Race for the Cure! Pandemic

Pandemic 1

Grant A. Bissell

The Idea

Pandemic is a game that was introduced to me during the summer of 2014 in Dr. Peterson’s History of Games class.  Having never played the game before, I had my doubts about the game.  I quickly learned that “Pandemic” is a very fun game to play that requires strategy, teamwork and well, some good luck on your side.  You and your team’s job is to save the world from the outbreak of 4 different diseases.  Pandemic is an RPG game that requires 2 to 4 people to assume different roles, each having its own unique niche to add to the game.  Roles include the following: scientist, researcher, medic, dispatcher, operations expert along with a few others.  Each role is obtained by a player and used to help the disease from spreading.  This was my favorite game we played during the semester and really was a test of not only patience, strategy and team work but also of beating the virus from destroying the world!

Getting Started 

Step 1: Each player must decide which role they wish to assume to help each other achieve the cure from each disease! Both times I played, I assumed the role of the Scientist.

Step 2: Each player starts out at the Research Station, which is placed in Atlanta at the start of every game because this is where the disease begins to spread. (Further Research Stations can be placed wherever the team feels its necessary.

Step 3: Next comes the drawing of 3 cards that is performed by each player that will hold the name of the city where an infection occurs.  After each player draws their 3 cards and places 3 blocks each on the city mentioned on each card, each participant will then draw 3 more cards from the infection pile and place 1 block on each city drawn.  Note: The drawing of card will be an action that takes place throughout the game.

Step 4: Once the cards are divided, the theme of the the Epidemic will be introduced and it’s really up to the group of people playing on how many epidemic cards you wish to use.  (We played 1 round with 4 epidemic cards and another with 5, the more epidemic cards you have, the harder it is to complete the game)

Step 5: Devise a game plan on how to effectively eliminate the diseases from reach the outbreak stage (4 cubes on a single city) and enjoy playing the game!

Steps to the Cure and Contributions to the Epidemic

1. Each player is allowed to make 4 moves (actions), unless instructed otherwise on your role you selected.

2. After you complete your turn, you must draw 2 infection cards as well as 2 player cards and make your moves accordingly, based upon what your card instructs you to do.  i.e- if you draw a special instruction like the ability to place a research station wherever you want, then you may save that card a time that is completely necessary.

3. Depending on your role, you are allowed special actions.  I was the “Scientist” so I was able to cure a disease with only 3 cards, as opposed to the required 4.

4. Consult with your teammates before making your moves, simply to go over possible scenarios that could lead to an outbreak that would the game more difficult to beat.  For instance, if a city has 3 cubes on it and receives a 4th, each city that is connected to that city will receive additional cubes that will make the game more difficult.

5. Like every game, there are ways to lose the game.  In Pandemic, if 7 outbreaks occur, the game is then over. If all of the colored cubes are used, the game is also over. If no more players cards are able to be drawn, you lose the game.

6. Rejoice, there are ways to win the game. Simply, discover the cure for each disease!


Review of “Pandemic”: Overall, I really do think Pandemic is one of my favorite games I have had the pleasure of playing.  The RPG aspect of the game is really cool and opens up new possibilities for gameplay.  The institution of teamwork, ideas and strategy are my personal favorites about the game.  It’s game that involves almost every sort mechanic in terms of gameplay.  Pandemic had a very good theme about it as well, which made it a joy to try and defeat the disease from spreading throughout the world.  I hadn’t seen a game that resembled Pandemic and I’m glad I was given the opportunity to play this game.  A game that I would recommend to anyone!