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A deck building game where players are bacterial pathogens attacking the human body. 1-4 players. 30-60 minutes.
A deck building game where players are bacterial pathogens attacking the human body. 1-4 players. 30-60 minutes.
1,731 backers pledged $75,980 to help bring this project to life.
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RETAILERS & EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS:   If you are with a school or retailer please email us: 


















Designed by Jamie & Loren Cunningham (Transylvania: Curses & Traitors) in partnership with scientific illustrator somersault18:24, Pathogenesis is a deck building game in which players are bacterial pathogens attacking a human host. The pathogens must survive the body's powerful immune response, adapt in an ever changing environment, and evolve to take on virulence factors to increase their attack, defense, and other abilities so that they may do enough damage to defeat the body before the human host becomes immune and all the players lose the game.

  • The game is highly scalable, allowing players to choose their level of difficulty and the length of game they wish to play.
  • Pathogenesis blends the feel of center-row style deck builders such as Star Realms and Ascension with mechanics based 100% on real science, simulating the roles of pathogens and the immune system at each phase of the game.
  • Modes of play include solo, competitive, cooperative, team play, and classroom.
  • Who might like this game?  Avid gamers, fans of deck builders, medicine & science enthusiasts, teachers and students from high school to college level and beyond.
  • 1-4 players.  Ages 14+   30-60 minutes











RULE BOOK, click HERE to access:


Below is a link to 7 short videos that will show you how to play the game from set up, how to play your turn, and the various aspects of game play followed by a complete solo game example. You can skip through the videos using the arrows on either side.

Pathogenesis is all about building pathogens to withstand the punishing immune response and defeat the body.  The pathogens put in play stay in play (until destroyed by the immune system) allowing you to continue to build them and attack the body each turn, unlike most deck building games where all cards are discarded at the end of your turn. 

You begin the game with your own personal deck of 10 cards:

These cards allow you to gain and use genetic value to acquire stronger pathogens, trait cards, toxin cards, and environment cards. The upgraded cards acquired on previous turns will cycle back into your hand on future turns allowing you to play them on existing pathogens increasing their attack, defense, and other abilities.

The pathogens' first task is to attack the body and breach the body's defense barriers:

Once the body's defensive barriers are breached, the immune system activates and your pathogens must survive the body's powerful immune response each turn before you are able to damage the body and take victory points. 

The initial immune response is dealt from deck 1.  When this deck runs out the discard pile is shuffled into immune deck 2 to form the final immune response.  If players do not meet the game end damage condition before the final immune deck runs out then the body declares immunity and all of the players lose the game.

Want to play a demo of the game now?  The "Play Now" link below will take you to a virtual demo on  A membership to Tabletopia is not required but you must have a compatible web browser (Firefox, Safari, or Explorer).  

It is easiest to open our Kickstarter page in Firefox, Safari, or Explorer and then click on the link.  In order to invite friends you will then share the specific in-game URL generated link (not the link below) with your friends.

This demo will give you a chance to get a digital look at all of the game's components and play the game.  (The game art is 100% complete, however, the demo contains cards with blank art as the digital versions have not all been updated).


















REVIEW VIDEO BY DANNY C.:  A nerd through and through, Danny is a cell and molecular biologist who's all about science, gaming and nerdom in general. Going through many jobs ranging from lab work to video game motion capture, he's brought his passions together making videos about board and video games, science, and more.

"A mechanistically solid and highly versatile deckbuilder in its own right, Pathogenesis has great potential as a wonderful educational tool - taking the incredibly complex science of immunology and making it more digestible and understandable for anyone wanting to learn. Highly recommend giving it a go!" - Danny C.


 "I don't usually enjoy Deck Builders, but when I do, they are fantastic games like this one!" - Undead Viking




"By taking the genre's strengths of customization and marketplace competition, giving it a wonderful theme, and removing the hassle of troublesome trash cards, Pathogenesis bridges the gap between new and experienced players, and even to those who typically don't reach for a deck-builder on game night like me." -Matt Ochs (Kansas City Game Designers)

"This is one game I've been looking forward to seeing become a reality. I had the pleasure of playtesting, and enjoyed it thoroughly. One of the big features I like are the options for co-op and team play." - Troy Pichelman (Kansas City Game Designers)

"I like that it is educational, but still FUN. As a college instructor, I see a lot of games that are educational. None of these games are fun to play outside of the classroom. I do not understand microbiology, but still have a great time playing Pathogenesis". - Kelly C Hughes, Instructor at Alexandria Technical and Community College.

"Pathogenesis attacks a deck builder from an angle I have not seen playing as a bacterial pathogen attacking a body! The AI they have developed is very cleverly done and seems to think and guess what you as a pathogen are doing to it reacting and hitting back. This game is also VERY educational and great effort has been put not only into the artwork but the realism of the science as well. It strikes a great balance of learning but extremely fun at the same time!". - Rodger Moore, Board Games & Beer Podcast & High School Biology Teacher.


We use the “Stegmaier” method of shipping games in bulk to fulfillment centers around the world to reduce customs fees and VAT and to keep shipping prices low. Jamey Stegmaier’s shipping method is explained HERE; country codes are HERE.

Backers are limited to 3 total games per pledge (only pay the shipping fee once per pledge, not once per game).  Note:  the classroom pack counts as 1 game.  You can pledge up to 3 classroom packs and pay shipping just once.  To add more games beyond the first, manually enter the $ total when making your pledge or click the blue “Manage” button next to a previously made pledge.

Backers outside of the US, Canada, and UK will need to add additional shipping to their pledge per the graphic below.

Rewards shipped to backers in the US, CA, and EU are shipped to backers from within those regions.

* Western EU:  Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Spain.

** Central EU:  Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Estonia, and Latvia

WIBAI Games is excited to support Educational Institutions and Retailers with special pricing during our Kickstarter campaign. We will treat Educational Institution and Retailer backers just like other backers in that they receive their rewards before we release games into distribution.   

If you are with an Educational Institution or Retailer please contact us at during the campaign for pricing information. 






Jamie Cunningham, PhD is the brains behind Pathogenesis and together with her husband Loren, they are the designers of the game. Jamie is full time professor of biology. When teaching the immune system, textbooks cover the subject in pieces and her students never get to see the whole picture. Her goal for this game was to help her students see how the immune system works as a whole.   

Loren Cunningham is Jamie’s husband and partner in crime. Together they created Transylvania: Curses & Traitors that was successful on Kickstarter in 2014.   Loren’s background is in business rather than science, so his job was to make sure that the game and its mechanics worked well for EVERYONE regardless of their background in biology. He also makes sure that the games get manufactured and shipped to your door on time.

Scientific illustrator somersault18:24 is the artist and have partnered with WIBAI Games to bring art to the game that is scientifically accurate, yet re-imagined to achieve beautiful, eye-popping, images. somersault18:24 is run by the artists/scientists Luk Cox and Idoya Lahortiga. Both of them have a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and have set out on an ambitious journey to bridge the gap between the artistic visual arts and science. They excel in helping scientists and teachers to prepare easy-to-follow yet professional scientific illustrations.

Thomas Deeny is the graphic designer for Pathogenesis. He specializes in game design and book layout and has worked on several deck builders including Cthulhu Realms and Nightfall. You can check out his portfolio HERE.




WIBAI Games first game, Transylvania: Curses & Traitors, is available in short supply. Visit to purchase the game.  We have only a limited number of games left!

Jewelry by somersault18:24 - somersault18:24 offers science inspired jewelry on their web store.  Jamie owns several pieces from them and always gets oohs and aahhs from her science friends and colleagues. You can check out their store HERE.



Risks and challenges

This isn't our first rodeo! (OK, so this is just our second rodeo.)

Our first Kickstarter for Transylvania: Curses & Traitors really taught us a lot. We plan on applying everything we learned from that campaign to make the campaign for Pathogenesis even better.

The process of creating a game and getting it to backers on time is highly complicated and involved. Delays are possible at each step from art, to production, to shipping.

To mitigate these risks we have established a fantastic help-line of people who have the expertise that we do not. We have sought out industry professionals and people who have had successful Kickstarter campaigns to provide us with guidance, expertise, and a sounding board. We feel very confident that the people in our corner have and will provide us with the information necessary to provide a smooth and successful campaign.

We have established relationships with several manufacturing companies who have a proven track record of creating great games with high quality components and who have experience working with Kickstarter campaigns.

We have also established a supply chain network capable of getting the games from the manufacturer to our Kickstarter backers including multiple potential distribution agents who have a good reputation in the industry and experience working with Kickstarter campaigns.

100% of the art and graphic design for all of the game components has been completed except for any new art created during the Kickstarter campaign.

We believe in being 100% open, honest, and transparent with our backers and will keep them up to date, informed, and we are ready, willing, and excited to communicate and answer questions.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about our campaign:

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1


    Contribute $1 or more towards the important research that went into Pathogenesis. You will receive comments and updates keeping you informed of the level of infection the game is having world wide!

    Estimated delivery
    50 backers

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39


    One (1) copy of Pathogenesis
    ~ Includes all stretch goals!

    SHIPPING: backers in some countries must add additional shipping costs on top of their base pledge level. See shipping chart below.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1,538 backers

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75


    Two (2) copies of Pathogenesis + 4 additional starter decks. Using our classroom mode this will allow up to 12 total players to play 3 separate games at one time.
    ~ Includes all stretch goals!

    SHIPPING: backers in some countries must add additional shipping costs on top of their base pledge level. See shipping chart below.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    133 backers

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    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)