|Players:||2 - 4|
In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.
The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases' activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the "normal" spread of the infections.
Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists' strengths in order to conquer the diseases. For example, the Operations Expert can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases and which allow for greater mobility between cities; the Scientist needs only four cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal five—but the diseases are spreading quickly and time is running out. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!
The 2013 edition of Pandemic includes two new characters—the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist—not available in earlier editions of the game.
Pandemic is the first game in the Pandemic Series
Learn how to play:
I think this is one of my all-time favourite games.
It is so easy for a virus to spread, but one thing about the game is that even playing a standard game, there quite a reasonable possibility that you wont stop the pandemic - which seems realistic, but I'm never happy losing! On the flip side, I really do enjoy getting on top of the Pandemic, and feel highly satisfied when we nail it.
You have to work really well together and go through the options trying to come up with the best move you can make at the time. I don't think it suits players that just want to do their own thing, or maybe it is just me - I like to have input, and have a good plan.
It has help the kids to understand why we do a lockdown and how the viruses spreads. They have also enjoyed that there is not a single winner and we all collaborate to save the humanity.
You really feel like you are trying to save the world in this immersive co-operative game (especially recently). The set up can be a bit tricky at first - it pays to read through the rule book carefully. We have been tripped up by not playing things quite correctly a few times. It's amazing how authentic it feels once you get going. The pandemic builds up slowly then starts to accelerate, you are trying to treat the disease while at the same time coordinating with the other players to find a cure to save the world and just when you think things are going well they can take a sudden turn for the worse. It requires quite a bit of strategic thinking, and is truly co-operative. We always play with open hands and make group decisions on what each player should do and often play with a dummy player so we can get an extra role (four players seem to have a better chance of winning and we hate it when we lose!)
This game is fun! We get really into the storyline, feeling the tension as pandemics spread and break out all over the place! Trying to keep things under control at the same time as trying to find a cure is not easy - we find this one is harder to win at the full player count!
Pandemic is a classic cooperative game that consistently makes it onto our table. Easy to teach, always fun.
Work together to cure the four diseases that are spreading across the globe. Difficulty is nicely scalable from 'we should win pretty much every time' to 'holy heck we are DOOMED'.
This game does run the risk of being taken over by an 'alpha player' who just directs everyone else, so that it something to be aware of when picking your play group and when teaching newbies...!