Pandemic is a great family game which is different from your average race-to-the-finish, high-scoring board game. It is cooperative, which means the players must work together instead of wiping each other out. They take on the roles of disease specialists, who travel around the world, treat diseases, and build research centers. It is exciting, unpredictable, and will provide hours of entertainment.

Pandemic Board Game


  • Number one Best Seller in Collectible Trading Card Decks and Sets
  • ships from and sold by for $29.83, plus shipping
  • gift-wrap available
  • updated version of the popular co-operative game
  • best with 2-4 players
  • playing tine is around 60 minutes, depending on the number and type of players
  • intended for those ages 10 and up
  • GAMES magazine called it the Best New Family Game for 2009


The second edition of Pandemic differs a little from the original. Two new characters have been added: the Contingency Planner, who can save Event cards after they are used; and the Quarantine Specialist, who can prevent cities from being infected with additional disease cubes. The disease cubes in this edition are made of plastic instead of wood, as in the first edition. Aesthetically, it’s prettier, and the rule book is easier to understand.

One of the biggest benefits of this game is that it encourages teamwork, rather than stomping an opponent. The game board is a map of the world, and the diseases are cubes of different colors. Each character has special abilities, which complement those of other characters. The players move around the map, curing diseases and building research centers. Roles include the Medic, who is efficient at curing diseases, and the Dispatcher, who can move the other players. The idea of working together to save the world is certainly a worthy one. Even losing is fun!

Most of the time, however, the players won’t beat the game. A player may draw an epidemic card, which makes things worse. There are several ways to lose: a player may run out of cards; a city has more than seven outbreaks: or a player needs to infect, but doesn’t have enough cubes of the correct color. It’s definitely an adventure, and people may have to play many times before defeating the game – but when that finally happens, it can cause a feeling of a job well done.

Some of the bad things about the game are that in some cases, a board is defective, lacking the line between Lagos and Sao Paolo. The manufacturer may be slow to replace defective boards. The cards may be subject to peeling and not last long. The game itself is dependent on luck, so some players may find it boring. The lack of competition may lead to a lack of excitement.

Potential buyers can get an overview of the game by watching Will Wheaton’s TableTop on YouTube. It is even better with the “On the Brink” expansion.


The best answer is: people who are tired of games where the other players get mad, cry, knock over the board, and throw things. It’s like a puzzle, different every time it is played. Get the family together to save the world from disease!

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