the expansion injects even more variety into your globe-trotting adventures. Anticipate upcoming infections as the Troubleshooter or save the day with the extra actions granted by a clutch Borrowed Time. Combined with the base game, these cards open new avenues for experimentation and improvisation in your quest to save humanity. And if finding cures is becoming routine even on the Heroic difficulty, you can always add the Epidemic card and tackle Legendary difficulty. With a whopping seven Epidemic cards, playing at Legendary will challenge even the most experienced Pandemic players. The stakes have been raised. Now rise to the occasion and save humanity.

What's in the Box

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 7 Role Cards
  • 7 Pawns
  • 8 Event Cards
  • 1 Epidemic Card
  • 1 Reference Card
  • 1 Cure Token
  • 1 Cure Indicator
  • 1 Cure Indicator Card
  • 12 Disease Cubes
  • 3 Mutation Event Cards
  • 2 Mutation Cards
  • 8 Virulent Strain Epidemic Cards
  • 5 Petri Dishes with Labels
  • 4 Blank Cards
  • 1 Bio-Terrorist Location Pad
  • 4 Blank Cards

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review

Why Should You Trust GameTheory?

We are obsessed with helping you find your perfect game or puzzle.

Get in Touch