I have an interesting topic to discuss today, and its about board games. I’ll be completely honest, I’ve never ever touched any other board games apart from your mainstream Monopoly, Chess and Ladder Snake. All these Dungeons & Dragons, Sci-fi board games intimidates me. If you watch Regular Show, season 2, episode 12, you’ll probably know what I mean.
Last Friday, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try out one of the board games in class called “Pandemic”. Its not Sci-fi nor Dungeons & Dragons, its a game where a group of medical specialist on a mission to prevent viruses from spreading around the world and save humanity.
My first impression of the game was, I really like the cover art, it really got my attention (as a novice). It doesn’t look intimidating until I read the instruction manual. Honestly, I almost gave up during the set up. But, with time and patience, I eventually got the hang of it.
HOW TO PLAY PANDEMIC?
After spending 18 minutes (yes , I timed it) reading the instructions, we decided its best to ask Goggle (since Google knows everything). As embarrassing it may sound, we finally found a video on how to play on Youtube.
Its actually pretty simple. Every player has different roles, like Medic, Researcher, Quarantine Specialist and Dispatcher. Every role have different abilities. The main objective is to prevent the viruses / diseases from spreading around the world, which means, players will move from country to country to stop it. The characters will have 4 moves each turn, which includes moving, long distance traveling, building a facility, treating the disease and trade cards with other players.
There are 2 decks of cards that the players have to draw at the end of the round (everybody’s done with their turn). That card will determine which part of the world will be infected and the cycle goes on. In order to win, players need to completely stop the virus from spreading before the timer ends.
It sounds confusing when I’m explaining it here. Do click on the video if you’re as confused as me.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT?
Despite its complexity, it’s still a well made game. I’ve never played a board game where the players had to team up to beat it. With good communication skills, anyone can beat it and have fun at the same time. My definition of a fun board game is when the players engage with the fictional world of that game, which Pandemic did.
2) Game Mechanics
Its a simple game mechanic, but not easy to explain. Its not your average roll the dice and move, its how you use your “4 moves” and what kind of decision you have to make because it can affect other players. So play smart 😉
As mentioned, I really love the aesthetics in this game. From the box art to the virus cubes. It’s all well made and eye catching. (Doesn’t look complicated)
Overall, it was a good experience. Imagine if I walk away during the set up, that would suck because I might miss out on this amazing board game. My advice to beginners like me, grab some coffee, be patient, and don’t rely on the instruction manual 😉