Pandemic board game

After five years of Pandemic, hundreds of thousands of players have contracted the virus! To celebrate this milestone, Pandemic has been completely re-designed. With new artwork by Chris Quilliams (Clash of Cultures, Merchants & Marauders), Pandemic will now have a more modern look, inside and outside the box. With two new characters (the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist) face the game in ways you never thought possible as brand-new, virulent challenges await you!



Joshua Cappel (graphics and illustration)

Régis Moulun (cover painting)

Chris Quilliams (2013 edition)

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User Reviews

  • App only
  • 5/21/2020 | 5 plays | 7/10 | I have enjoyed playing this game, but it quickly became a game I was not excited to play. The endurance of this game speaks for itself. It is an ingenious piece of game design. There are tense moments in this game and its thematic ties are excellent. Yet, it just is not a game I want to explore any further.5/28/2020 | Sold on Facebook. No interest in playing this more. Not sure if co-ops are my thing.
  • For: Gateway, Adults, FamilyType: Variable powers
  • All my play group likes it so much, We really enjoy playing it and every time is different and challenged for us we shuffle the team cards so every game we go with a new strategy which make the replay of this game is great and we really like the mechanism of how the epidemic spread very unique. I really recommend it. I didn't try the coop games before i didn't think that it will be that much fun.
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#Dinosaur Island is good for 9yr olds if you play the short game.  My boys didn't have the attention span for the medium or long game, but they did enjoy building the dino's. 

Other games my boys loved that would be good at 2:

#Carcassonne, #Forbidden Island (or really any of them), #Pandemic, #Raptor, #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Gameand #Dice Throne: Season 2 - Gunslinger vs. Samurai

When I got into the hobby I tried really hard to have a strong base and play games that people had deemed as classics. In my opinion while a good game is a good game a lot of those games have been surpassed by a superior game that does the same things in a better way. I would actually use #Agricola as one of the few older games that really stands the test of time. I do think the way it has been streamlined in #Agricola (Revised Edition) makes it easier and eliminates what can be a real glut of sorting through expansion content but while I think it has many games that are similar I think it still stands up. 

I actually think this is one of the best uses of the BGG Top 100 because I think it's difficult for a game to maintain at a high level over time and it's also easy to see the games that have really dropped off. I personally think #7 Wonders holds up well, it isn't even close to my favorite drafting game, due to its player count. I feel similarly about games like #Power Grid and #Race for the Galaxy where there are games that do the same things I like better but they are still good games. I think #Pandemic is one of the best gateway games out there and I'm typically not a fan of co-ops. I think most Rosenburg and Feld games hold up, with some like #Le Havre being as good now as they were when they came out. #El Grande is another game to me that really stands up.

I think games like #Carcassonne #Caylus #Ticket To Ride and #Stone Age would be examples of games that have passed their prime and we now have better games to play that do the same things. 

I agree with most of the commentary below about Wingspan. It's a game I enjoy and really admire it but when I personally think of highly thematic games I don't think it's as good as others. I think the most spot on point is that while some of the mechanics are thematic (predator birds, birds that migrate habitats) plenty are not and it always feels like an engine builder for points rather than running a bird sanctuary. With that said, I think it does a great job setting a fantastic mood for the type of game it is, and the eggs, the wooden dice, the dicetower, the unique bird cards, the art on the player boards etc do a fantastic job of that. I do think it's important to remember what a great place Wingspan exists in in terms of being an inviting gateway game and I believe that how thematic it is is going to depend greatly on what your experience in gaming is up to that point.


I think Wingspan exists in an area of strategy games where the components themselves do a great job keeping it from being a dry game and giving it a mood and then the more the mechanics match the more thematic it feels. I think of #Viticulture: Essential Edition and #Agricola (Revised Edition) as games that do a great job of this with both mechanisims and components. I think #Root #Everdell #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and #Teotihuacan: City of Gods all do a great job setting the scene with their art and then matching it in varying degrees with mechanics. 


I can think of countless "Ameritrash" games that are highly thematic but skill checks often ruin that dynamic for me personally. Even a game like #Forgotten Waters which drips with story and theme after awhile didn't feel like much of a game to me and lost its immersiveness. While still not in my wheelhouse I found #Gloomhaven and #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion to be much more immersive because the card play makes you feel like you are really dictating what happens and controlling your character. Conversely #Scythe was a game where the theme was almost non-existent to me until I played #Scythe: The Rise of Fenris and from then on the game was far more thematic in my mind than it had been previously. The most thematic game I've ever played would have to be #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and much like with Rise of Fenris, that experience has made other #Pandemic games feel more thematic just because I have seen how immersive it can be. 


A game that hasn't gotten any mentions yet that I've seen that's both a strategy game and highly thematic, in my opinion, is #Brass: Birmingham the historic accuracy that went into that game is remarkable and it really comes through in the most unique aspect to the game- the sudden switch from canals to rails. The included history of the characters in the rulebook is also a nice touch. I would contrast that with a game that I also love but don't find thematic which is #A Feast For Odin which, in true Uwe fashion, comes with what is essentially an entire book explaining the history that exists in the game but if you never read the book you would never really know and it's dry enough that you really don't need to and it becomes vikings playing tetris. 

Who do you typically play with? By gateway games, if you're looking for games that are very easy to introduce to non-gamers, then here are some that come to mind:

  • #Century: Golem Edition - Great art, fun crystal-like components, and teaches the concept of engine-building
  • #Azul - Another very attractive game for newcomers because of the awesome tiles. Great tile laying/pattern building game
  • #Just One - Co-op word based game that gets people laughing easily
  • #Skull - Simple bluffing game that's easy to teach and doesn't put a lot of pressure on new gamers
  • #Santorini - Abstract strategy game that plays like an expanded 3d tic-tac-toe, best for 2p
  • #Welcome to... - If you want to try roll and writes and want a theme that's relatable and plays at near limitless player counts
  • #Pandemic - Staple co-op game

Here are some games that I consider a slight step-up in terms of complexity, but still very approachable:

  • #Wingspan - "Tableau-building" game with the theme of birds. You place cards in three different rows that give you different benefits such as gathering resources, laying eggs, or getting you more bird cards that have different powers. You can pull off satisfying chain reactions of combos that build off of the different bird powers. It's an attractive looking game so it's easy to wow a wider audience
  • #The Quacks of Quedlinburg - "Bag-building" game where you're creating a potion by randomly pulling out various ingredients from your bag and placing them into your cauldron. Some ingredients will help you create a higher quality potion while having too many of the white ingredients will make your cauldron burst. By creating and selling high quality potions, you'll be able to purchase better ingredients that will help your future rounds. Nice mix of long term strategy with an element of pushing your luck just before the point of bursting your pot
  • #Viticulture: Essential Edition - Good "intro+" for worker placement games. Players manage a handle of workers to accomplish various tasks to tend to their vineyard, produce grapes, and sell wine to your visitors
  • #Tiny Towns - Great spatial management and pattern building game where you're working with a highly limited grid space to build a town by making polyomino shapes

I don't know who you are playing with, nor do I know your tastes. So, don't take my recomendations too seriously. But, some that I have enjoyed, in addition to what you posted, include:


I am not a huge coop fan, but many people are, and if that includes you you could add #Pandemic / #Forbidden Island / #Forbidden Desert

Many people really enjoy #7 Wonders. I myself enjoyed the #Sushi Go Party! quite a bit more fore a drafting game. I here a more modern drafting game t hat beats both of those is #It's a Wonderful World.

I think #Dominion: Second Edition is a the closest thing you can get to a collection essential.

I can get them to play #Ticket to Ride: Europe, #Century: Spice Road#Pandemic, #Sushi Go Party! and #Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle and #6 Nimmt! fairly easily.  My wife also likes #Splendor #Azul and #Alhambra. I'm always up for a game, my wife occasionally, and my son not so much. I'm hoping to get more game play with #Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale, #Istanbul: The Dice Game, and #The Quacks of Quedlinburg.

I love games in general.

Some of my most favorite games of all time are co-op games.

I like co-op games because they tend to make for good solo games. And since so much of my gaming is solo recently that’s really important to me. 

Top Tier co-op games include:


#Star Wars Imperial Assault


#XCOM: The Board Game

Im sure there are lots more but that’s what in the top of my mind right now.

Some of the most fun moments from co-op IA are:

Narrowly escaping Darth Vader on a transport ship

Laughing together as a group when the AI spawned Jabba on a random mission

No surprises on this list, I own the first half of this list, the top 5 are all games that intrigue me to varying levels: very much want to play #Root and #Spirit Island.

It's almost a nice walk through of introductory games through to the big heavies. You start by playing #Pandemic with few mates, maybe crack out #Codenames at group hangout, nice cooperative/team games you can walk them through to begin with. A few people who are interested you introduce to #Wingspan or #Azul (have to start thinking of their own strategy but the cards/options are fairly self explanatory. Once they're familiar you throw them into #Viticulture: Essential Edition or again give them plenty of support with #Spirit Island introducing asymmetry as a concept (I find a coop can be heavier and remain accessible than equivalent competitive games). Then once they have been gaming for a little while and are completely hooked you give them a real challenge with #Root or #Scythe before losing them forever to an endless game of #Gloomhaven.

I really didn't think I would have so many, as a lot of my games collection is curated to appeal to the four people I can actually play with regularly, which includes a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old. But here's my list:

  1. #Wingspan
  2. #Pandemic
  3. #Carcassonne
  4. #7 Wonders Duel
  5. #Santorini
  6. #Catan
  7. #Kingdomino
  8. #King of Tokyo
  9. #Forbidden Island
  10. #Clank!
  11. #Coup
  12. #Sushi Go!
  13. #Ticket to Ride: Europe
  14. #Dixit
  15. #The Resistance
  16. #Takenoko
  17. #Mysterium
  18. #Stone Age
  19. #Hive
  20. #Magic: The Gathering

I have:

  1. #Azul
  2. #Terraforming Mars
  3. #Codenames
  4. #Pandemic
  5. #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
  6. #Catan
  7. #Great Western Trail
  8. #King of Tokyo
  9. #Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
  10. #Architects of the West Kingdom
  11. #Coup
  12. #Raiders of the North Sea
  13. #Lost Cities
  14. #Hanabi
  15. #Hive
  16. #Eldritch Horror
  17. #Magic: The Gathering (I have some decks somewhere in my family home from when I was a kid)

Wow, that is more than I expected when I started making the list, maybe I am spending too much time on here and influencing the list too much! 😄

I guess it is a big gathering. When we get together with my dad's family there are usually 80ish people if everyone is there. So I'm not really use to thinking of it as big. 

They really enjoy: CarcassonneCatan especially with the Cities and Knights expansion, Dominion: Second Edition, two somewhat heavier games that usually come out are Power Grid and Acquire

Edit: PandemicForbidden Island, and Ticket To Ride are done others that get played. 

The first one that comes to mind for me is Pandemic. Instead of just dealing out roles, we'll deal 2-3 each and have players pick from those. 

It's actually most of the "classic" games like

I certainly can see why they're loved but I just don't every desire to play them again.

I just heard Quinns from SU&SD say that Pandemic Legacy is one of his top 5 games while Pandemic is probably not in his top 50. Does the legacy aspect alone account for that? I haven't played the legacy version but I agree with him that Pandemic wouldn't be in my top games.

I'd recommend Dominion 2nd Edition. It's a great game to dive into for any player type but has a lot of strategy and replay-ability.

Some others I'd recommend are 

I'm planning to show them either Pandemic or Reef next.

This week I also played some Pandemic just two game one of which we got destroyed super early. Since we won the second we will be moving up to all epidemic cards. Ticket to Ride: France and Old West Expansion Map Collection 6 has been the TTR of choice and we played 5 games on the France board and 3 on the old west side. We got a game of six players on the old west side which was awesome. Sushi Go! and Exploding Kittens Card Game also made an appearance this week.

I'm planning to show them either Pandemic or Reef next.

This week I also played some Pandemic just two game one of which we got destroyed super early. Since we won the second we will be moving up to all epidemic cards. Ticket to Ride: France and Old West Expansion Map Collection 6 has been the TTR of choice and we played 5 games on the France board and 3 on the old west side. We got a game of six players on the old west side which was awesome. Sushi Go! and Exploding Kittens Card Game also made an appearance this week.


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