tiltfactor » POX
“The game has a really strong system and it's a lot fun to play! Pox definitely has a Tiltfactor vibe to it--i.e. taking a complex topic like immunization and enabling players to learn about a real world system through play. I would recommend this game to board game enthusiasts, educators who are looking for instructive tools about immunization, or anyone who is interested in learning about game systems.”


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Board Game
2nd Edition



POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE® is a new board game that challenges 1-4 players to stop the spread of a deadly disease. Not only is the game fun, but through play, players understand group immunity and the need to vaccinate.

Many public health groups need to better promote immunizations in order to continue to prevent vaccine preventable diseases. Vaccinations against deadly diseases such as diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough were standard public health measures: kids today don’t worry about getting polio, for example. Due to suspicions about vaccines and links to other diseases, more parents refuse to immunize their children, which could lead to a national health crisis. Parents have misconceptions about vaccination. For example, some parents believe that vaccines are no longer necessary. This belief may stem from the idea that children develop immunity to diseases automatically through time, which is simply not true; these myths can lead to disaster. For example, whooping cough has reemerged in the United States. As the percentage of people vaccinated against whooping cough has decreased, the U.S. has lost “herd immunity” to whooping cough, thus allowing ways for contagion to spread among the populace.

Game Contents:

  • 50 blue (vaccine) chips
  • 40 red (infection) chips
  • 5 black (death) chips
  • 20 spread cards
  • 8 outbreak cards
  • game mat
  • how to play

Warning: Small parts




Frequently Asked Questions About Playing POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE

Help! How do I play this game?
For an easy introduction to POX, try using the interactive walkthrough to lead you through your first few games!

Can I cure the red spaces where the infection begins?
Yes. Those spaces should be treated like normal infected people after the start of the game.

Do the different types of spaces matter for anything except Outbreak cards?

Can a yellow space (vulnerable person) be chosen to become infected for an Outbreak card?
No. Vulnerable people can never be chosen for an Outbreak card.

Does an infected person surrounded by infected and dead people die?
Yes. An infected person not touching any healthy or immune people dies.

Does that mean an infected person on a corner dies extremely easily?
Yes. An infected person on a corner only needs to be surrounded by two infected people to die.

Do dead people spread the disease?
No. Dead people are not contagious in POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE.

What happens if there are no valid places to put an outbreak?
If you can’t place the outbreak, then you don’t. Then, because no new infections occurred, you vaccinate two people instead of the usual one.

If no new infections occur from a Spread card, may I pick the “vaccinate” and “cure” options once each?
Yes! When no new infections occur on a turn you get the benefit of the card twice. So for a spread you may: vaccinate six, or cure two, or cure one and vaccinate three.


  • Designers: Mary Flanagan, Zara Downs
  • Dartmouth Student Designer: Max Seidman
  • Tiltfactor Intern: Mike Ayoob, USC Student
  • Dartmouth Student Game Testers: Alicia Driscoll, Max Seidman
  • General Support and Project Coordination: Sukdith Punjasthitkul
  • Game Programming (POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE digital): Zara Downs, Cecile Williams, Max Seidman
  • Assessment: Jonathan Belman
  • External Consultants: Martin Downs, Director of Public Health Programs, Mascoma Valley Health Initiative; Edward Ihejirika, Mascoma Valley Health Initiative
Warning: In compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) we are notifying you that some of the products we sell may contain small parts or parts that may break off potentially causing a choking hazard to small children. Please supervise small children to ensure their safety.
  • Tiltfactor invents new ways of thinking about important social issues through engaging games and play. Founded and directed by leading innovator Dr. Mary Flanagan, Tiltfactor is the award-winning design studio and research laboratory that takes on problem areas of national need and creates solutions through playful design.