Date of review 2/6/15

 

This is an "old school cover". The new cover, I think, looks a little more exciting.

Current personal ranking: #12

Time to play (in my experience): 45 to 70 minutes.

Difficulty Level: 2 (5-10 minutes to teach, less than 90 minutes to play)

Age Level: I think 8 year olds can handle this just fine.

Type of Game: Cooperative. This means that all the players work together to achieve a common goal. Unlike most competitive games to which people are accustomed, in cooperative games, either everyone wins, or everyone loses.

Game setting: Modern world, maybe just slightly in the future. Your goal is to cure the world of 4 major diseases before they overwhelm the world.

Brief overview of how to play: Each turn a player gets four actions to spend. These can be spent on moving around the map, curing diseases, establishing research stations, and giving cards to other players. At the end of each player’s turn, the player plays the “infector” where cards are revealed and areas of the map are infected. Players then draw cards from another deck that go into their hand… except for when the Epidemic! cards are revealed, and then things really get interesting.

 

Here's a couple of the city cards that you will use for various purposes.

How do you win? Find a cure for the four different diseases on the map. There are also several ways that you can lose. There's one way to win, and, I think, there are 3 ways that everyone loses.

How many players? 2-4 (5 with the expansion).

Ideal number? 3 or 4.

Why do I love/recommend this game?

Streamlined cooperative game. Cooperative games are very popular right now, and this is the first or second one that I would recommend. The other I might recommend would be “Forbidden Island” which is by the same designer who was asked to make “Pandemic Lite” as I understand it. They are both super games and pretty easy to get into.

Cool theme. You are curing the world of disease! How awesome is that?

Tense... in a good way. Good cooperative games, in my opinion, should be pretty tense. You need to feel like failure is a real possibility, otherwise they just aren’t any fun. Most of my games of Pandemic have been very close, where we almost lost or we almost won. In the games that I have played, I think we’ve won about 50% of the time.

Different roles for each player. Each player gets a special ability that is different from the other players. So the teams need to work together and play to each player’s strength in order to win. There is are a few expansions to this game, and the “On the Brink” expansion comes with several additional roles (along with other things). That’s almost reason enough to purchase the expansion. I think that there are 5 or 6 roles in the base game.

 

Here are three of the roles that are available to the players. You will have one role for the game.

Adjustable levels of difficulty. There’s the “beginner level”, “normal level”, and “expert level”. I don’t think I’ve ever tried “expert”. There are further ways to make it harder in the expansion.

Is there anything offensive in this game? Anything at all? Not that I can see. In fact, it’s a pretty noble mission to try to save the world from disease.

Final Word: This, or “Forbidden Island” (by the same designer), is my first recommendation if people want to play a cooperative game. It’s easy to get into, pretty easy to play, but not easy to win. You really have to work cooperatively to save the world. It is personally my favorite cooperative game. The first expansion to this game, “On The Brink” makes for a really nice addition, especially after you’ve played the game several times.

Amazon.com price at the time of this posting: $30.99

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