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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Game
Pandemic is a co-operative strategy game in which the players - taking the roles of specialists - must fight to control four diseases spreading across the planet. Each turn a player may move their pawn, swap cards with other players or cure diseases. At the end of each turn the players flip over epidemic cards which dictate how the diseases spread and where. As these...
Published 14 months ago by Bishmanrock

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent game
This game is great and really great fun and easy to get everyone into the theme of 'saving the world'. With this version though the board is thin and of very poor quality and some of the plastic counters are poorly cut with chips on the corners. Get this game and if you like it I'd suggest replacing some of the components.
Published 3 months ago by C. Bullivant


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Game, 30 May 2013
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
Pandemic is a co-operative strategy game in which the players - taking the roles of specialists - must fight to control four diseases spreading across the planet. Each turn a player may move their pawn, swap cards with other players or cure diseases. At the end of each turn the players flip over epidemic cards which dictate how the diseases spread and where. As these cards are random, you never quite know where the diseases are going to be and you should always make sure you have a strategy on hand just in case things start to go pear shaped.

The rules and play have been covered extensively by other reviewers, so I won't go too indepth. The game lasts for roughly an hour. Gameplay can often feel tense - more often than not you feel as if the game is one step ahead of you, and as the diseases begin to grow and spiral out of control you can feel feel the heat. If you don't manage to get it under control before there are so many outbreaks, you will lose the game.

I've played this game with different groups, and despite it's popularity it's been pretty hit and miss with some folk. Some people can't get over the presentation or theme. There's a bigger reason why those people didn't enjoy it, and why I hated my first game:

Co-operative games like these can sometimes suffer from someone taking the lead. If there's one player who has played the game quite extensively, it can suffer from that person telling inexperienced players what they should do. Having someone else telling you how to take your turn is dull and ruined my first set of games, but luckily there's a rule within the game that states that players should not reveal the contents of their hands to one another. This keeps things fairly social and forces players to talk to one another whilst playing.

The only other whinge I have is that sometimes the game seems to be a cakewalk. This comes down to luck of the draw and what characters you get at the start of the game. Sometimes you know if you're going to have an easy time depending on the characters you're dealt.

If you're already this far into the reviews, then you must think that you might enjoy the game in some form. As long as you like strategic games, you can't go wrong and you should definitely give it a whirl. I've yet to get my missus to enjoy it though, so we quite often just play Lord of the Rings instead!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Co-Operative Game Going, 23 Dec 2013
By 
Juan McGuinness "Rhumsaa" (Ellan Vannin) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
Bought this game after watching it played on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop and have been very pleased to add this to my stack, prior to this game I had not owned a truly co-operative game and to be honest I am not sure I will find another to beat it.

First off the quality of the board and pieces is top notch, the look and feel is lovely and having played it a fair few times now no sign of wear and tear has appeared on any of the pieces or cards.

The game mechanics are simple to understand and each player has access to a card that gives a quick run down of the basic turns rules/actions on a general level as well as any character specific rules on their cards. This neatly means once you've played it a couple of times you don't need to refer back to the manual. Which is nice.

The game has one way to win, which is curing every disease, but many ways to lose which means even when you're a seasoned player and think you've worked out a solid strategy how to win you can be blindsided and lose. The difficulty level of the game can be altered as well using the number of Epidemic cards which is a nice touch so that you can gradually increase the challenge. Also the different player roles make each game different as skills you may have relied on previous games are now unavailable - the random selection process ensures people are forced out of their comfort zone which adds to the variety of the games.

All in all this is a brilliant game to bring people together, especially in a regular group of gamers who spend their time working out ways to screw each other in a desperate attempt to win, you won't be disappointed to spend an hour playing this.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding co-op game for grown ups and teens, 19 Mar 2013
By 
Adrian "adrianjfrost" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
This is the re-printed, restyled and updated version of Pandemic - a game where everyone has to cooperate to win (or lose) together

From the 2008 Edition (and near identical 2012 reprint) there a few changes to components and artwork, plus 2 new player characters, but other than that game play is pretty much the same as before. The 2008 Edition has a more old fashioned feel (that some people like) but this is bit more modern and a little bit more interesting visually (imo). Owners of the original don't have much reason to update (in my view)

Basically you have to work together to save the world. Every game plays differently and every game is challenging, you wont beat it first time. Play is fairly low on luck so you have to be thinking and planning from the start. I really don't know what else to say, it is about THE best co-op game out there.

Component quality is reasonable but not outstanding. A lot of plastic components (all 96 disease markers, look funky though) but decent quality board and cards - pretty much what to expect from a modern Z-Man made game. I don't like the colouring of the player markers (there are 3 that are a different shade of "greenish" and the orange Medic card has a red player marker) and the unpainted Research Stations (why aren't they painted I wonder?). The Blue colour infection cards are more like purple too, which is slightly annoying if you are sensitive to such things. For those concerned about rumours of faulty boards (the first print run had missing link between Sao Paulo & Lagos) we got our copy from Amazon in early March 2013 and had no issues. If you do have a faulty board email Z-Man and they should send out a new one

If you have only ever played "traditional" board games like Cluedo you really should try Pandemic, though if you are just starting out in the modern co-op genre then Forbidden Island is a little less challenging (and more family friendly, F.I. plays well with younger players from 6 or 7)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A game that can be vicious when it beats you, 2 Dec 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
I bought this to play at a weekend away with some friends. Having played a game on my own and also watching Wil Wheaton's full game play video on YouTube(worth a look if you want to or have bought the game as it shows you what happens in the game) I explained the rules to my mates and we were away with not much trouble.

First game I used what I believed to be the best role cards for us in 3 player game and we won, second game I randomised the role cards but got the same roles as the first game and the game beat us half way through on outbreaks...it was a great example of how the game changes every game even with the same roles. Having played through 3 times the tactics start growing as you can see how you move pieces around to swap cards.

I think two of my friends will be buying the game themselves. It is like a game of chess combined with a wierd form of Risk - the co-op factor is very good although one does have to make sure people do not take over the game as some people can see many turns ahead on what needs to be done much like a chess game - however this is not a major issue as long as people can see they are doing this.

A great educational game for making people get a feel for risk and tactics.

Well worth buying and great value compared with other games.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended co-operative game for two or more players, 16 July 2014
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
Pandemic is a co-operative game so everyone takes on a different role and works together against the game. There is still the competitive element of working against the game, however it's nice to all win or all lose together.

There are three levels of difficulty based on how many 'epidemic' cards you use. We're finding the second level (using 5 cards) a good level for us as we need to work hard to win, but still feel we have a chance. It's pitched right so we usually only JUST win or JUST lose and this makes us want to play it again straight away!

I've played with two and three players, but the game allows for up to four people. It's a great game played with just two players. It's usually just my boyfriend and I playing and we often find board games don't work as well with two players as they do with more, but Pandemic works very well and doesn't require adapting the rules.

It didn't take too long to understand the rules and because you're working cooperatively it isn't too daunting to introduce new people to the game. I've introduced this game to someone who plays a LOT of board games as well as someone who hasn't played a board game since they were a child and both people really enjoyed it.

My only negative comment is that a couple of the player roles are better to play with than others. When I say 'better' I don't necessarily mean it's easier to win with them, but that they just aren't as fun to play with. That said if you work together and play to your strengths you can still have a very enjoyable game.

I'd happily suggest this to anyone looking for a new game to play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful coop board game!, 24 July 2013
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
One of the best on the market. Really well thought out, fair bit of replayability - tough as nails. Great buy for anyone looking for something new in the board game section.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Co-Op game!, 28 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
I watched this game being played on the Internet and wasn't entirely sure if it was going to be a success with my misses and young daughter (9); how wrong was I, it is a great game that is easily understood and plays at a a good pace so as to keep all interested.

We played it 4 times in the first day, initially it was get an understanding of the mechanics and how the general rules work, which to be honest are very clever. You need to learn what and how the role cards are and work for you, this really helps with being able to get close to winning this game.

A superb old school board game that is fit for family play, love it!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heal The World!, 24 July 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
Really enjoyable board game. Openly co-operating with other players instead of competing against them is a fresh twist; it will encourage a lot of tactical discussion during the game ("I'll meet you in Riyadh!", etc). However, every player must 'infect' more cities during their turn, so the sense of threat and competition is still there, albeit from the game itself rather than other players.

Overall Positives:
- good quality game board, cards and pieces (plastic and wooden),
- topical and imaginative premise - disease is spreading more and more
with each player's turn and needs to be treated,
- encourages team-work and cooperation rather than rivalry and self-regard,
- difficulty level can be easily changed (by number of Epidemic cards used),
- has enduring playability (players can be one of seven different
characters, each with different abilities),
- good balance of strategy (no dice involved) with luck (normally four
unknown cards are drawn each turn),
- rules easy to learn.

Potential Negatives:
- you can miss actually competing against other players,
- domineering players can take over gameplay ("right, this is what we're
gonna do..."),
- can seem short in duration (45 mins usually),
- only one path to victory (find four cures); lacks diversity of tactics
(such as in points-based games where there are different ways to build up
your score, i.e. Settlers of Catan).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied, 9 April 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
Received this recently as a gift to myself from my birthday money.
Took the gamble with the whole misprinted board thing, but mine had the Sao Paulo - Lagos link. So I reckon the misprints are very few and far between now.
Sadly my copy took a while to get to me, but that was mostly due to the snow disruption I think.

I've played the original version before only a couple of times. But friends have assured me that a few of the subtle changes are decent improvements.
The most obvious differences to me are the appearance. But my friends have noticed the changes with some of the roles and a few other things.
Appearance-wise I think the board looks and feels far better. The quality is a definite improvement. I'm not quite sold on the new smaller plastic blocks which represent the 4 viruses. But I can see why some people like them. I think I prefer the wooden blocks. But I can see that the size of the old wooden blocks did cause issues with blocking the names of the Cities on the board. This seems to happen less now when we play with the new plastic blocks.
For me I would prefer to have the Research Stations painted. But then, what colour would they painted them so as not to be the same colour as player pawns or viruses. I'm seriously tempted to pain them myself, just because I don't like the clash of painted wooden pieces with plastic virus blocks and then unpainted wooden Research Stations. I would've preferred a more universal "painted wood for everything" look.
But all the pieces are certainly functional and doesn't in any way affect the way the game plays, which in reality is of course the main concern. But if you're fussed on aesthetics, then these sorts of things could have you constantly scratching your arm until it bleeds, rocking backwards and forwards, mumbling to yourself.

As for the game itself, I've always enjoyed Pandemic. I love the gameplay, and the cooperative aspect of the game. I do think there should be more cooperative games out there. I do think this game needs to be played 2-3 times before you finally start to remember all the different ways your pawns can move around the board, and are able to devise game strategies according to your role. The first couple of times you play is hindered slightly by having to learn the mechanics as you go whilst trying to devise a strategy that enables you all to win.

Overall, I'm pleased I've finally got myself a copy of Pandemic. I love this game, and how it brings people together to argue (discuss) strategies to collectively win.

Buy it, and save the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Save the World, 10 July 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Pandemic 2013 (Toy)
Pandemic is a co-operative game that sees players work together to seek to cure and then eradicate a number of diseases that are outbreaking across the globe. Each player plays a different role and each character has different skills depending upon which card they draw at the onset of the game. The aim of the game is to travel the world by moving your character from city to city by various means in order to manage the spread of disease before things get out of hand.

Mechanically speaking, the game is quite straight forward with initial infections being determined by drawing cards at the onset of the game and then further infections taking place at the end of each player's turn when random city cards are drawn. Players must work together to remove disease cubes whilst collecting cards relating to each of the four specific diseases in order to find a cure. The difficulty can be set by adding greater numbers of 'epidemic' cards into the deck, which means that there are more outbreaks and things are a bit faster-paced and more challenging.

This is a great introduction to co-operative gaming. My wife has warmed to board games since we played this and it stops us having to try and outdo each other in competitive play (she is too nice as she sees how frustrated I get when she is unaturally lucky and wins everything we play). Seriously though, whilst competitive gaming is good fun with friends, sometimes it is far better to have co-operative gaming within the family unit.

In terms of quality, the board and box are sturdy and the components are genuinely nice to handle and play with. The cards do get a bit worn given time and a decision will need to be taken as to whether protective sheaths are worthwhile. I would say yes but the game does get some serious playing time at our house. When things get stale and the strategies for each character type have been mastered, make sure you progress onto Pandemic on the Brink.

All in all a strong 5 stars and a glowing recommendation from me. Enjoy...
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Pandemic 2013
Pandemic 2013 by Z-Man Games
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