At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic it seems kind of strange to be playing this game. The theme is obviously hitting home for the entire world right now. That being said we decided to see if we could do a better job than our government at containing the pandemic.
It seems kind of odd for me to be doing a review of a game that came out 12 years ago and was a huge success. This is part of my 2020 challenge to play through our entire collection of games this year, so here we go with the review of the original Pandemic. If you don't know this already the game was so popular that there have been 18 expansions/spin off games made with the Pandemic title. These include a Cthulhu version and North America: Hot Zone (now that's really too close for comfort at this point). NA: Hotzone is also print and play if you have a printer, some time at home and want to relive the pandemic here in North America.
"Dumb old COVID-19 has me online after work to get some of my recreation now."
I am an IT Engineer by day and on the computer most of the day for work, so I like to unplug
for recreation. However dumb old COVID-19 has me online after work to get some of my recreation now. As you might have read in a lot of the previous posts my gaming groups have all been using Vassal as our platform to tabletop game. This is my first time playing a board game on Tabletop Simulator. If vassal is a kin to Linux then Tabletop Simulator is more like a Mac. Its real pretty and accomplishes the same goal of me getting to play games with my friends and loved ones. It took us a few minutes to figure out how to setup the cards and pieces. One thing we found annoying was the pieces all interacted with each other. I cannot tell you how many times my pawn was laying on its side on the board. Nice things were being able to see other peoples cursors so we could operate more like a physical game. People were able to say put your pawn here and everyone else got it.
Back to Pandemic... This game has a fairly simple set of mechanisms that are quick to learn and fun to play over and over again. Basically you have a character that has some sort of ability like the ability to trade cards easier or move other players on your turn or research the cure faster.
On your turn you get four actions to take you may take any of the basic actions (move yourself, remove a disease cube, share knowledge, build a research station or discover a cure) you also can do any special moves your character has and some times there is a card in your hand you can play. The point of all that action is to find a cure for the (in the standard version) 4 diseases. Easy enough... not really there are many ways to end the game before you get that far. You run out of cards, you have to many outbreaks, you run out of disease cubes, etc. In order to stop all that you have to control the spread of the disease before it causes outbreaks (which if you have bad luck can cascade on you and end the game real fast).
The game is simplistic but its a rare game that when I sit down an play with a group its usually more than just the once. You lose this game more than you win it. Losing the game just makes you thirst for the win even more and leads to the next game of Pandemic. If you don't have it in your collection yet you should if you haven't played it you should. This is a staple in my collection.
Designed by: Matt Leacock
Published by: Z-Man Games, Albi, Asterion Press, Filosofia Édition, Show More
Year Published: 2008
Recommended Ages: 8+
Time to Play: 45 minutes