Pandemic is a board game that takes two to four players on an epic fight against the global disease. As members of the World Health Organization, your team will travel around the world in order to find cures for 4 different diseases before they get out of hand and wipe out humanity! This game tests your teamwork skills while also requiring some strategic thinking. It’s one of my favorite tabletop games, but might not be for everyone.
|Release||September 4, 2017|
|Playing Time||~45 min|
|Manufacturer||Publisher Services Inc (PSI)|
Overview and Theme
Pandemic is a cooperative board game that tests your communication and teamwork skills. It’s exciting because there are so many things to do, but it can also be stressful when the diseases start spreading too quickly for you to stop them all.
Pandemic’s theme is incredibly immersive, and the gameplay reflects this. You’ll really feel like you’re trying to cure these global diseases yourself! But be warned, it can get very intense! It might not be for everyone because of how high-pressure some turns can become.
I personally love cooperative games, and Pandemic is one of my favorites, but I can see many people being frustrated by how intense it gets on some turns.
Mechanics and Rules
The game is played on a large board that represents the world. The board will have different cities marked by small plastic cubes, and your goal is to move around these cities in order to find cures for each disease before they get out of control!
You’ll start off with four characters who are represented by playing cards. Each character has advantages over another, so you’ll have to work together by using each of your characters’ unique specialties in order to win the game!
Each turn will be divided into different phases. First thing’s first, you draw five cards from a deck of infection cards and place them face-up on the board. These are where new sick people appear every day around the world, and they’ll need you to cure them!
After that, the infection spreads. Players will then draw two more cards from the infection deck and add one card face up in each city connected to a city already infected with at least one disease cube. If this causes new outbreaks (three or more cubes in a single location), these cities will get more cubes.
Each player has two types of cards: ones that have standard actions and ones with specialized abilities. Standard ability cards allow players to travel from the city.
Gameplay: Complexity and Replayability
Pandemic is a challenging game, but it’s also extremely fun! When you’re playing the game, everyone has to work together in order for things to go smoothly. It can be frustrating when someone isn’t doing what they should be or makes another player sit out of action because they got unlucky with their card draw.
It can get very intense when the disease cubes start spreading too quickly for you to stop them all. This is where Pandemic shines in my opinion! You’ll feel like you’re actually trying to save humanity, and it really immerses you into the theme of fighting against these global diseases!
However, I can see many people getting very frustrated by how fast things can escalate. This game isn’t meant to be easy, after all! If you’re looking for a casual board game that’s suitable for chilling out and having fun with friends, Pandemic might not be the best option.
Pandemic Review: Components and Setup
Pandemic is a great-quality board game! The box itself has lots of nice images and information on the front, which gives you an idea about what kind of experience to expect from this.
Pandemic consists of several elements:
- The Board – you’ll be moving around this as your team tries to find cures for each disease.
- Player Cards – you start with a few of these. Each one has two abilities, and they can be used once per turn to help the team out if needed!
- Infection Deck – this deck contains cards that represent each disease spreading throughout Earth. Whenever an epidemic card is drawn, players must draw several infection cards from the top of the deck.
- City Cards – you can pick up a maximum of three city cards during the game, and using these is vital for curing diseases.
- Player Markers – there are cubes that represent each player on the board. These are moved around depending on how far you get while traveling between cities/countries or where outbreaks occur.
It’s important to note that Pandemic only uses four colors: grey, green, orange, and purple. While this might sound simple, it can be a bit of an eyesore when your table is full of several different colors.
Artwork and Component Quality
Pandemic is a well-made board game that’s made with high-quality components.
Each player card has an illustration that represents a major world city in some way or another, and it’s nice to see these images being used for once! It adds more variety when you’re moving around between all of them while playing Pandemic. The cards themselves are made with good-quality plastic, so you won’t have to worry about them getting damaged easily.
Each die used in Pandemic has been designed with colorful symbols on each side, which makes it easy for players to see what’s happening when they’re rolling the dice during this game! They also roll quite nicely across the board, and there are no suspicious bumps or ridges that might affect the outcome of your game.
Tips for Playing Pandemic
Pandemic is a great board game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. However, it might take you several tries before you actually understand how to play this well!
Try not to over-analyze your turns too much
Since there are so many different things happening in Pandemic, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re doing at any given moment. If you take your time and think carefully about each move before actually completing the game, that might end up working against you in the long run!
Try not to get too frustrated if things are going south
When diseases start spreading out of control during Pandemic, it can be a bit of a difficult situation for players. However, don’t get too frustrated if this happens to you – everyone’s going through the same thing! Just try and stay calm and keep your head on straight while playing Pandemic.
Don’t play with people who are extremely competitive
While there is some strategy involved in Pandemic, there are also some people who might take the game a little bit too seriously. If you find yourself playing with one of these people (we call them “micro-managers”), it’s best to play Pandemic another time!
Don’t try and save up all your cards
It can be difficult for players to decide whether or not they should hold on to their cards. However, it’s usually a good idea for them to actually use those City/Player cards as soon as possible! Players can only carry around three of these at any given time during Pandemic, so try and utilize your resources wisely.
Pandemic is a great board game that puts you in the shoes of an actual contagion expert as they try to stop several different diseases from spreading across the planet. With Pandemic, each player plays at their own pace and can choose whether or not they want to help out during this time!