Tabletop Thursday: “Pandemic” Review

After multiple posts on various board games, I now consider myself an avid tabletop gamer. If that’s even a thing. As mentioned before, we own all four pillars of Euro-style gateway board games. We host bi-weekly if not weekly game nights at our apartment, sometimes even twice a week. So it’s pretty safe to say that I have some experience when it comes to playing and winning at board games. Just the other night, I won back to back Carcassonne and Takenoko games. But when our friend Greg came over a few weeks ago with a new board game called Pandemic, I had no idea what I was in for.
Sure I knew that Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop had covered it and the salesperson from the games store could not stop raving about it, but I was stubbornly avoiding it since it was a cooperative game. Something you have to know about me is that I’m very competitive. Very. Ask anyone. Actually don’t. Don’t believe anything they tell you! Anyways, I was wary of a game that didn’t pit you against your friends to see who would emerge victorious. But there was no avoiding this game. It was game night and this was what we were playing.
The premise is pretty straightforward: You and your friends are part of a team of specialists whose mission is to find a cure for four diseases that are threatening to wipe out all of humanity. It works much better if it’s super dramatic. Every player gets a role which has a special ability that can help you out. Every turn, more and more cities are infected. Outbreaks can happen and the dreaded “Epidemic” card can appear when you least expect it. To quote Wil Wheaton, “there are a lot of ways to lose but only one way to win”. You lose if the outbreak token gets to the skull. You lose if you run out of disease cubes to put on the board. You lose if you run out of Player cards to be drawn.
I had to admit, I was pretty impressed with the quality and the look of the board game. I love the map, the disease cubes, the cards and the fact that Manila was a city on the board. That being said, what did I think of the game itself? I LOVED IT. Yes I, the rabid competitor, loved the cooperative game. Even though you’re not competing against each other, you’re still trying to take out the game and it’s actually much worse to lose against an inanimate object than your friend. The first time we played we lost pretty quickly and we all bonded in that shared feeling of frustration. Next time we played, we came together and worked pretty efficiently to save the world. The key to this game is to promote communication between players since the complaint I hear the most from playing Pandemic is that one alpha player controls the whole operation, bosses everyone around and pretty much sucks the fun out of it. If you can avoid that, then you will love this game.



Filed under Fandom

2 responses to “Tabletop Thursday: “Pandemic” Review

  1. Pingback: Tabletop Thursday: “Kill Shakespeare” Kickstarter | Fashion, Food & the Fortress of Solitude

  2. Pingback: Tabletop Thursday: “Forbidden Island” Review | Fashion, Food & the Fortress of Solitude

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