Game review: Pandemic: save the world one virus at a time
Posted December 8, 2016
The board game world is divided into two groups: those who have played the game Pandemic and those who have not. It has won more awards than almost any game on the market. Players work together to save the world from deadly viruses as medical heroes.
With the board spread across the table, players will see a world map with various cities across the global landscape. Areas of the world are separated into different colors matching the origins of one of four deadly viruses.
The game begins with the infection of multiple cities. Small colored cubes are placed on cities to represent infection. More cubes is bad because this can end the game with a loss for the heroes. During the game if a fourth cube is required to be placed on the same city, an outbreak occurs and the virus spreads to every surrounding city.
Each player starts with a special role card such as the scientist or operations expert. Each role can perform a special action. For example, the quarantine specialist can prevent an outbreak in a city where she is present and she prevents the placement of additional disease cubes. It's fun to play the different roles each game, and this adds variety.
Gameplay is simple. Each turn a player may take four actions. Most often players will be moving around the board or curing diseases. Cities are connected by lines on the board, and moving from one city to another takes an action. Getting rid of one disease cube takes an action.
Additional actions can be spent to build research centers, share knowledge in the form of cards or even discover a cure for one of the viruses. Finding a cure is crucial because eliminating the four viruses enables the players to win the game.
Depending on the number of gamers, cards are dealt to each player depicting one of the cities on the board. Cards can be used for a variety of actions such as travel or curing diseases. To cure a disease, a player must discard five cards of the same color in a city with a research center. Discover a cure for all four and the players win.
As players take turns, they play cards and draw new cards in an attempt to cure disease. Cards are replenished from a shuffled player deck on the board, but mixed throughout this deck are horrible Epidemic cards that cause the diseases to multiply and surge out of control. These cards add excitement, frustration and a surprise every game.
Pandemic is a blast to play and is easy to learn. It accommodates two to four players and lasts about an hour. The tension and nail-biting action make this game filled with interesting decisions and play. It comes highly recommended and is a game that should be found in most game closets. It's such a popular game it can even be purchased at big retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. Find out more at Z-Man Games.