PANDEMIC is One of the Best Cooperative Tabletop Games Ever
Pandemic is a classic cooperative tabletop game. In the game, you and up to 3 of your friends will try to save the world from four deadly diseases. I will not be talking about any of the expansions in this review, but maybe I’ll cover them in the future.
In Pandemic, you and your friends assume the roles of characters like the Scientist and the Medic in a world where four diseases are threatening the globe. Your team will have to work together in order to discover the necessary cures before the whole world is consumed. On each of your turns, a player may take up to 4 actions including treating diseases, moving around the board, building research centers, and even discovering the cures for the diseases. After taking their actions, they draw two cards that will either be Events or Cities to help you find cures. Finally, the person reveals new cities that become affected by the diseases. The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t make it easy.
This game has several defeat conditions including running out of cards in the player deck, running out of disease cubes for any of the four diseases, or if enough cities outbreak. Players will have to be diligent to make sure that none of these conditions are met which puts you on a bit of a timer. There will be a lot of planning and group talk to figure out the best moves in your current situation each turn. If you find the game to be getting too easy, simply add more Epidemic cards which have you reuse Infection cards.
The pieces aren’t too special, just your typical colored pawns and cubes, but you don’t need anything special. What makes this game so great is the combination of price and replayability. I’ve easily played Pandemic dozens of times and it’s still one of my favorites.
The pressure of balancing the three loss conditions can really get to some people and cause small mistakes that can cost you the game, but it is refreshing to have a variety of ways to lose. There have been many turns where you’ll wish for one more action and other turns where you can’t quite figure out what to do with that final action. As you play Pandemic over and over again, you’ll have games that are easy, some that you win by the skin of your teeth, and several that you lose. However, each game will be a lot of fun as long as you play with the right people.