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Subject: Removing cubes to save the world rss

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Anders Isaksen
Denmark
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This is my first review on the site. My english is not the best, as it is not my native language but I hope you will enjoy it anyway.
There are no photos in this review since I do not own the game anymore.
If you think you have read this review before that might be correct as I originaly posted it on a different boardgaming site.

But without further a due let os have a look at Pandemic!

A cooperative game about curing world wide diseases. Well if anything, this is a theme everyone should be able to get behind.
However, is the game actually any good?
Lets pull out the stethoscope and see if this patient is alive and kicking!

Components:
The components consist of a very nice board, a bunch of cards and various tokens and cubes.
The cardstock is not great and mine started showing wear already after a few games (3).
I really cannot complain about the rest of the components as they are fine. Nothing special but not bad either. The board is very nice and easy to navigate.
Rating: 7

Artwork:
There is not much artwork in the game apart from some generic maps and the rolecards. It looks fine and actually has a almost clinical look to it, which fits the theme quiet well.
Not bad but nothing special.
Rating: 7

Rulebook:
The rulebook is quiet simple and does a good job of teaching the game in small steps. For every rule there is a gameplay example with illustrations. Very nicely produced Rulebook!
Rating: 9

Gameplay:
Pandemic is a cooperative game about curing diseases all over the world.
Basically what it boils down to is players playing city cards from their hands, moving their pawns around the world, using their special abilities and removing cubes from different major cities in the world.
The gameplay is quiet simple, while still managing to keep the game challenging.
However! While that premise is good the game feels a lot like a puzzle at times. You will find yourself wondering about how to most effectively move your pawn to remove cubes.
This is probably why I think it is not a great coop game. Before you decide to put me on the stake and burn me for being a heretic, hear me out.
A lot of coop games boil down to being massive puzzles. And with everyone basically trying to solve one big puzzle it makes the games very prone to the Alpha gamer syndrome. And that is very much the case in Pandemic. With all groups where I have played this, even when all the other players where new or non gamers, and I didn’t say a thing after teaching the game, there would always be someone with a more mathy “brain” that would take over and tell everyone else what to do.
So while this game is theory is very good for teaching new people boardgames, the puzzle nature of it kind of pulls away from that.
We have coop games today that seem to learn from these mistakes, by giving each person personal goals in the game, or making the them less of a puzzle, by adding random elements that twist the game in different directions.
Even still Pandemic is far from a bad game. In fact it’s a very good game. Just keep in mind the above mentioned things.
Rating: 7

Theme:
While the roles are somewhat thematic, the actions you can do are simple hand management and cube pushing, and a lot of other themes would fit the game just as much in my opinion.
Yes the fact that you are moving your pawns around the world and removing cubes, does resemble some form of removing diseases but in the end the game feels like a very abstracted puzzle to me.
Rating: 5

Sum up:
Pandemic is a great abstracted cooperative puzzle. If you understand this and don’t expect a game that will make everyone feeling like a part of a great story about treating diseases in the world you will most likely enjoy your time with it. The mechanics work and the gameplay manages to stay simple while offering a very real challenge, which in itself is a great accomplishment.
If you like the more puzzle oriented games then I can whole heartedly recommend Pandemic. If you want a game that drips with theme and makes you feel like you are all working together in a story there are far better games out there.

Final rating!

7
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Jo Bartok
Germany
Zwingenberg
Hessen
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Interaction leads to Immersion.
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Immersion leads to Fun.
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Agreed for your game-play considerations. For me the game really brought up the feeling of a job that has to be fulfilled by a group of people and it felt only and nothing but like work (work when I wasn't self employed, that is) - work where you either command or be commanded around.
... And I think those can be easily fixed by a few better/different mechanics. Really not a game I would ever play again, just cause of that.

When I get the chance I will take a look at the rulebook though just to see what to learn from the way it is layouted, designed, written and organized. Thanks.
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Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
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Sephakay wrote:
Theme:
While the roles are somewhat thematic, the actions you can do are simple hand management and cube pushing, and a lot of other themes would fit the game just as much in my opinion.
Yes the fact that you are moving your pawns around the world and removing cubes, does resemble some form of removing diseases but in the end the game feels like a very abstracted puzzle to me.
Rating: 5

You're overlooking one big thematic plus here - the epidemic cards. The fact that they only shuffle the infection discard pile and put it back on top, rather than shuffling the entire infection deck, not only makes the game harder (it'd probably be trivially easy if you shuffled everything), but it's also a strong theme point, the way diseases flare up again and again where they've already been, rather than randomly all over the place.
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