Pandemic Board Game Review

This month’s board game review is of Pandemic, for the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club. I have been super excited to play Pandemic for a long time, as I had heard such great things about the game.

What is Pandemic?

As humanity is gripped by 4 deadly viruses spreading rapidly, it’s a race against time for players to find a cure, by traveling around the world, sharing knowledge and preventing more outbreaks. Players play together, instead of against each other so you all either win or lose. The fate of humanity is in your hands!

If one or more diseases spread beyond recovery, humanity is doomed and all players are defeated. To win, players simply must find the cure for all 4 diseases and save the human race from elimination.

How To Play

You and your fellow team are members of a disease control force. You must work together to cure 4 diseased before a huge outbreak occurs and humanity is doomed. Pandemic is a cooperative game so all players win or lose together.

Players lose if:

  • 8 Outbreaks occur (a world panic happens)
  • Not enough disease cubes are left when needed (a disease has spread too much)
  • Not enough player cards are left when needed (Your team has run out of time)

Each player takes on a specific role. A card is drawn at random for each player to determine the role of each player. These 7 roles have special abilities to improve your team’s chances of winning.

  • Contingency Planner
  • Dispatcher
  • Medic
  • Operations Expert
  • Quarantine Specialist
  • Researcher
  • Scientist
The Role cards have stunning artwork!

Play is kept simple. On each go your turn is divided into 3 parts. First, you do 4 actions (these actions are listed on an action card that is easy to hand for reference), then draw 2 player cards (these become your hand) and then finally, you infect cities.

Players should freely give each their advice- you are working together remember! Players should let everyone give their opinions and advice. Sometimes this can take a while, while you plan what you want to do to maximise the future of humanity! The player whose turn it is does have the final say.

Good points and Bad Points

I LOVE nearly everything about this game!

  • It’s easy to play
  • The board itself feels thick and sturdy
  • It doesn’t take up much room- No big bulky box
  • The artwork is stunning
  • Quick to learn
  • Instructions are clear and detailed
  • Makes a change to play a cooperative game rather than competitive
  • Fast paced- Keeps you on your toes and tensions high
  • Never gets boring
  • varying starting difficulty levels to keep the game challenging

There are not many bad things to say about this game, at all. But, if I were to nitpick…

  • It can seem daunting at first, but after 1 round, everything is easy
  • Lots of small pieces that a fiddly to handle
  • cooperative games aren’t for everyone

Extra Info

Pandemic was designed by Matt Leacock and is published by Z-Man Games. It was won various awards including the Golden Geek Award in 2009 by BoardGameGeek, which lists a further 34 awards and nominations… a truly astounding game!

The game is suitable for players aged 8+ but I do think my 6 year old would be able to play with a little help. It is suitable for 2-4 players, but I don’t see how more couldn’t join in if teams are made.

The idea of saving humanity from some grotesque disease may not be for everybody but the designer has also created Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert, which are totally different themes- but still cooperative. Keep your eyes peeled for reviews of these games on my blog soon! Of course, cooperative games aren’t for everyone. If you’re more into competitive games, players might consider some other options, such as these.

Where To Buy

Pandemic is available for £36.99 RRP and is available from all good board game shops and Amazon.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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