Something happened. A monkey got loose and bit someone, a lab technician got careless in sneaking out a sample of smallpox, or some traveler sneezed at the wrong place and time. Whatever it was, the world is now facing a series of epidemics that’s threatening to spiral out of control. In this time of crisis, who do you call? The Disease Busters? They’re on vacation. Guess we’re stuck with the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control.

As a member of one of the aforementioned organizations, you and 1 to 3 other fellow members are tasked with the goal of preventing those diseases from enveloping the world. In plainspeak, Pandemic is a board game for 2-4 players whose goal is to keep the diseases in check while researching cures by cooperating with each other.

Each player will be assigned a role, giving them either additional abilities beyond simply moving, treating diseases, building research stations, or researching cures or allowing them to perform those actions more efficiently. For example a Researcher can research cures easily while Quarantine Specialists can stop diseases from spreading. Every game of Pandemic will bring together a random set of roles and it’s up to you all to decide how your group will best use your abilities to find a cure.

Because the job sure ain’t easy. Pandemic will throw a lot of calamities your way. Just when you think a region is safe and you’re on track to finding that last cure, a new disease might spring up somewhere else, causing panic and mayhem as you try to keep it under control. And you’ll have to find a way to do that since you’ll either triumph together or watch the world succumb to outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, and other diseases not found on Oregon Trail. The game’s a sick bastard that way. I mean Oregon Trail, but Pandemic too.

Core Mechanics: Cooperation, Action optimization.

Victory Condition: In Pandemic, it’s simple: research a cure to all 4 diseases plaguing the world! Some people might be confused and think that you need to eradicate all of the diseases on the board to win, but no! All you need to do is find the cure to all 4 and you’re good to go.

Ease of learning: Decently easy to learn. The game offers a limited set of actions that are fairly easy to explain. Furthermore, each player is given a certain number of actions each turn, which helps keep the rules explanation digestible in small chunks. Maybe there might be some difficulty explaining some of the special functions for each role, but even then, most people I’ve taught the game to are ready to play after 10 minutes or pick it up during the course of playing Pandemic’s first few turns.

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Basic Pandemic Strategy Guide
Pandemic Review
Pandemic Video Guide

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