Saturday, 21 February 2015

Pandemic

Deadly viruses are on the loose and it is up to your team from the CDC to stop it!


This game plays out on a world map where little colored cubes represent deadly, nameless, viruses that are spreading rampantly across the globe. If you run out of cubes of any color, or have too many outbreaks (which usually comes down to bad luck), or run out of player cards to draw (two of which are drawn each turn), you lose. That last, yet simple condition is excellent design for me as it pretty much guarantees that each game you play will only go for 45 minutes to one hour simply because you WILL run out of cards by then.

Having a "set" play time makes it easy to plan around, unlike some other games that can go on for a long while. Having multiple uses for those all important player cards also is good design in my book, as it will require coordination to actually come out on top to find a cure for all the plagues and win the game. While we have only played beginner difficulty games so far it has already been exciting with close calls and even one loss. The adding of Pandemic cards (which make the plagues burst from already sick locations) dictates the challenge level.

And if that isn't enough the "On the Brink" expansion adds three optional challenges in the forms of virulent strains, mutations and even a playable bio terrorist. We haven't tried any of those so far as the base game adds quite enough of a challenge, however that expansion does come with a better "box" to contain all the components from the first game as well as interesting new roles and cards which allow a fifth player to also join the team.

It's fun, easy to setup, easy to play, and as challenging as you want it to be. I give it four outbreaks out of five.

2 comments:

  1. Pandemic is great fun, I'm a big fan of cooperative games and Matt Leacock seems set to produce some of the best.
    I the mechanics that appear in Pandemic are carried over in a simplified manner to he more recent games Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert.

    We still haven't won Forbidden Desert tho >.<

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    1. Oh cool, I didn't realize all of those were made by the same guy! :D I don't have Forbidden Island, but Forbidden Desert is pretty high up in the difficulty scale. My best record there is that I've only beaten the difficulty below Legendary once which I'm sure was a total fluke.

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