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on August 29, 2013
We were introduced to Pandemic from a friend a few weeks ago. They perfectly described the game and recommended that we visit Wil Wheaton's Tabletop Game website ([...] to watch how it's played. Wil played an earlier version, but we understood the basics and purchased the game immediately. The only thing missing from the video are the awesome petri dishes that Wil uses to store the virus cubes in - I'm going to have to find a way to pick those up locally.

Ok - so if you're not sure what Pandemic is about, watch the video on Tabletop Games first. In a nutshell though, Pandemic is a game that pits all the players against the board. The board tries to kill everyone on earth with 4 different types of diseases (my son called the black disease cubes "zombie disease"!). Every player works together (T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R.!!!) to stop the board from winning - it truly is a cooperative game.

You start off by picking a character type (medic, dispatcher, researcher, etc...), infecting random cities across the board, and then begin curing and eradicating each disease. The rules shift as you progress: for example, curing a disease makes clean up of left over disease cubes much easier.

The kicker here is that new infections constantly appear at the end of every turn. Just when you think you've got a disease under control, a new infection shows up, causes an outbreak spilling new cubes to neighboring cities, and you quickly find yourself (again) behind the 8-ball. So exciting!

A quick note about pricing - we found Amazon had the best price. If you can wait for shipping, I highly recommend buying here.
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on May 7, 2014
This is the type of game that I need to break out when playing with super competitive people or sore losers. I'm sure anyone reading this has already pictured a particular face.
A big part of this game is about discussing options and coordinating plans. You'll do pretty badly if no one communicates. Keep this in mind if you have a particularly dominant person in the group. You win and lose together, but if one guy wants to run the show, it can get a bit hairy.

Pros:
- Solid construction of board, pieces, cards, and tokens (they're made of that layered cardboard material, so it tends to fray if handled roughly.
-The game works with all the recommended group sizes. I've played with 2 and I've played with 5. It's well tuned for everything in between, too.
- Well designed rules and mechanics, with the possibility to adjust the difficulty for larger groups or more skilled players.
-Cooperative, for those sore losers/winners.

Cons:
-The learning curve is a bit more than most people are used to. You'll find yourself coming up with a list of questions that end up being much more conveniently found in a google search than a rulebook search.
-Cooperative. Yes, it's also a con. Consider group dynamics when you consider playing this.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with this game. After you have learned the rules, which can take a bit, a game session for me and 3 other friends I play with takes roughly an hour to an hour and a half, when we ramp up the difficulty.
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on September 3, 2015
I love that this is an "everybody works together" game. It is a good option to diffuse tension with uber competitive board gamers. I like that you can scale the difficulty level by changing the amount of Epidemic cards- you can't garuntee that you will always win! The game takes while to wrap your head around because it is different from that standard genre of board games. If you can't read through a 4 page instruction booklet, stay away. If you are willing to make a bit of a time investment figuring out the rules, go for it!
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on July 26, 2013
This game is great. I ordered it from Amazon a few days before an annual beach vacation and it arrived to the house right on time to be packed up for the trip. Played it with the family and everyone loved it. It is a great thinking game where everyone plays a role in the outcome. We had some creative strategies and some straightforward strategies and a few times we were able to beat the game and everyone felt rewarded in their contributions. I will definitely look at getting the expansions for this game.

I ordered from Amazon in early June 2013 and I can confirm my board was the corrected version (yellow line from Lagos to Sao Paulo). I was a little worried seeing that I ordered the game only a few days before the vacation I was going on and wanted everything to be just right. Everything was perfect.
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on January 10, 2014
Purchased to play while on vacation, this game contained the right amount of strategy for our family. Our kids, age 13 and 15, had no problem jumping right in and I'm sure kids as young as 10 could play easily. (It's rated for age 8+.) Though we lost our first game it gave us a good sense of how to play without having to read every page of the directions. Having never played a cooperative game before, it was refreshing to work as a team. All moves were deployed individually, but not until discussed and agreed upon by all players. It had the feel of Risk with the strategy of Chess; we were able to predict the game's "moves" knowing that an "Epidemic" card may show up to throw the entire board into chaos at which time we'd have to stop and talk before making our moves. The more conversation that went into each turn the better we did.

I gave Pandemic four stars because, after a while, it might become tedious. To make the game harder additional "Epidemic" cards may be added but I think it would only make the game longer rather than more difficult. I read on-line to expect to loose the first few games yet we only lost once (and we played it four times within a three day period.) I would be interested in the "add-on" to see if it makes the game more difficult.

If you're looking for a quick game to play with the relatives you rarely see, I wouldn't recommend it- stick with Pictionary, Outburst, etc. But, if you're looking for a low key game to play for family night and are tired of always loosing at Sorry or never finishing a game of Monopoly, then this is the game to get. It does take quite a bit of concentration and deliberation and what I loved most was that my idea of what should be done was not always the best for everyone and one of the kid's ideas helped us all win the game.
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on April 21, 2014
Save the world before infection reaches Pandemic! Our family loves this game! It starts off with laughter and calm play but quickly becomes a flurry of excitement and debate on the course of action! This is a cooperative game, all players either win the game together or lose together. It strengthens the concept of working together to solve issues in such a fun and exciting manner. There is also a benefit of younger (and sometimes older) players to brush up and strengthen geographic skills! we use game-time to read off the cities and the countries they are located in to our preschoolers (at least until bedtime when the frenzy of beating the game consumes us)! It is a fun game, with unlimited replay value. The game is for 2 to 4 players, at the beginning of game play each player is randomly assigned a role to play from a pool of seven roles. Each time you start a game you have a different combination of roles as well as different cities that will begin a possible outbreak of infection. No game will be quite like the preceding games. The included rulebook is well written and easy to understand. Expect the first game to take longer than the estimated 45 minutes of gameplay but after playing a couple times that is an accurate estimate. the rulebook is so well written, I recommend that as soon as you get the game, open box, pull out the rulebook and start with section one which will take you through setting up the board and just follow though the numbered sections which will take you though the end of a full "turn"! this is a great game for a family or group of friends. There are two expansion sets as of the time of this review, so adding additional players and expanding the variations of play is easy, but this game in and of itself is full of possibilities right from the start!
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on September 19, 2014
This is a game that pits you and your friends against the board. You have to work together , and stop being selfish jerk bags, to save the world before it comes to a catastrophic end. Personally I like to name the diseases in the book . I make on the common cold, the other is STD's, one of them is bird flue and another aids , but his year I might change aids to ebola. Y'know b/c it's so popular .

Disclaimer: I , personally , am a horrible and morbid person. But that doesn't mean this game isn't heart pumping fun. Don't judge the game by me. Buy it, play it and judge it for yourself. You'll get my "jokes" after you play the game.
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on June 24, 2014
The hype of this game is that you aren't competing against the other people at the table. This was exactly what it gave us. The game is heart-in-your-mouth terrifying almost from the start and yes, you can lose the game. The game starts with the players being a crack team of CDC professionals looking for problem spots around the world. When one flairs, the team is sent out to eradicate the disease. Your evil opposition is the clock. New outbreaks constantly change the board and the time to clear the board of disease gets worse and worse. Will you be clean of disease? ...or will you be the team that couldn't make it and the world ends in pain and suffering!
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on December 2, 2013
We've played over a dozen games now, and it's always a surprise how EASY it is to lose! This is a cooperative game that requires all players to pay attention to
1. Resource allocation
2. Making use of specialist traits
3. The dynamics of each choice

I love that this is still a difficult game even though we know all the rules and have played through the characters. The nature of the game changes each time depending on what roles you choose, how many people are playing, and what difficulty you start with. But the best part is that it is truly a cooperative game. We often only have two players so competitive games end poorly in our house!
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on June 27, 2014
My gaming group typically plays competitive games, along the lines of the Game of Thrones, Spartacus, and Battlestar Galactica board games. After spending so much times screaming at each other with those, Pandemic brings a much needed breather into our gaming nights with about 60 minutes of cooperative gameplay. Instead of getting aggravated with each other, we bond together fighting the game!

The learning curve for this game is also much easier than other games, while still providing complex enough gameplay to keep us engaged many times over.
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