Friday, January 11, 2013

Analog Gaming: Pandemic


The first draft of this review began as a lengthy article trying my best to consolidate the manual with the occasional witty remark, but after reaching halfway in a day, I scrapped the entire piece. Instead, I'm going to use a new format and just list the major points, with brief explanations. You can find rules on boardgamegeek.com. Instead, I'll give you short, bite-sized statements, and leave the rest up to you!

Anyways, here we go with Pandemic!

What?

You're part of the CDC team hired to take down the viruses infecting the globe. Work together to find all 4 cures, or lose as a team.

Who?

2-4 Players (up to 5 with expansion), and about 60 minutes of gametime.

What's cool?
  • Different roles - Everyone has different skills depending on their role, and can help out in their own way.
  • Each turn is tense - Everyone performs their actions and draw cards on their turn. But they also have to infect the board. On every turn.
  • Turns can get tenser - Some cards are Epidemics - which will add more infection to the board, leading to...
  • Cool infection mechanic - Infect the city in the bottom of the deck, then reshuffle all the discards and put on top, to "intensify" the infection rate. Old cities can get infected...again!
  • More than one way to lose - All virus cubes of one color gone? Game over. Number of outbreaks reach 8 or more? Game over. No more cards to draw? Game over.
  • Adjustable difficulty - You can make it as easy or hard as you want.

What's not?
  • Alpha Male - When one player plays for everyone.
  • Bad luck - A game could end quite fast, depending on your luck.

Fun for people who...
  • Want to play a co-op game and work together.
  • Don't mind losing - you will lose...a lot.
  • Enjoy curing diseases as the CDC.

Thought my wife would enjoy it because...
  • It's a co-op game.
  • It's relatively easy to pick up.
  • It would be nice to cure the world together.

So, if she's not interested, can you play by yourself?

Yes.

Overall?

Tense fun, unforgiving board, cool infection mechanic, lots of finger pointing.

Recommend?

Yes. Absolutely.

This game has been played many times single-player, but only about a handful with multiple people. But in that handful, everyone had fun winning or losing.
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