When it comes to games and coming down to the wire, Pandemic is a game that definitely tops that list. I’ve played countless games where we would lose the game if couldn’t figure out how to cure the final disease before the end of another round of turns. It’s stressful but also slightly exhilarating to play out every what-if-I-did-this-and-then-that scenario with everyone on your team and there’s a moment of ecstasy when we realize that a suggested scenario might very well be the scenario we need to save the world and win the game. This is why Pandemic is fun because it’s a game that’s super rewarding when you can work as a team to figure out all the different what-if scenarios to win the game. Yes, everyone may make a ton of mistakes or bad decisions throughout the course of the game, but when there’s a moment of realization that everyone needs to come together to figure out how to get the final cure before “X” turns end, that’s when the game gets exciting and emotions fly high.
Overview of the Game
So if you’re looking for a board game that’s cooperative, strategic, fun, nail biting and takes around 30-60 minutes to play, then look no further since Pandemic fits that criteria perfectly.
Pandemic is a cooperative board game created by Z-MAN Games where players are members of a disease fighting team trying to cure a number diseases that threaten the world’s population. The overall goal of the game is to cure 4 diseases before the diseases get too out of control from outbreak after outbreak or time runs out (e.g. run out of cards). While the fundamentals of each game are similar, every game plays very differently given the cards each player is dealt and the roles they have.
The reason why Pandemic is so fun is that it really requires players to work together and it’s both very challenging and very rewarding. It’s an incredible feeling to work together turn after turn overcoming a number of game challenges to win the skin of your teeth.
Pandemic is also a great couples game or husband and wife game that allows you to play the game fully without any major rule changes.
Pandemic allows for 2-4 to play and each player takes on a unique role. Each role has a special ability that will enable each player to more effectively work with others players or help mitigate the spread of disease. There are a number of roles, so there can be lots of variations on how the game can go based on the roles and the luck of the draw.
Along with roles, there are two decks of cards with mostly city names on each card, one for the spread of disease across the world and one is a player deck where players accumulate cards in an attempt to “cure” diseases. These city cards come in 4 different colors and the point of the game is to accumulate 5 of the same color cities to cure each disease. Within the player deck are also a handful of “Epidemics” and “Events” cards that make the game more challenging and easy respectfully. You can significantly increase the difficulty of the game by adding more “Epidemics” to the player deck.
Every turn, players draw several cards from the player deck and the tricky part of the game which requires players to be extra thoughtful and strategic is at no given time can a player have more than 7 cards in hand. So throughout the game, there are a lot of judgement calls that need to be made as to which cards should be discarded and kept and how and when this should be done.
While luck definitely plays a role in this game when it comes to which cards you draw each turn, the game is largely strategic since you’ll need to figure out what to do with those cards. It’s pretty difficult to win Pandemic on luck alone since card management is a big part of the game as well as cooperating with the other players to find ways to cure the diseases quickly.
2-Players can play the game fine, which makes it the perfect couples game
Mostly strategic game with a little bit of luck
Super easy to learn and easy setup
Requires teamwork and rewarding to win a game
“Hard mode” when there are 6 epidemics is extremely difficult to win
The disease cubes are pretty small and easy to lose
Some roles are significantly overpowered versus other roles