So, this Easter (and the day after that) I brought Z-Man Games' Pandemic to my in-laws house to try it (I had bought it recently and never tried it). We were 5 to play it, so we alternated. In a nutshell, the game is a collaborative effort by a team of experts traveling the world to stop 4 concurrent epidemics before they take over the world. You play against the game itself, and the game plays pretty hard :) It was a roaring success! This game really has some quality going on:
- It’s easy to learn: we read the rules and went to play in minutes.
- It’s short: a game never lasts long, especially if you lose, so you can easily say “hey, let’s play another round!”
- It’s challenging: ok, we beat Easy on the second game, and after 3 wins in a row we upgraded to Normal… but then lost like 10 games in a row of that. Did I mention that the game is short, and so you play again if you lose? Oh yes I did on “2” :)
- It’s beatable: oh yes, the game is challenging, but not impossible. We beat Normal a couple of times on monday, so we upgraded to Heroic. And lost.
- It’s varied: the 5 roles, with one always missing, and even the disposition of the roles around the table can change in a significant way how you play (and win) the game. This is not something easy to engineer in a game that’s so mechanically simple.
- It’s fun and addictive! Sum up all the points above, and you get 5 people (of whom only 1 can be considered a gamer, and not a hardcore one) playing more than 20 games in less than two days. And wanting more!
I’m definitely going to pick up the Pandemic: On The Brink expansion in the future, so that we can all play together, and the new roles seem fun. I’m kinda scared of the additional difficulty though: not sure we need that, for the time being! :-D So, what now? Are there games that you would suggest to someone who enjoyed Pandemic so much? My hat’s off to Mr. Leacock: truly an impressive feat of game design. Bravo!