POX: Save the People

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Contagiously engaging strategy app with public health theme.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Teens can learn about the importance of vaccines in stopping the spread of illness as they practice strategy and decision-making. If this game is played as a multiplayer (up to four people) game, players learn how meeting challenges together by participating in public health efforts (such as vaccinations) may help prevent the spread of sickness. POX: Save the People combines a heavy subject matter with fast-moving gameplay to create an engaging educational experience.

Ease of Play

Very easy to play. Excellent step-by-step tutorial. Color-coded play icons.


No violence, but gameplay involves icons representing people dying from a contagious illness that players are supposed to try and prevent others from contracting; at least one almost always dies in every game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Kid, 11 years old August 11, 2016

Great board game

This is a digital version of the original board game. It is very good and prompting in further learning about vaccinating and the importance of disease preventi... Continue reading

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 ...

  • Play the game with your kid and use it as a discussion starter about collaboration and social teamwork to help keep an entire community healthy.

  • Turn off the background music if it's too distracting or spooky.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strategy games

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