2020, for reasons we don’t have to specify, has seen a big resurgence in pandemic-themed entertainment. Films like Outbreak and Contagion have found new life, as has anything else that depicted a viral pandemic in a fictional context. This includes board games. Specifically, we’re talking about this Pandemic board game from Z-Man Games. It’s only a few years old, but it’s newly relevant, thanks to, uh, current events.
Everyone in the world’s now learning the hard way how important it is for governments to be prepared for the possibility of a global pandemic. But players of Pandemic already knew this. That’s because the game is all about letting players cooperate as members of a team, devoted to fighting worldwide outbreaks. Here’s the official synopsis of what the game is all about:
“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 is designed for anywhere from 2-4 players, and despite its worldwide scope, a typical game only takes about 45 minutes to play. Basically, each player takes on a specific role in the field of combating disease, including Scientist, Quarantine Specialist, Medic, and Researcher. Players have to cooperate to battle four diseases that are seeing outbreaks across the planet (See? Things could be worse). Each role has its own special advantages that play out during the game, which begins at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. Players draw city cards to travel around the world, complete research, and contain outbreaks, but if too many outbreaks occur, the game is over and the team loses. But as you progress through the game and cure more diseases, they become easier to contain.
If the current state of the world has you cooped up and depressed, perhaps taking the opportunity to fight four fictional diseases will take a little bit of the edge off. Pandemic from Z-Man games is now available in a newly updated version and makes a fun, ideal game for those long, socially-distanced nights.
Pandemic is suitable for players from eight years old and up, so if that applies to your household head over to Amazon and grab your copy now.
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