A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that POX: Save the People is a strategy-based board game app that puts players in the role of infectious disease specialists trying to contain an outbreak of a deadly disease. Based on a board game with the same name and intended for one to four players, POX is an interesting way to help kids learn about infectious disease and the importance of vaccinations; they use strategy skills based on instructions that force players to either protect or infect certain game pieces that represent people. Players also can read a brief primer on vaccines and the "dire consequences of failing to vaccinate." There's no graphic violence, but "people" do die in the game.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Choose the number of players and the difficulty level, then watch the step-by-step tutorial. Protect people by vaccinating the healthy game pieces (they turn blue when vaccinated) and curing the sick (red) ones. Yellow pieces are already vulnerable and cannot be vaccinated; if they become infected, they die immediately and turn black. When prompted, choose which person becomes newly infected. The game is won when the infection is contained or lost when too many die. Engrossing strategy and health-policy-education game.
Is it any good?
POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE is an engrossing strategy game, despite the rather grim circumstances under which the action takes place. Although people are represented by game pieces that don't look realistic at all, there's an eerie feel to the gameplay (perhaps increased by the sad background music, which can be turned off) that makes the decisions and results feel strangely urgent, dire, and important. It may be a bit too spooky for younger players, but POX is an imaginative way to get older kids thinking about public health, vaccines, and disease containment while they exercise strategic-thinking skills.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Device: iPad
- Subjects: Science: biology
- Skills: Collaboration: meeting challenges together, teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, strategy
Health & Fitness: preventing sickness
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: November 1, 2011
- Category: Strategy Games
- Size: 3.90 MB
- Publisher: tiltfactor
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love strategy games
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.