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Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 - Board Game Box Shot

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

The world is on the brink of disaster. In Pandemic Legacy, your disease-fighting team must keep four deadly diseases at bay for a whole year. Each month will bring new surprises, and your actions in each game will have repercussions on the next. Will you let cities fall to the diseases? Will your team be enough to keep the viruses at bay for a whole year? Craft your own unique Pandemic experience with Pandemic Legacy.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 boxes

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is a unique and epic cooperative game for 2 to 4 players. Unlike most other games, some of the actions you take in Pandemic Legacy will carry over to future games. What's more, the game is working against you. Playing through the campaign, you will open up sealed packets, reveal hidden information, and find the secrets locked within the game. The clock is ticking and you will only have two chances to win in a month before moving to the next. Characters will gain scars. Cities will panic. Diseases will mutate. No two worlds will ever be alike!

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 layout

You can make a character better... or a disease easier to cure. Cities may panic as the year goes on. They may riot or even collapse into darkness.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is a fully-contained game that does not need Pandemic or any other expansions to play. The game comes in Red and Blue editions, each having identical contents.

images © Z-Man Games

User Reviews (6)

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17 of 18 gamers found this helpful
“A Brutal, Action-Packed Campaign to Save the World! (No Spoilers)”

I love the original Pandemic because is a cooperative game where everyone works together, rather than against one another. My family enjoys playing the original Pandemic, so I knew that I could easily get this new version to the table. Prior to buying this, I also played Risk Legacy and found that I thoroughly enjoyed the Legacy format, even with the classic, tired (IMO) dicefest of a game that is Risk. If the Legacy format could re-energize my interest in Risk, then surely it would do great things for Pandemic, a game that I very much enjoy.

– Enjoyable, time-tested Pandemic mechanics provide a relatively quick (1 to 2 hours), high-tension game.
– If you are familiar with Pandemic, then you’ll have very few new rules to learn. Even if you are not familiar with Pandemic, the rules are fairly easy to grasp.
– The game does not become stale. The Legacy format changes the board–and a rule or two–from one game to the next, so each game session is unique and requires different approaches.
– The 12-month campaign tells a compelling, challenging story with many surprises along the way. This requires 12 game sessions–or more–but does not take 12 months of real time unless you only play once a month. You and your players will share an evolving, memorable experience over the course of the campaign.
– Each player has unique skills in the game, so you’ll be doing different things than the other players.
– Turns are relatively quick, and all players are usually very interested in keeping track of what their team members are doing. I’ve rarely seen players getting distracted with their cellphones or laptops while the game is going on.

– Legacy Pandemic has a similar problem to the original Pandemic in that some players may become “bossy” and tell the other players what to do each turn. My group overcomes this with our house rule that advice is only provided if a player asks for help.
– Once the 12-month campaign is completed, all of the surprises will be known and a group of players will probably not want to play through it a second time. And, in fact, if they did want to play the campaign again, then they’d probably need to purchase a second copy of the game. I could, however, actually see myself buying a second copy to experience it again; it’s that good, and even though I already know all of the plot twists, I expect that the second time through will play out quite different than my first playthrough.

This game is engaging and tense, each and every session. The only reason that I didn’t rate it a 10 is that it is still Pandemic, and therefore it’s not entirely new. Having said that, I strongly recommend that everyone purchase it, even those who already own the original Pandemic. It’s a wild ride.

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Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
oddball Aeronauts fan
53 of 59 gamers found this helpful
“A once in a lifetime experience never to be repeated.”

Pandemic is a fine game with a dynamic theme of that beleaguered CDC team battling global annihilation by way of a sneeze; it’s at heart an ever evolving puzzle with an unforgiving, mean streak designed to kill you. I’ve played it many times but it’s one I’ll now only break out for new groups or those fresh to the hobby, it’s a great introduction to muggles as to how modern board gaming has evolved.

Legacy, the brainchild of Rob Daviau introduced in Risk Legacy, is to me a lightning bolt into the heart of our hobby. Legacy’s mojo is to add permanence to our games; typically we play a board game, and then it returns to the shelf waiting to delight us again the same faithful hound. Legacy is a different animal, it remembers rewarding or punishing every wrong-footed move or inspired choice that you make, if you treat it badly then yes you’d best have the ill-tempered mutt put down before it bites a child but then that’s your doing.

Risk Legacy was the baby steps that would lead us to Pandemic Legacy and what Daviau has done is take Matt Leacock’s fiendish puzzle and layered it with a pulse pounding and white-knuckle story straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Whereas Risk was a marvelous scattershot of crazy comic book surprises and outlandish goodies now, Rob has refined the Legacy system by way of the Legacy deck, a skeleton from which he hangs a riveting narrative that reacts to our choices. It’s this addition that cements Legacy as something to become justifiably excited about meshing as it does the worlds of tabletop and RPG with such sleight of hand as to make Ricky Jay envious.

Yes, you will sticker your board and be called upon to destroy a card or two but that’s, not the game, it’s not meanness for meanness sake those are tools in Legacy’s arsenal, it needs you to make that leap of faith and trust in it. If you can give yourself over to Legacy, then you will have a unique and wonderful experience, it’s a thrilling ride that can only be accomplished by making us carry out this sadomasochistic molestation of our beloved board game. In truth, it’s quite cathartic and once you start to encounter the repercussions of your decisions and what they mean for your world and its story its unlike any other game you will play, your experience will be uniquely yours and yours alone.

To dive into the story or even tiptoe around spoilers is to destroy the journey that this game rewards you, suffice to say story is king here. And it’s a beautifully crafted one at that, Daviau has said his intent was with the game to mirror a season of a TV show and it does with betrayals and cliffhangers in abundance and plot twists that payoff after a slow cigarette burn that are hidden in plain sight.
Your characters will grow in skills and abilities but also can become scarred gathering psychological baggage like a porter at the airport. These impediments will have far reaching repercussions down the road, they may even become lost overcome by the horrors they are witnessing.

There’s so much to say and yet so little I can.

My only disappointment with Pandemic Legacy was that as you battle through the months, overcome its trials and tribulations you know it will end there is a finale to this story and to the game. But what a story and what a game and, at least, we always have Season 2?

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Gamer - Level 5
Intermediate Reviewer
50 of 56 gamers found this helpful
“There is no going back! ”

This reviews title is true in two ways! After playing Legacy I don’t enjoy the ordinary Pandemic as much anymore – Legacy is just too much fun! The other meaning is that it is a play once (or more accurately 12-24 times) game! That being said I’ll now try to review it without any spoilers!

What is it about?
In short you and your fellow players must face a year of battling four contagious diseases; finding cures and stop outbreaks!
For those of you who’ve played Pandemic it is almost the same – except that we take part in a year-long race against diseases threatening to spread! There is a deck called the Legacy Deck which is the “game master” since one is only allowed to draw cards when the game tells you to, and those cards can really change the course of the game completely! One is never safe!
Components are being added throughout the game, so one tactic is never durable, since there might be a way better way of dealing with these heinous diseases tomorrow.

Why can you only play it once?
Since we play the game over 12 months, and get to play once or twice in every month (if you loose a game you get to try that month one more time, whereas if you win you continue on with the next month) we do change the course of the game! The Legacy Deck mentioned above is a one time thing – once you’ve drawn a card there is no going back. These cards (and other of the games mechanics) will tell you to do things like put stickers on the board/cards/characters and even rip cards up. There is literally no going back since the cards and board are altered forever!

– Is is unbelievably much fun! Imagine opening doors in your top secret dossier to find new rule stickers to put in the rule book, or opening small boxes containing new game components.
– Your characters develop with new skills and other things (no spoilers here) during the game!
– If you like Pandemic this is like it only so much better!

– Obviously that it is a one time thing (ironically that is what makes it so fun). However you can play it 12-24 times which de facto is quite a few times! I know I haven’t played some of my games that many times!
– It is literally addicting!!

One additional thought
I do believe this game is best played by the same players throughout the season, since you’ll see your characters evolve! I didn’t know if I were to put this under pros or cons, however it is worth thinking about when deciding who to play it with!

All in all, I think this might be my favorite game so far! It is very exiting and I always look forward to the next gaming session!

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Critic - Level 1
52 of 59 gamers found this helpful
“Board gaming re-defined”

Wow, just wow. This is not a game, it’s an experience; and one every gamer should have.

The game starts off as a simple run of Pandemic. After your first play through, it starts directing you to read from a stack of cards. These cards will gradually change the rules game by game. With perhaps 1 or 2 exceptions, the changes each month are minor. But overall the change is drastic and if you were to compare the rules to the first and last month, you would think they were 2 different games.

The components are excellent. You can feel everyone’s excitement around the table as a card tells you to open a box. It feels like being a kid in December opening today’s window on your advent calendar.

I can’t comment on the story without dropping a spoiler. But you just have to trust me here. After the first few months, say March-April (you play a calendar year), the game will have established itself and really start ramping up. By the the end of December we were mentally drained. We’d made some serious moral decisions, been shocked and surprised and regretted earlier reactions as the rules shifted.

A thoroughly enjoyable experience. buy it.

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Intermediate Reviewer
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Guardian Angel
Master Grader
50 of 60 gamers found this helpful
“What a great story!”

Full disclosure: I love vanilla Pandemic, and my wife loves vanilla Pandemic, so I have a built in soft spot for the ability to play a lot of Pandemic. That being said, I firmly believe that the design and implementation of the legacy component of this game was meant to be joined with Pandemic.

If you’ve played vanilla Pandemic, you know that the game is strong in so many ways, and it lends itself to have players tell a story. Pandemic Legacy still has many random components of awesome, a game can change at any moment based on which cards are drawn, and in which order, but the over-arching story is brilliant and amazing.

If you love Pandemic as I do, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

If you don’t love Pandemic, this is a harder sell, but many people have said that the extra thematic elements have greatly improved their perception of Pandemic.

Although the game isn’t useful after finishing the story, having the board around in all its unique glory is a great reminder of some great times.

Bring on Season 2!

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Platinum Supporter
Mythic Kingdoms Backer 2020
I play blue
8 of 10 gamers found this helpful
“My New Favorite Genre: Legacy Games”

Perhaps the best thing I can do to say how much I liked Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is to say that I bought one copy for my family and a second copy for my gaming group, then another copy as a gift for an in-law that also loves games.

I played through with my family and my gaming group at approximately the same time, with the game group being a bit behind … so I had to be careful not to suggest decisions to my group that would have too much of an impact on the future games.

I ended up purchasing the Season 2 and playing through it with my family over the holidays and loved that version as well.

As much as I like these games, you really do only play through them once … meaning that it takes about 15-18 games to complete the entire ‘campaign’ and then you’re done (if you are lucky enough to win every game, then the minimum # of games to complete is 12). Even though the game costs a bit, if you compare it to going to the movies a couple of times with the family, the cost looks like an amazing deal.


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