Pandemic Board Game Review

Pandemic Board Game Review

Across the span of time the world has been stricken with many diseases and plagues. From Smallpox to the Black Plague us humans know a lot about pandemics. That is the essence of what brought the Pandemic Board Game to life. Today we will delve into what makes this game so great, so stick around and read the Pandemic Board Game Review.

What is Pandemic?

Pandemic is a game where you and your friends are placed into a world that is experiencing the spread of 4 diseases across Earth. Players start at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta with nine major cities around the globe already infected with the diseases. Your job is to move around the world and stop the diseases by ultimately finding the cure to all viruses. However the game is by no means easy because each turn the infections will spread. In this game of strategy and cooperation things can get out of hand very quickly.

What comes in the box?

For this Pandemic Board Game review we will be using the Pandemic 2nd Edition Board Game.
In the box you will get the following items:

7 Role Cards
7 Pawns
59 Player Cards (48 City cards, 6 Epidemic cards, and 5 Event Cards)
4 Reference Cards
48 Infection Cards
96 Disease Cubes (24 in 4 colors)
4 Cure Markers
1 Infection Rate Marker
1 Outbreaks Marker
6 Research Stations
1 Board
1 Rulebook

How to set up Pandemic

Pandemic is a relatively simple game to play which makes it good for most ages to play. Lets look inside the box here on the Pandemic Board Game Review to see whats inside.

1.Set up the board and pieces
Place the board within easy reach of all players. Put the 6 research stations and disease cubes nearby. Separate the cubes by color into 4 supply piles. Place 1 research station in Atlanta. Atlanta is home to the CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. Place outbreaks and cure markers
Put the outbreaks marker on the “0” space of the Outbreaks Track. Place the 4 cure markers, “vial” side up, near the Discovered Cure Indicators.

3. Set down infection rate marker and infect 9 cities
Place the infection rate marker on the left-most “2” space of the Infection Rate Track. Shuffle the Infection cards and flip over 3 of them. Put 3 disease cubes of the matching color on each of these cities. Flip over 3 more cards: put 2 disease cubes on each of these cities. Flip over 3 more cards: put 1 disease cube on each of these cities. (You will place a total of 18 disease cubes, each matching the color of the city.) Place these 9 cards face up on the Infection Discard Pile. The other Infection cards form the Infection Deck.

4. Give each player cards and a pawn
Give each player a reference card. Shuffle the Role cards and deal 1 face up in front of each player. Place the matching colored pawns for these roles in Atlanta. Remove from the game the remaining Role cards and pawns. Take the Epidemic cards out the Player Deck and set them aside until Step 5. Shuffle the other Player cards (City and Event cards). Deal cards to the players to form their initial hands. Give cards according to the number of players:
2 player game- 4 cards per player
3 player game-3 cards per player
4 player game-2 cards per player

5. Prepare the Player deck 
Set the game’s difficulty level, by using either 4, 5, or 6 Epidemic cards, for an Introductory, Standard, or Heroic game. Remove any unused Epidemic cards from the game. Divide the remaining player cards into face down piles, as equal in size as you can, so that the number of piles matches the number of Epidemic cards you are using. Shuffle 1 Epidemic card into each pile, face down. Stack these piles to form the Player Deck, placing smaller piles on the bottom.

6. Begin Play!
The players look at the City cards they have in their hand. The player with the highest City population goes first.

How to play Pandemic

  1. Take 4 Player Actions
    Each turn a player can take 4 actions. There are a number of different of actions to choose from. First there is the different types of movement around the board. Each type of movement has its advantages and disadvantages so choose wisely. Next you can build a research station, treat disease, share knowledge, or discover a cure. Each action requires something from the player so make sure to look at the reference card.
  2. Draw 2 cards and add to player’s hand
    In the player deck there are city cards,epidemic cards and event cards. At any given time a player may only have 7 cards in their hand, this mechanic makes the players use their cards efficiently and sometimes make a choice of what cards they need to keep or get rid of.
  3.  Draw Infection cards
    The players will observe the current infection rate and then draw that number of infection cards. The infection rate goes up as more epidemic cards are drawn.
    The players will keep going through these 3 phases until they win or lose.’

Winning and losing conditions

Players win through discovering the cure to all 4 diseases.
Players lose by the following 3 ways:

  1. the outbreak marker reaches the last space
  2. you are unable to place the number of disease cubes needed on the board
  3. a player cannot draw 2 players cards after doing his actions

What we think about Pandemic

Pandemic is easily the best cooperative board game we have ever played. It is very well balanced and is neither too easy, but very challenging. Every game that we play feels different and you never know whether you will win or lose.
Pandemic truly tests you and your friends ability to work together and create a strategy to cure all the diseases without losing in the process. Personally, we love playing Pandemic because it is so easy to introduce it to new players and never seems to get old. While most board games seem to tear me and my friends apart because we are ultra-competitive, Pandemic does the exact opposite and brings us all together, which is quite a beautiful thing. This board game is definitely one of the best board games ever made, and easily the best cooperative board game out to date.

Final Verdict

Pandemic is easily one of the best cooperative board games of all time and should be a staple in any person’s board game collection. The game is perfect for both avid board game players and new ones alike. The game is simple yet challenging and has plenty of variety to make the game last for a very long time before ever getting old. All in all Pandemic is an amazing board game and is well worth the money.

Pandemic gets 5 stars from us!
Pandemic is priced right now on Amazon for the low sale price of $24.99! Make sure to get it while you can!
If you are interested in getting the Pandemic 2nd Edition Board Game from Amazon click here.

This has been the official Pandemic Board Game Review here on Tabletopgamesworld.
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