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Subject: My review of Pandemic: The Cure! rss

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Sheryl Nantus
United States
Pennsylvania
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Let me start this review off by saying my husband loves dice.

He LOVES dice. We have literally buckets of dice around the house. D-6’s, d-4’s, d-12 (’cause even the Barbarian deserves love) d-10’s, d-100’s… you get the idea.

So when a friend of ours picked up Pandemic: The Cure by Z-Man Games this past weekend the first thing he did was scream at the amount of dice included in the box.

This game has a LOT of dice.

First – the official synopsis from z-Man Games!

In Pandemic: The Cure, a dice-based version of the popular Pandemic board game, sets up in less than a minute and plays in 30 minutes. As in the board game, four diseases threaten the world and it’s up to your team to save humanity.

Each player takes on a different role that has its own unique set of dice and abilities — and players must take advantage of their specializations if they are to have any hope of winning the game. Players can roll their dice as often as they like, but the more times they re-roll for the perfect turn, the more likely the next epidemic will occur.

If, at any time, any region is infected with more than three dice of a given color, an outbreak occurs, spreading disease into an adjacent region. If too many outbreaks take place, or the rate of infection gets too high, all the players lose. If, however, the players can discover the cures to the four diseases, they all win and humanity is saved!

This is part of the Pandemic series of games but stands alone – it plays much the same as the original save-the-world board game but is much faster and much, MUCH more intense when it comes to dice-rolling.
The goal is to find four cures for various diseases that are infecting regions of the world – you take on the role of a medical expert and use your dice to find the cures… but you also roll to infect the regions at the same time!

The rulebook is available for viewing on the Z-Man site if you’d like to go through the gameplay but I can tell you it’s the fastest game of Pandemic I’ve ever played – you can get through a game easily within an hour depending on how many players you have and how much discussion your team goes through.

Because this is a co-operative game I think it’s perfect for family or friends who want to play a game, not end up screaming at each other – because gamers KNOW there’s times when you don’t want to crush your friends into snail snot. Some times… not a lot but some times…

Recently a blog I visit (http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2014/11/holiday-gift-guid...)
discussed games for the holidays and some of the posters were bemoaning the lack of co-op games that they could play – some people don’t want the competitive-type of play and I can’t blame them. There’s times when it’s just nice to chill and have fun and not have to either be the punching bag for an aggressive player or go postal on your friends and family. This is perfect for those types of games!

Pandemic: The Cure is portable, addictive from the start and if you have a dice-lover in the family they’ll go crazy at the number of dice included and the gameplay. The parts are sturdy and well-constructed and you definitely get your money’s worth. If you’ve never played a co-op game I recommend this as a great place to start because it has the randomness of dice play and the fun of saving the world…

… which leads me to the only sort of issue to the game – unlike the other board games in the Pandemic series, there is a huge amount of randomness involved in this game. Your strategy can go out the window with a single toss of the dice, making it very much a game where you can be outsmarted by the dice – depending on your gamer type you may not like this amount of randomness rolling around.

But if you love dice… I just picked this up to go under the tree for the hubby for Christmas! (No one tell him!)

Because you can’t have enough dice… or dice games!

(crossposted to my blog at http://sherylnantus.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/game-review-pan... )
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Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
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Great review, Sheryl!

Pandemic: the Cure has been universally well received in our group, even among those who do not particularly like the original game. I like both, but right now I'm a bit more partial toward the Cure because it plays more quiickly.
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Sheryl Nantus
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Thank you!

I think Cure is a better game if you've got time restraints or don't want to spend hours fretting over strategy - it won't match with all players but the speed and ease does make it a good fun dice game!
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Wesley Hayward
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Clio
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Very nice review!

I definitely agree with your points about randomness, it could be a big nail in the coffin for those strategy minded players that like to be able to follow a path to the end. My fiance and I played this last night, and the game started off extremely smooth, and we managed to cure two diseases almost right away. From there it turned bad, however, and we just could not make our rolls, with biohazard results appearing more often and a few bad draws caused some outbreaks. We scraped by with a win though!

That said, it also adds a great measure of tension, especially when you might be on the verge of an outbreak (or several), and you happen to draw the disease color that will cause it. I once had a couple regions with 3 yellows on each, and I drew all yellow from the bag... Yikes.

You touched on portability, which I also agree with. It's very easy to keep track of the parts (it comes bagged), though I think the box is almost the same size as the full Pandemic... Which threw me off. Great game to introduce anyone to, though, and I'm definitely a dice lover myself!
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Mike Grieves
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Great review! My son and I just played about 5 games in a row yesterday (Christmas) and we loved it. We also own the original Pandemic and On the Brink and thought this was a great variation of the game. We love dice games (however the dice hate me lol) and Pandemic + dice = win. We didn't win any games yet but came close with 3/4 cures discovered. We are eagerly looking forward to playing more games. I hope they come out with an expansion for this, as I would most definitely pick it up.
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