Pandemic - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2008

Pandemic 2nd Edition
After five years of Pandemic, hundreds of thousands of players have been contracted by the virus! To celebrate this milestone, Pandemic has been completely re-designed. With new artwork by Chris Quilliams (Clash of Cultures, Merchants & Marauders), Pandemic will now have a more modern look, inside and outside the box. With two new characters: the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist, face the game in ways you never thought possible. Brand new challenges are waiting for you!

Pandemic 2nd edition board and new roles
Second edition board and new roles

Game Overview
Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out.

Players must work together, playing to their characters' strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example, the Operation Specialist can build research stations, which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5.

But the diseases are outbreaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures.

A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.

Pandemic 2nd edition cards
images © Z-Man Games

User Reviews (139)

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Robots on the Line fan
Miniature Painter
I play blue
166 of 170 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Superb Cooperative game”

Strong Suits
– A game where everyone works together
– Very challenging yet fun
– You can change the difficulty level from easy to insanely hard
– Easy to teach to others

– It can kill the fun if one person is telling everyone else what to do
– You will lose, especially on the higher difficulty levels (this may motivate rather than discourage, depending on the group you’re with)
– Certain “roles” may be more fun to play than others.

The key to enjoying this game as a group is to give the Dispatcher and Medic roles to the right people in your group! Sure you are “supposed” to hand them out at random, but I suggest you give the Dispatcher to the person in the group who is the most outspoken and most likes to control situations. I’d then give the Medic to the quietest person in the group, that might typically get overpowered in a collaborative situation.

The Dispatcher has extra abilities to move people around the board, which is great for a “leader” personality. The Medic has an awesome ability to go through and cure lots of diseases, which makes someone with a “follower” personality have a lot of fun and help out the group in a big way.

I love this game! The theme of viruses spreading over the globe, is one that almost any gamer or non gamer can enjoy. This is a big reason my wife likes this game as well, because it isn’t dragons or zombies or anything too fantastical.

If you’re looking for a game you can play with others instead of against them, this is a MUST HAVE for your game collection. You’ll find you’re communicating with everyone in your group the whole time, as opposed to other games where you might rarely say a word to anyone until the end of the game.

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Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Advanced Reviewer
143 of 150 gamers found this helpful
“Intense Cooperative with Great Replay Value”

Overview: Pandemic is a cooperative game in which 2-4 players team up to contain and cure catastrophic diseases threatening the global population.

Gameplay: Each player is randomly assigned a role card which gives his character special abilities to use during his turn. Four different colors of wooden cubes, representing the diseases, are seeded on the board by drawing cards from the Infection deck

During your turn, you must choose four actions to take, including moving around the world, reducing disease buildup, and finding cures. Next, you will draw two cards from the player deck. These cards will usually be locations which can be used for faster travel and curing diseases. Also in the player deck are Epidemic cards. They will increase the rate of infection and reset the Infection deck, creating an unpredictable situation and hampering your current strategy. Lastly, you will draw cards from the Infection deck based on the current rate of infection. These will add infection cubes to the board and possibly force an outbreak during which an additional cube is placed on EVERY adjacent city!

The players win by discovering the cures for all four diseases. They can lose in three different ways: failing to prevent eight outbreaks, running out of cards in the player deck, and running out of infection cubes from any of the four colors.

– Random roles and difficulty to win increase replay value.
– Innovative game mechanics.
– Takes about an hour to play, can be used as filler game.
– Excellent gateway game as players do not need to compete and can learn as they play.
– Difficulty can be customized by choosing amount of Epidemics
– Unpredictable Epidemic draws create tension because victory is never guaranteed.

– Experienced players may dominate strategy discussion causing negative play.
– Unpredictable Epidemic draws create tension because victory is never guaranteed.

Historical Figure/ Fictional Character I’d Most Like to Play With: Louis Pasteur

Pandemic is one of the best cooperative games available. It combines quick, strategic gameplay with a random antagonistic game system to generate an entertaining experience.

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8 Beta 2.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012 Bronze Supporter
Advanced Reviewer
130 of 137 gamers found this helpful
“Stopping the Spread of Disease, Not Fun”

This is a game where I love to loose. It is obvious by how quickly I want to reset the board and give it another go. We have played through Pandemic about a dozen times and I think I’ve only won about two times. But every time we lose it feels like you are so close and, “One more time!!!” is being shouted across the table.

You are a team of researches out to cure several epidemics ravaging the world. Each player has a special ability that makes this a bit easier for them. On your turn you draw one infection card that puts a new disease marker on the board and you also draw a player card that will hopefully get you closer to curing the disease.

Curing a disease is done by gathering a number of like color cards and getting them to the research center on the board. For instance, five blue cards cure the blue disease. Get it to the a research center and you can start curing the people.

Does finding a cure save that region the disease spreading? NO! There are still people out there without the cure running around not washing their hands spreading their filth all over the place! In order to eradicate the disease you have to cure each city, wiping out the disease.

Do this with each of the five diseases and you can win. It’s a tall order, especially since there are a number of ways to lose. Running out of disease cubes, running out of infection cards, or too many outbreaks could all lose the game for you. You better like losing to play this game because it will chew you up and spit you out!

Their nice, but nothing special. I think the board has nice art work. The pieces are more functional then a piece of stunning art.

Great replay ability. It will have you coming back for more.
It has a short training time, making it easy to teach to new comers.
Decently short play time allows for multiple play thorughs
Good price point

I think you’ll hear this over and over as you read through the reviews, and it pretty common with co-op games, but look out for the general. That one player who is always trying command the other players where to go and what to do. It’s not a con on the game, and just like most games, you have to have the right people to bring the best of the game out for all to enjoy.

This is a fun game where the theme does a great job driving the game and making you feel the pressure that things are getting out of control and you are going to lose. One of the great things about this game it can often time be more fun to lose to than to beat. When you lose you feel like you were so close and you just needed on more move or break or card and you could have saved the world. Win or lose, this is a game that you will enjoy.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Intermediate Reviewer
130 of 137 gamers found this helpful
“A well balanced fight against the nature”

The Premise

Pandemic is a game about four disease control workers trying to stop four global Pandemics from eradicating the human race. It’s a race against the time, and the winner is determined by who is left on the face of the planet.

Out of the box

The board is thick and feels durable. There’s lots of cards too in there. Five different player pawns of unique color and some wooden houses representing research stations. There’s also a manual which seems well done, clear and informative. The colors on the pawns are a bit off though, they don’t represent the colors on the role cards very well (which determine your disease control worker’s unique skills). There’s also wooden cubes for the four different diseases.

Actual Gameplay

You have three different mechanics for failing. 1 You run out of player cards (which are used for travel and curing diseases, each player draws them from a deck during their turn), 2 you run out of disease cubes which you have to add to the game (representing the diseases spread) or 3 there’s too many outbreaks. You win only by curing all the four diseases.

You start in Atlanta, travelling the globe in search of information with which you can cure the diseases. It’s though, you have to really work with your team mates in order to save the planet.

Final words

The game is HARD. You will most likely lose first games you play. Don’t be but down by this: the game is very rewarding. The game feels a bit repetitive though without the expansion, but nothing that prevents you from playing again and again. One of the role cards is a bit underpowered, but it gets buffed in the expansion. Some of the disease cubes are a bit bad quality and the pawns have wrong shades of color on them, but otherwise the components are good.

So, if you are a sucker for co-op games and aren’t afraid of getting beaten by the board, get this. The gameplay isn’t deep, but keeps your entertained for sure. It will most likely get a lot of table time as well in your play group, so it’s a good purchase.

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Intermediate Reviewer
Copper Supporter
Viscount / Viscountess
146 of 154 gamers found this helpful
“Down to the Basics Review”

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Pandemic:

1) What it is?
A cooperative game where you have to discover cures for diseases to avoid the brutal human extinction.

2) How do you play?
Draw cards, move pawn, give cards, put cubes on board, remove cubes, shuffle cards, get cure tokens, build research stations, set the outbreak and infection rate levels. Cubes represent disease infection levels and are added to a city when an infection card of that city is drawn. There must be a maximum of three cubes of each color in a given city. If a fourth cube must be added, the disease spreads to the neighbour cities (outbreak). Players can remove one cube worth of a disease per action if the cure was not yet discovered or all cubes from a city per action otherwise. A cure is discovered when one player reaches a reasearch station in a city and he discards five cards of the same color.
Victory: all cures are discovered.
Defeat: there are no more cubes of a color when one is needed or there are no more player cards to draw or the eighth outbreak occurs.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
You have 4 action points to spent with the following actions:
– Where to move your pawn. You must move to remove cubes from a city (cure population), to reach a research station or to be in a better position to give or receive cards from other players. You may move direct to a neighbour city or to any other city using your cards.
– Give cards to players. Other players may have more of a certain diseade. You may give another card of the same color so they have a better chance to discover the cure. You can only give cards of the city where you are.
– Decide to build a research station. These are the only places where cures can be discovered.
– Each player has a different role with different powers. For instance, if you are a scientist you can cure a disease with only four cards.
– There are event cards that can be used at any point during the game. Such cards do not need action points.

4) What is good about it?
Variable player powers are really interesting because they require group thinking and a good dose of ingenuity to work. The game is simple, elegant and fun to play. You can even play solo using more than one role card.

5) What is not so good about it?
As a cooperative game there can be those moments when one player tries to command everyone. Also, you can adjust the difficulty level but after a number of plays the game may look repetitive. This can be corrected with the On the Brink expansion.

6) What it feels when you play it?
After a few rounds there will be tension in the air. There will be outbreaks? Will I be able to reach the research station on time? After a victory, a sense of relief. After a defeat, totally despair, the humanity is doomed.

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I Love Playin' Games
143 of 151 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“There's a reason all other co-op games are ultimately compared to Pandemic.”

Pandemic is one of those games that defies logic; it’s one of the few purely co-operative games out there — with no one set to turn coat and become a traitor later on — and it actually gets harder the more people you play with, not easier. Pandemic is the sort of rare game that appeals both to strategic/power gamers and social/party gamers. It’s relatively lightweight as boardgames go, and the rules for the game and the objective of play are both fairly straight forward.

The premise is simple: up to four diseases are spreading around the globe, infecting cities at a geometric rate, and players take on the role of one of a handful of biomedical doctors, researchers or support engineers in a race to outpace the spread of each disease. Each role has a unique ability that can be used in the fight to stop the spread of disease, to find a cure, or in the final eradication of each disease, but it’s only by working together, synergising each role’s effect that players will start to make inroads into the spread of the disease.

And that is where Pandemic shines. As a truly co-operative game that calls on players to very actively work together, Pandemic excels. A group of players each playing their own game — even experienced players — will never beat the epidemic, even at the game’s tamest setting (and yes, the game comes with three progressively more difficult settings of play), and part of the strategy of the game is learning to identify synergism between the abilities of the roles on offer to maximise their effectiveness.

The theme of the game both sets and suits the pace of play perfectly. As play progresses, the diseases spread from localised areas, using a nifty mechanic that both ratchets up the intensity of the spread of infection, and keeps the base of infection in localised hotspots. There is a minor ‘take that’ element to the game; players have a very limited pool of very special effects and events they can call on in emergencies … but the game effectively has these too, and the rate and pace it which throws out these curve-balls means players can rarely rest. Mechanically, the game does an excellent job of keeping the levels of anxiety high, and it’s usually only a matter of time before that spills over to panic as various outbreaks slowly yet inevitably get out of the player’s control … do you focus on one disease in one area, hoping to eradicate it from the game completely while a second rages out of control … or should you try and keep every disease fenced in, on the chance that a slight reprieve will give you the time to push for a cure?

The game board is pleasing to the eye, with little chrome (superfluous components or rules details added to a game to add a feeling of theme, usually at the expense of mechanical balance and efficiency), and a good level of iconography provides intuitive information without continually having to read detailed card effects, or seek rules interpretations, keeping the pace of play lively.

Co-operative games aren’t for everybody. People play boardgames for many reasons, and the direct competitive element is one of them. But while Pandemic is a co-op, at times it definitely feels like the board itself is playing against you, and players will come to dread the growing sense of anxiety that builds as the diseases start spreading faster than they can contain them.

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125 of 132 gamers found this helpful
“How to have fun while losing a game.”

This is a quick game to pick up. It can be a quick game to play. I’ve lost in five minutes before. But it’s a really great game to play. (I promise I have won a few times!)

I will be honest, if you have someone you play with that likes to control the game play, this is not the best game. The people that are new to the game will be stuck a little bit with the first few moves. A person that likes to control the action of the game can get a bit over involved early and may never give up that control.

I’ve said how much fun it is to lose, and that there is an issue with heavy handed gamers, now on to the good parts. This game is really, really fun. Yes, it’s really tough to win, but it is possible. When you do win the feeling you get is exhilaration – You’ve saved the planet from biological destruction! Even the feeling you get when you lose is quite exhilarating – “Ahhhhhh! Outbreaks.”

All the people that I’ve played with have really loved the idea of a cooperative game. They have also enjoyed the different roles that you take, and the way that you use those roles. The movement actions can be somewhat difficult to get at first, but within a round everyone usually has it. The whole removing a block for curing a virus usually takes about two rounds to figure out. Within that time hopefully you’ve managed the viruses well, because people have it now, and they are travelling around kicking virus butt.

There are just so many frustrating aspects to the gameplay (in a good way) that make this game really great. Shuffling cities back into your draw pile after an epidemic – maddening! Outbreaks – insanity! Disease spreading just after you have found the cure – ridiculous! It’s a great game because it creates a sense of panic to do the right thing, and even when you do the right thing, up pops another problem somewhere else.

Overall, a really great game. I find it’s good for people who are not competitive (against other people) but enjoy a challenge (and are ok with losing!)

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Intermediate Reviewer
53 of 56 gamers found this helpful
“Ew, Cooties!”

But worry not, now you can fight against this childhood dread.
Pandemic is a board game about disease control and racing for the cure. If you have ever played mobile/pc game Plague Inc., its similar, but you’re the bad guys… well it kinda, it depends on the point of view.

Get those germs!
Pandemic is cooperative game for 2-4 players (I have played it with 5, can be done on easier difficulty levels. Beware time runs out faster though) where you try to contain 4 diseases simultaneously while looking for a cure for each disease.

You need to run around the world trying to heal cities in verge of outbreak and same time trying to get right amount of same color cards in order to cure the corresponding disease.

Every turn you have 4 actions where you move and do various things in hope of curing or buying more time to cure a disease. After your turn ends you draw 2 player cards which can be city cards with disease color which can be used for cure, travel or building additional research stations. It might also be an epidemic card that causes all **** to break loose and forces you to change strategy.
Lastly you draw from infection pile to determine where additional disease cube appears and if its right after epidemic card you feel the dread in air.

You win if all 4 diseases have a cure (which you can make when you have 4 same color cards) and you lose the game if one of following happens: player cards run out, outbreak counter reaches to 8 or disease cubes run out.

Who let this amateur in here?
Game is not really complex to learn. As it is a cooperative game you can lay down few basic rules and learn by playing, you get the gist of it in few rounds (as long as there is at least one player who knows the rules). Problem isn’t learning the game, but mastering it. This is one difficult game and even on the easiest setting it’s often a close call.

Where’s my petri dish?
Game components are neat. Especially the disease cubes, they are beautiful and nice to handle. They’re even fun to place on the board, which it really shouldn’t be.
Card art is good and very thematic, but the board is where the art shines. However biggest downer is the old time player pieces, but at least they’re color coded for player cards.

We’ve won… for now
This game can be very hectic and there is feel of impending doom lurking above you. Your group needs to work as a team and be in same page in order to win the game. Or you can have one alpha player to tell you what to do and remove all fun from this game.
Often cooperative games have issues with dominant player, but in this it really bleeds through and it’s arguably the weakest link of the game.

If you have a good group of players who can work well together, this game reaches its proper heights. There will be lots of planning in mids of playing and people asking advice from others what they think is best course of action. Some people might find it too much to handle, but most will enjoy this throughly.

This game promises thrill, anticipation and fun. It doesn’t fail to deliver.

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Advanced Reviewer
Rosetta Stone
68 of 72 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastic Game - Compelling from start to finish!”

We have recently picked up Pandemic as well as the expansion On the Brink for gameplay in our group. I had played this game previously in another group and after explaining the cooperative play to our family/friends we decided to take the plunge. We were not disappointed.

This gameplay is very simple in this game, the rules are well explained and refernce to the manual during initial play is minimal (which I consider to be the mark of excellent instructions). The roles are cleary identified with some outsanding asymetrical abilities that lend themselves nicely to cooperative gameplay where the individual players can take distincive actions during their turns.

The components are quite nice even though simple and the cards and board is nicely attired with a very strong feeling of a global mission/WHO/paramilitary feeling.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of this game is its ability to create a strong thematic tension that at times borders on desparation. Can we stamp out these viral outbreaks in time to find cures and hopefully save the world from a global pandemic. We never felt that we had enough actions in the round to complete the tasks that were before us and there was always an impending sense of the doomsday clock ticking.

I can’t recommend this game enough, thematic tension, necessary player interaction, and simple gameplay with difficult decisions ensure that this game will be a timeless classic!

5 Stars all day long!

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Gamer - Level 5
I Love Playin' Games
52 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Fight against terrible diseases and save the world!”


Games are about 45 minutes, 2-4 players.

You play as a team of specialists, each player has a unique skill that will come in handy during the game play.

During your turn you can do 4 actions:
Move or travel to different cities, treat disease, trade player card with other payers, build research stations and discover cures.
You may do the same action several times, for example:
Move 3 steps and cure 1 disease cube.
Move 1 step, cure 2 disease and build 1 research station.

After your 4 actions are done you draw 2 player card and then infect 2-4 city’s depending on the infection rate.
You infect city’s by placing colored cubes on them, there are 4 different colors that represent the 4 different diseases in the game.
If the city already has 3 cubes of a color,
you do not place a 4th cube. Instead, an outbreak of this disease occurs and the disease spreads to all the connected city’s.

The player card can either help or break you.
There are 3 different player cards, the colored city cards that will help you travel to other locations or build research station, event card that can be played anytime during the game and epidemic cards.
The epidemic cards will truly make **** happened.


Your main objective is to collected 5 of the same colored city card and then move on to a research station. At the research station you discard the cards to discover a cure for the disease of that color.
If no cubes of this color are on the board, this disease is now eradicated.

But during the game you will also have to maintain the diseases so that no outbreaks occur.


The goal is to discover cures for all 4 diseases.
The players lose if 8 outbreaks occur, not enough disease cubes are left when needed or you run out of player cards in the deck.


Oh my god this game is hard! We’ve played it a couple of times and have never won. The most times we lose because we ran out of player cards.
But this is truthfully a remarkable and good game.
The excitement and the tension alone when you play is hard to come by.

Using the characters strengths wisely and planning you strategy before the diseases turns the world into a zombie infected death trap is great fun!

This is a definitive buy!

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Rated 100 Games
Stone of the Sun
Advanced Reviewer
Novice Advisor
114 of 121 gamers found this helpful
“Get rid of deadly diseases together!”

Most cooperative games are meant to be fun. Most aren’t very hard, but just promote a sense of working together instead of competing. With Pandemic it’s different. This is a cooperative game that is hard, very hard. It is so from the first time you play it and when you grasp the basics, there are always higher levels of difficulty to try out. Teamwork and strategic thinking are essential to winning, for the diseases don’t wait…

In Pandemic you are a member of a disease-fighting team (part of the CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention) based in Atlanta. The world is on the brink of a global disaster, because of four diseases that have infected some cities already. You need to combat the diseases and find a cure for them before it’s too late. Every player will randomly get a card with a specific role (like Scientist, Dispatcher, etc.). Each role has a special ability that will be vital to winning the game.

Each player gets four actions which for instance allow him or her to move around the board (depicting the Earth with some major cities on each continent), treat diseases present in a city or try to help discover a cure for one of the diseases. Players can also use their special abilities (the Scientist for instance can more easily discover a cure).

For most actions you need cards. These cards are dealt to you at the start of the game and they might represent cities on the board or some special action that gives free stuff (like a free research center – you start with just the one in Atlanta).

After each player has done his or her best to limit the spread of the diseases, the infection phase starts. A deck of cards has been created at the start, containing some city cards. Depending on the infection rate (this increases when an Epidemic card is drawn) cards are drawn and disease spreads in the cities (add cubes of certain colors to the city). When a fourth cube would be added, there is an outbreak and the disease spreads to adjacent cities. This might trigger a chain of outbreaks, so players need to reduce the number of cubes in cities to prevent this. Too many outbreaks and the game will be over!

When the players find a cure for all four diseases they win. However, when there are no more cubes of one type of disease left to place or there is an eighth outbreak or the draw pile from which players draw two cards each turn is empty, it is over and the players lose.

At first glance Pandemic seems a straightforward game. At the start there is not that much disease on the board and you have a lot of actions to do something about it. This is deceptive, however. The board might quickly explode with disease rampant all over the place and you and your fellow players having a hard time even keeping a status quo. I remember my first games (at the easiest level) that all ended in losses (and big ones!). So you really need to learn and replay this game to get the hang of it. Some roles greatly interact and some don’t, so you need to talk a lot and try to plan ahead. Playing alone is no option. When one player decides to try something not agreed on, you will probably lose fast. In that sense this is a real cooperative game with no room for single glory. You win as a team or not at all!

Personally I think Pandemic is a smart take on the cooperative game genre. While some cooperative games are fun they are mostly not difficult or challenging enough. With Pandemic you are constantly challenged and at the edge of your seat when cards are drawn. Will there be an outbreak just where you hope there wouldn’t be one? How will get out of this new situation? You really need to think strategically and get all players to make their best effort. Otherwise the world is doomed and a global pandemic will crush humanity…

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United Kingdom
Intermediate Reviewer
Video Game Fan
96 of 102 gamers found this helpful
“Are you ready to save the world?”

Breaking news! The world has been infected by not 1, not 2, but 4 deadly diseases, all over the world!

Well that’s bad news! I’m glad it’s not up to me to cure them!

Ah, didn’t I mention you’re an honorary disease control expert charged with saving the world?

No. You didn’t.

Welcome to Pandemic. Pandemic is a cooperative game in which you must cure the world of 4 diseases. Diseases are represented by little cubes in cities round the world represented on the board.

So how do I go about it then?

On your turn, you take 4 actions to help rid the world of disease. Then, you draw two cards from the player deck (nearly all of which will help you). Then the infections spread!

Ok, back up! What actions can I take?

The two simplest actions available to you are to move to an adjacent city on the board or to remove a cube of disease from the city you are in (or all cubes if the disease has been cured). You also have a hand of cards, most of which will show a colour-coded city, and these give you other actions you can take. If you discard a city card you can move directly to that city for an action. If you’ve got the city card and you’re already there, you can give that city card to any other player who is also in the city, or you could discard that card to either move to any other city you choose, or you can build a research station at the city you are in. If you have 5 cards of the same colour and you are in a city with a research station, you can discard them all to discover the cure for the disease of that colour.

And then I get more cards?

Yes, you take two cards from the player deck, and these will nearly always help you. Most of the cards are city cards. There are a few event cards, giving you one-off abilities that don’t count as actions. Finally there are a few, just a few epidemic cards to make your life a living ****. I’ll tell you about the epidemic card in a moment after I’ve told you about the infection phase, so you can fully appreciate how bad it is!

Why am I getting a sinking feeling?

So for the infection phase you draw cards from the infection deck (the exact number depends on how many epidemic cards you’ve drawn so far – the more epidemic cards, the more infections). For each city, add an infection cube to the city. If the city already has three cubes on it – outbreak! Infect all of the cities neighbours instead. If one of those cities also has three cubes – chain outbreak! The only exception here is if a disease has been cured and eradicated from the board, then you don’t have to infect those cities.

So what do these epidemic cards do?

When you draw an epidemic card you take the bottom city from the infection deck and give it 3 disease cubes. This is bad, because this will be a city you’ve not been concerning yourself with before is suddenly full of disease! Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, you take the discard pile for the infections deck, shuffle the cards and place them back on the top of the infection deck. That means the cities you’ve had before, the ones that are already infected, are all about to get infected again. That’s really bad.

OK I’ve got it, but surely I just keep going until I win?

If you run out of cards in the playing deck, you lose. If you have too many outbreaks, you lose. If you run out of disease cubes for any disease, you lose. More than likely, you will lose.

So why would I want to play?

Because it’s such a blast. It’s great working together towards a common win instead of trying to beat your opponents. It’s really tense, and involves the ritual chanting of “please don’t be an epidemic card, please don’t be an epidemic card” every turn of the player deck. And you will probably find that when you lose you’ll only just lose, and you’ll want to play again. And again. And again.

So, saving the world huh? It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it…

Yes, but thank goodness you’ve got some help!

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Z-Man Games fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Junior Reporter
50 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Lets Work Together!”

Picked this one up on a whim as I was looking for something a little different. Tried to use it in our league, scoring it that we either gain together or lose points together. We finally agreed that this was not for leagues but perfect for any get togethers where everyone wants to stay friends.

This is a blast! Four diseases are spreading fast and you and your team need to cure them all fast. The strongest piece of advice I can give here is everyone remember your roles you are given at the start and play to your strengths throughout or else you will lose. And defeat comes quicker than you think as the game has three different ways of winning while you have only one.

This is a game of tough decisions and massive leaps of faith. You can take everyone’s council on board but make sure to make your own decisions, win or lose you don’t want to ruin this game by being bullied by people who are pushier and you will never suffer the ‘why didn’t I listen to myself?’, moments if you make your own decisions after taking on board all the suggestions and facts from everyone else, after all you are part of a team, but a team of specialists.

Replay Value: At about 45 minutes a game this one is endlessly replayable. It has a real ‘just one more go’ feel and the set up is different every time. It is at it’s best with 4 but works very well in 2 or 3 player.

Components: Simple ‘Cluedo’ pieces for the people but that’s okay as they serve their purpose the board is nice and gives the feeling of something on a screen being monitored in a command centre. The disease look great as little, coloured, see-through cubes. The cards are perfect for the game also and, thankfully, a nice size.

Easy to Learn: I have found that this can be thought within 5 minutes or two goes and everyone is well able to play by the second game which is quick in coming around.

To sum up, get this, it is perfect if you want to play together and not fight or be competitive. Perfect for when you involve people who shy away from confrontational board games. Basically perfect for a fun night in with serious and new gamers alike. Just don’t let anyone get bossy.

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49 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“Great introduction to coop games.”

Pandemic is the only coop game I’ve ever played. I never really saw the appeal of coop games until somebody brought this in to work. After my first play through I knew I needed to buy it.

In Pandemic you and the other players are all trying to cure 4 diseases before they outbreak too much and just become unmanageable. You will start with 9 random cities with disease cubes on them, the first 3 get 3 cubes, the next 3 get 2 cubes and the last 3 get 1 cube. The world is grouped into 4 regions (denoted by colors) for each of the 4 diseases. The starting cities get the color of disease cube for the color of city they are.

Each player now takes a special role that will help them specialize in things that will help out in the game. Now the players need to build research stations, remove disease cubes, share knowledge, and eventually cure all 4 diseases.

The difficulty comes from the constant onslaught of disease cubes. After each players’ turn the next cities are flipped over and receive disease cubes. If a city gets flipped over and it is already at 3 cubes it then outbreaks giving one cube to each city attached to it. Throughout the player deck epidemics are included, as these come up you get a brand new city with 3 cubes. In addition all those cities you’ve already been adding cubes to, yes those ones you’ve been removing cubes from as well, get shuffled and thrown right back on top to add even more cubes.

This is a rewarding game. It is fun to work together and not have to come up with the strategy all by yourself. It might be good to play the first few times with open hands, but I wouldn’t do that for long. It might be easier, but it seems like it turns into 1 or 2 people running the whole game.

I gave this a 7 because it is quick to play and offers a lot of tough decisions in that short amount of time. If you lose, at least it was only 15 or 20 minutes so you can easily get in another game to try and win. If playing with only 4 epidemics becomes to easy, just add one. Once you get up to 6, which is the most for the base game, things get really tough, so you will never feel like this game is too easy.

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AEG fan
Amateur Reviewer
49 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“It's an Epidemic...of fun!!!”

In brief: The CDC has recorded a marked increase over the last 8 years or so of recreational use of this game. Symptoms include: Rapid onset of addiction, increased socialization between users, and in some extreme cases, trouble breathing during the moment a “helpful” card is flipped in anticipation of an epidemic card.

The Game: This game is as addicting and fast acting as they come! The rules are easy to learn and it is one of the first games I’ve played that are not plagued by constant references to the manual. The set up is easily understood and can be repeated with minimal effort which is good because in this game, you will most probably die (lose).

Replay Value: Very high! Not only because of the quick set up time but also because the moment after you loose (which follows a universal stunned silence) you actually have to force yourself from setting up again. This game is so much fun to lose, as many have said before me.

Overall: This game has managed to pull it all together. The components are simple, not complicated. The learning curve is almost non-existent. The difficulty level is incredibly high, but for reasons I still don’t understand, loosing this game is the most fun I’ve had in some time! I challenge you to only play one game, especially your first few times pulling it from the box. This will be a game requested again and again at game night.


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