Pandemic is a classic board game from publisher Z-Man in which players work together to stop the spread of rampaging viruses. World of Warcraft’s Wrath of the Lich King expansion is about stopping the Lich King’s Scourge from rampaging across the continent of Northrend. They’re basically the same game already, so Blizzard and Z-Man combined the two into World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King - A Pandemic System Board Game, launching later this year.
It’s the same Pandemic system that board game players around the world have been enjoying since 2008, only instead of combating a threat that hits home a bit too hard lately, players are banding together to quest through the frozen continent of Northrend, putting an end to World of Warcraft’s less amicable undead. They’ll interact with heroes and villains from the massively multiplayer online game, like currently-controversial banshee queen Sylvanas Windrunner, human-loving Orc Jesus Thrall, and the very, very dead Varian Wrynn, former king of Stormwind.
To hype up the new game, currently available for preorder on the Z-Man website for $60, Blizzard put together a lovely little trailer. As board game trailers go, it’s pretty dramatic.
“Wrath of the Lich King is our first time taking the Pandemic game system into beloved fictional settings like Azeroth. It literally opens up a whole new world of possibility,” Justin Kemppainen, director of brand management at Z-Man Games, said in a press release. “There’s no greater threat to Azeroth than the Scourge. The game really illustrates that by mixing the thrilling co-operative gameplay Pandemic fans know and love with World of Warcraft. We’re confident new and existing players of both franchises will love it!”
What the game really does, aside from catering to hardcore WoW fans, is give board game players a slightly less traumatic way to play one of the most engaging systems of all time. You won’t even need to wear a mask, though you probably still should.