ImmunoWars: the Dutch-made card game that’s making infections fun

As we slowly start seeing the beginning of a post-pandemic world (knock on wood), words such as ‘infections’, ‘vaccines,’ and yes — even ‘coronavirus,’ can be made entertaining. 

Not quite convinced? That’s because you haven’t played ImmunoWars yet! We sat down with the card game’s developers, Rafael Jezior and Dennis de Beeld to find out what inspired a game where you can give your friends diseases, and what makes the game full of totally infectious fun. 

Introducing your new favourite game

ImmunoWars is a fun, satirical, and yet tasteful game. It’s all about biowarfare and infectious diseases, so pull out your mad-scientist goggles because we’re going to spread some viruses — (and healthy doses of dark humour).

While the card game is all about strategy (and killing off your friends to win), it’s also super accessible. It’s easy to learn and will quickly become a new party-game favourite — so say goodbye to Cards Against Humanity 👋. At the same time, the 100 unique cards guarantee that every game will be different and exciting.

“In one game I’ve recovered from COVID, HIV, and Ebola only to die by stubbing my toe,” laughs Dennis. 

All fun and games, right?

Naturally, but that’s not all. While ImmunoWars is packed with dark jokes and sick puns, it also comes armed with scientific research.  

Namely, each card presents the players with accurate information about everything from bacteria and viruses to pharmaceuticals and proper lab gear. Coated in a slick layer of satire, you won’t even realise you’re learning all about the origins and symptoms of the Chikungunya virus.

Dennis explains that the idea behind the game is to generate more interest in the life science sector and make people aware of the “realistic monsters” (diseases) in the world. 

Image: ImmunoWars/Supplied
Image: ImmunoWars/Supplied
Image: ImmunoWars/Supplied

Sounds frightening? It’s not! The game teaches you about all the amazing ways in which humans can counter diseases, whether through our immune system or technology. There’s even a little fun fact at the bottom of each card — doubling as definite wins for your next trivia night!

“An essential part of this development is making it interesting to professionals within the field but also making it fun and playable for people who barely know the word biology,” tells Rafael. 

How ImmunoWars started

As all good stories do, the history of ImmunoWars started with a couple of friends and a few drinks. Back in October 2019, creators Rafael and Dennis wanted to play a fun card game related to their study, Life Science and Technology … but after some fruitless googling, they saw the need to develop one themselves!

Once the concept for ImmunoWars was born, it received backing from PLNT — a centre for innovation and entrepreneurship in Leiden. With programs that help entrepreneurs build their start-up, PLNT turned out to be the perfect haven from which ImmunoWars could take off. 

Another of PLNT’s great successes? DutchReview, of course. 😉 

How it’s going

Fast-forwarding to now, ImmunoWars is fully developed and is in one of the final stages before you can hold it in your hands — Kickstarter.

Impressively, ImmunoWars has just reached its €10,000 goal (with days still left to go!) on the crowdfunding platform, meaning there’s not long to go before you could be dishing out the Chikungunya virus, syphilis, or food poisoning to your friends! (Hopefully only in the game — if your cooking is that bad, don’t invite us 😂).

But, the Kickstarter goal is not the end game: additional cards, expansion packs, and added technology are all in the pipeline too, and a goal to get the game in game stores across the world. 

Ready for laughter to be the best medicine? 

Are you convinced infections can be made fun? Will you be backing ImmunoWars? Tell us in the comments below!

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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