24 October 2012

Review: Pandemic

We don't own this game, but we have basically stolen it from Eric's dad. We love it.

Pandemic is a different strategic board game than most. It's different because it's collaborative rather than competitive. Either everyone wins, or everyone loses.

The idea is that there are four diseases breaking out around the world. The players must prevent the diseases from outbreaking and try to cure each disease, by collecting city cards. These city cards can also be used to travel and build research stations (which are necessary to cure the diseases and are vital to traveling around the world.) Each of the players has a specific role that gives him certain special powers in addition to the basic powers that each player has. After each turn, the diseases grow in a few cities, so it's often a matter of two steps forward, one step back. Every so often an epidemic card pops up, and that adds a whole new city to the mix and increases the rate of disease growth, thus intensifying the challenges in the game.

One of the things I love about this game is that you can adjust the difficulty level within each game. Usually when we are playing with new people we'll make the game easier, but when we play by ourselves we make it as challenging as possible. Also, the roles are assigned randomly, so each game can have a different combination of special powers for the players. This adds a fun dynamic and means the players have to adjust the strategy for each game.

There is an expansion pack, and it provides several different ways to change the game. We've played the game with a couple of the expansion options, but mostly we are happy to play the traditional game over and over and over again.

And one final note. This game makes me want to travel. It's a little counter-intuitive, because why should I want to travel to these disease-filled cities? But, I do. It's doubly-odd that this game makes me want to travel even more than Ticket to Ride, which is a game that is far more about traveling than Pandemic.


Jenn said...

That seems like such an interesting game! Wish we lived closer and could be game buddies with y'all.

Jenny said...

ditto Jenn...