Top positive review
61 people found this helpful
on 30 May 2013
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!