Pandemic: In the Lab - Board Game Box Shot

Pandemic: In the Lab

| Published: 2013
134 56 8

In Pandemic: In the Lab, the second expansion for Pandemic, you will use a new game board that allows you to move the pawns in a laboratory. The goal of this activity is the same as in the base game – finding cures for diseases – but this time in a new way. Behind sealed bio-hazard doors, scientists race against time to sequence diseases, take samples, and test cures.

Pandemic: In the Lab includes four new roles, new Virulent Strain events, and a Worldwide Panic Mutation scenario. Players can compete individually or on rival teams (when playing with four or six players). Can your team work together in the lab to save humanity?

User Reviews (4)

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Belfort Fan
The Bronze Heart
14 of 14 gamers found this helpful
“Putting Science Back Into the Game”

Full disclosure: Pandemic is currently my favourite game, and to be honest I think the “On the Brink” expansion is the best part. I always include at least one component whenever I play. I hesitated to buy the “In the Lab” because my old school original cards did not match (and I’m not a fan of the new graphics) But curiosity won me over! I purchased some card sleeves and added the Lab into the mix.

While on the Brink is an expansion, The Lab variant is really a different game. Same mechanics but a totally different strategy and play style is required. After a few plays (and no wins) we have discovered that it is best to keep one player in a research station focusing on the lab components of the game.

Although you still need five city/player cards of the disease in question, multiple players can contribute to their 1+1+3 acquisition. In addition there are now several phases to the cure that must also happen while someone is at a research station. Several turns of Lab work are required after treated cubes have been to the new Lab board. It does shift the pressure from treating to curing and the new strategy is to to shift focus into the lab.

If you are new to playing this version of the game, I suggest using only the roles that come with the Lab (and not those from “On the Brink”) The rules suggest that you can include the Virulent Disease and Mutation Strains with the Lab, but I haven’t been that brave yet. Maybe once I win a few from the Lab…

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Video Game Fan
Explorer - Level 3
Book Lover
21 of 25 gamers found this helpful
“Mixing up a favorite to give it a more scientific feel!”

Assuming you have played Pandemic before and not somehow skipped playing the original without any expansions, you’ll find this fairly easy to pick up. Also, please note that if you have the original Pandemic this expansion will not work with it. It was revised and this is compatible with only the revised version so double check which version you have before buying. I read that there is a compatibility kit that can be purchased, so if you do have the original version you might be able to find this to avoid having to buy the revised version of the original game. Anyways, there are a few changes that come with this expansion obviously which I will list below:

New Challenge:
Similar to Pandemic you are still trying to cure 4 diseases that are spreading around the world, this time however its more than just ‘treating’ and collecting cards – now its actual science. You will Sequence the Disease by determining the make up of it so that you can collect the color cubes needed to create the treatment. You will then Characterize it to determine which color you will be treating. Then you will Process a Sample and next you will Test the Cure in a city of that disease’s color. Finally, you will cure it by Discovering the Cure. No need to explain in detail in a review though, you can always look up instructions for that. :)

This expansion additionally provides one player mode and team mode however this requires On the Brink which I do not have yet so am only reviewing part of this expansion.

New Roles:
The Pilot which allows you to move your pawn by ‘flying’ within 3 connections of your current position and allows you to take another (player willing) pawn with you. For obvious reasons this can be very helpful. You can move across the board very quickly and since you can take someone with you, the minor restriction of not being able to build research stations isn’t too much of a negative.

The Local Liaison allows you to give a city card of the same color of the city you are in to someone else in a city of the same color. This means you no longer have to carefully coordinate how to both get to the same city nor even worry about the city card matching the city you are meeting in! Additionally, when playing the Lab Challenge, this role has a second ability to Characterize a Disease or Test a Cure when at a research station as a free bonus action. I will explain these below but this is very helpful since its not using up one of your standard 4 actions.

The Virologist upon Discovering the Cure can exchange two city cards of the same color to replace one city card of the cure color. She also has the additional action option to discard a city card to remove one cube of color from any city, returning it to the supply. Personally, I have not used this card or seen it in play but it does not seem as helpful as some of the other roles. Perhaps someone who has used it can elaborate more in another review.

The Field Director can treat a disease not only in the city he is in, but also cities connected to that city. Also, as a free bonus action you can move another pawn that is in the same city as you or a connected city by drive or ferry. Both of these options are very helpful but I have not personally played this role to give a lot of insight on it.

Changes to past roles occurred for the Researcher and the Epidemiologist:

The Researcher now has an additional Lab Challenge option that allows once per turn while at a research station you may Sequence a Disease for a free bonus action. Very helpful change for this challenge and it can really come to your rescue at times.

The Epidemiologist also has an additional Lab Challenge option that allows her to Process a Sample while at a research station as a free bonus action. I am all for free bonus actions and this can be very helpful.

The Scientist card should have been revised however it was not. So if someone selects this card, we simply reduced the final needed number to Discover the Cure by one. This may not be the intended rule, I would have to look into this further to know for sure.

New ‘Lab’ Board and Action Tips:
I originally had several things listed here but will put them in the tips section instead to cut down on excessive text (sorry!). :)

Same rules for winning and losing from the original are still the same, card limits, etc are all the same. There are three new event cards which are all helpful like the original events.

Anyways, wow that was long but I hope this was helpful in understanding the many changes with this expansion. I personally love this and regularly play this expansion over only the base. If you like Pandemic and want to change it up this is certainly a great option. It puts a lot more emphasis on the science and less on the meeting and exchanging cards which is a nice change. :)

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Reviewed My First Game
13 of 17 gamers found this helpful

It is beyond me why I like a game that I lose about 80% of the time. I guess, I like the fact that the whole group has to invest in a cooperative strategy or there is no hope. If any one player tries to do their own thing, everyone goes down.

What I like:
1)Call me crazy, but I like the fact that we spend at least 5 minutes before actually starting the game, but after we select characters, discussing strategy. It is the most mutually dependent game I’ve ever played.
2)We always give each disease a name, the more ridiculous the better.
3)The cure bottles in this expansion are great. They look like actual vials.
4)There are some new characters, which have some pretty interesting abilities.

What I don’t like:
1)It can be hard to get new gamers to be interested in a game when you tell them there is approx. 1 in 10 odds you will win.
2)Some characters are OP, compared to others. Occasionally, one person will feel useless in a game because their ability is barely utilized.

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14 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Great collaborative game”

This game is great! The setup is a little tedious at times, but after the first time playing it it becomes really fun. It is a great change from a lot of the expand and conquest games out there. Everyone collaborated and discussed next moves to help one another out to eradicate the viruses.

After playing it a few times, we bumped up the difficulty and instantly put pressure on the strategies the group had to put in place. We lost to multiple outbreaks back to back.

overall, this is a great game that encourages communication and cooperation so no one feels left out or disgruntled for losing, since everyone wins or loses together.


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