Pandemic Board Game by Z-Man Games
Pandemic Board Game by Z-Man Games
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Pandemic: State of Emergency
You and your team are the only things standing in the way of deadly diseases that threaten the world. The fate of humanity is in your hands!
Pandemic: On the Brink
Raise the stakes and face new challenges with this Pandemic expansion.
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Pandemic: Fall of Rome
Raise armies, defend your cities, and forge alliances to ward off relentless incursions. Can you stop the fall of the world's greatest Empire?
Pandemic: Rapid Response
Disaster has struck! Cities around the world are in desperate need of supplies. Can you save humanity in time?
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
In this unique stand-alone take on Pandemic, you are humanity’s last hope against a threat from beyond this world.
Pandemic Hot Zone: Europe
Work as a team and eradicate all three viral threats to Europe in this streamlined version of the best-selling Pandemic.
Pandemic Hot Zone: NA
Work together to discover cures for three diseases that threaten North America.
Pandemic Legacy: S0
Uncover Cold War secrets in the final installment of the Pandemic Legacy trilogy.
Pandemic Legacy: S1
Actions have consequences from one game to the next as you strive to avert global disaster in this stand-alone epic twist on Pandemic.
Pandemic - A Family Review
Save the world with your family, but not as super humans—as everyday scientists! This globe-spanning game was a blast to play with our older kids.
Although Pandemic is based on curing four worldwide diseases, our kids loved changing the diseases to other dangers. Why combat a microbe when you can pretend there are zombies and robots you need to eradicate?
Pandemic is a rules-heavy game, so be prepared to read the manual before explaining and to answer many questions during gameplay. We found the kids needed a lot of direction their first few turns, but they got the hang of the game quicker than we expected.
One special note—be thoughtful about “quarterbacking” while playing, by which we mean directing all the strategy. Because the game is cooperative and everyone can see all the cards, it becomes very easy for one person (let’s be honest, usually a parent) to direct everyone on how to play their turns. Although this may lead to the most efficient game, it’s less fun for everyone else! We found the most enjoyment when we discussed our game strategy as a team but let the kids direct their turns.
9yo: “I enjoyed having to work out the plan with my family and hoping I got the cards I wanted.”
A big plus about the game being world-spanning? Our kids got to see and read many global city names they weren’t familiar with! The game also has a great look (very early 00’s action/drama aesthetic, think Kiefer Sutherland), lots of tactile cubes, and little scientist pawns.
11yo: “It was pretty cool it had real-world places.”
Pandemic is one of the hardest cooperative games to win, but you can modify the difficulty level to your taste super easily. Our first session took just over 45 minutes on the easiest difficulty… and we won!
Gameplay can take a lot longer depending on the difficulty you set and the amount of player focus. We found that (with adult help) 9+ seemed pretty suitable. And if you’re dealing with teens, they’ll easily be able to play it independently. After the game? Our kids were wishing there was a Pandemic Junior version just for them.
Want a cooperative game that takes teamwork, luck, and strategy to win even half the time? Definitely pick up Pandemic.
- Pre-read the game rules and plan out how to most clearly explain them to kid players.
- The epidemic interaction with the infection deck is one of the coolest, smartest game mechanics around.
- Want a different aesthetic? Try two other games built on the Pandemic System: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King or Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu.
Find the Cure
From designer Matt Leacock, Pandemic is a cooperative game of teamwork for two to four players. As members of an elite disease control team, you must keep four deadly diseases at bay. Work together as you travel the globe to treat infections while collecting the cards you need to discover a cure for each disease. But the clock is ticking as outbreaks and epidemics fuel the spreading plagues. As a cooperative game, players win or lose together. Only by working together can you keep the outbreaks in check and find the cures in time!
Avert Global Disaster
With diseases cropping up all over the planet, Pandemic takes place on a global scale. Over the course of the game, players use actions to move between hotspots while treating diseases and setting up a network of research stations that help them cure diseases and make movement more efficient. Each player manages a hand of cards matching the colors of the four diseases. These cards allow them to travel more quickly between cities or—if a single player can collect five cards of the same color—discover a cure for a disease. But plenty of challenges stand in their way. Outbreaks can spread diseases across the board and random epidemics can intensify a disease in a moment’s notice. It’ll take everything you’ve got to keep things under control.
A Unique Set of Skills
Whether there are two players or four, everyone must work together applying their various skills to benefit the team—and the world. To that end, at the start of the game, each player takes one of seven role cards that grants a special ability. The Scientist, for example, only needs four cards of the same color to cure a disease, and the Dispatcher can move other players’ pawns as their own. Each role opens new possibilities and syncs with the other roles, so players can devise new strategies to help the team most effectively.
Save the World
In addition to the roles, there are other ways to add variety to every game of Pandemic. Different cities are infected at the beginning of each game, presenting a new challenge every time. Plus, expert players can make the game more challenging by increasing the chances of deadly epidemics. It will take clear communication and precise planning to deal with these dangerous diseases. Only the most experienced teams can overcome this threat and save humanity!