I spotted a blog titled Why Old-fashioned Board Games Thrive in the Internet Age. Sputtering, I wondered if the author had a clue. Grumbling to myself I pictured Monopoly as an old style game. But, reflecting on old and new games, gnashing my teeth feels overdone.
Boards found in tombs show Egyptians played Senet 5000 years ago. New style board games gained popularity 20 years ago. They are played on boards or not. They take less than an hour to play. Usually they’re not bogged down in dice rolling randomness.
Rick, stop this random walk and write about our favorite cooperative game, Pandemic. Catharine and I play it every week. We add two more players when available. The game holds up well to repeated play.
As a new board game Pandemic is old — 2007.1 It is a cooperative game; all players on the team win or lose. (No solo heroes need apply.) The object is to cure multiple epidemics breaking out all over the world. There are multiple ways to die, and one way to win.
Winning requires the team to cure four diseases. Lose the game by being overwhelmed by the epidemics.
Pandemic rewards skillful team play. Cooperation, application of tactics, use of logic, and grasping the game’s logistics lead to saving the world. But, bad fortune or poor decision-making leads to the diseases running rampant.
Play varies each game. Every player has an assigned role with special skills that change game play. Disease outbreaks are semi-random. They occur in one or more of the 48 cities. Outbreaks rapidly spread the infection complicating play. Different set-ups dictate using varied strategies.
After mastering the rules, play is straight forward. With a basic understanding Pandemic takes 45-60 minutes. Team discussion backs new player’s moves.
When we played Pandemic, we said, this game is not tough. Then we’d discover rules we misinterpreted. It got tougher to win after each correction.
Cooperative Games We Like & Play
- Pandemic (also available as an app iPad & Android, plays well solitaire)
- Forbidden Island
Cooperative Games On Our Future Play List
- Pandemic Legacy
How To Play
- For this piece I’m writing about the original Pandemic game not the expansions or new versions. Engaging games all…. ↩