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Pandemic Board Game: A New Thriller

Pandemic Board Game: A New Thriller

The pandemic board game was released in 2008 in USA by Z-Man. This game was created by Matt Leacock. The principle of this pandemic board game is based on 4 viruses. Each virus can destroy a specific area. Two to four players can participate in the game, with each player taking on one of seven different roles: operations expert, medic, scientist, researcher, dispatcher, contingency planner, or quarantine specialist.

The objective is to find all four treatments with the combined efforts of all players before any of the multiple game-losing criteria are met. The pandemic board game was designed by Matt Leacock and Tom Lehmann. On the Brink, Pandemic: In the Lab, and Pandemic: Three State of Emergency expansions offer additional roles and events. They also modify the rules to allow for team play or the addition of a fifth player.

Furthermore, several “challenge kits”—rule expansions—are included. Condensing the kind of sophisticated strategy offered by previous cooperative games, such Arkham Horror, into a game that can be played in a small amount of time by a wider range of players, Pandemic is regarded as one of the most successful cooperative games that have attained mass market sales.

How to Play Pandemic Board Game?

In the Pandemic board game, players take on randomly assigned roles and collaborate to stop the spread of four diseases and cure them before a pandemic breaks out. The components of the game include six Research Stations, two decks of cards (Player cards and Infection cards), a gaming board that depicts a network connecting 48 cities on a global map, four colors of cubes with 24 cubes each (each representing a different disease), and pawns for each role.

The player cards are comprised of the following: event cards, which can be played at any time (apart from certain events in expansions) to offer the players an advantage; epidemic cards; and cards with the names of each city, which match those on the board. Each city on the board has one infection card, which is colored to correspond with the sickness that will first appear there.

One to three cubes representing various towns are infected on the board at the beginning of the game thanks to the random drawing of infection cards. The Centres for Disease Control are located in Atlanta, where players begin the game. Based on the number of players, they are assigned a random role and a certain number of player cards.
To win the Pandemic board game, players must work together to coordinate their efforts.

This includes moving about the board in unison, preventing Outbreaks as effectively as possible, and collecting and sharing the cards that are needed to find cures. One critique of the game, known as “quarterbacking,” is that it tends to be dominated by one player, the “alpha gamer.” Nevertheless, quarterbacking is not just a problem with the Pandemic board game; it may also occur in other cooperative board games.


In 2013, two new characters were introduced with the name of Quarantine specialist and Contingency planner. This time pandemic board game was reissued with fresh artwork. A mistake with a missing line between Lagos and São Paulo and edge-to-edge printing on cards was present in some copies of the second edition.

In 2013, the On the Brink expansion saw the publication of a second version.
A 10-year Anniversary Edition was released in July of 2018. This edition comes with a larger board, updated role cards, wooden disease cubes, and detailed miniatures representing each role. Everything was in a metal cabinet like an early 1900s first aid kit. This version reimagines the game with greater box space for expansions.

Pandemic Legacy

  • Season 1 – Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is a legacy version of the base game released by Z-Man Games, which was designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau. It was released in October 2015 and is comparable to Risk Legacy in that it added an ongoing storyline to the basic game, meaning that the game board and rules change permanently after each game. Every game is one month in a campaign that mimics a year’s worth of events. Players advance to the following month if they win the first game; if they lose, they try again, but regardless of the outcome of the second game, they advance to the next month. Packages containing new rules and components are sealed until specific events occur, like finishing the game in a given month or losing a certain number of games in a row.
    Season 2: Designed by the same team of designers, Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock, it was released in October 2017 and was a natural continuation of Season 1. Seventy-one years after Season 1, the board game takes place on a destroyed Earth. This version modifies Pandemic’s fundamental rules to the extent that the campaign includes a prologue training game to teach players the new mechanics, which include a discovery element. Rather than using cubes to represent diseases and the idea of placing as few disease cubes as possible, the disease is represented by different cubes that indicate supplies, and the sickness spreads when the supplies are too low. 

Season 0: The third game in the series, which was released in October 2020, is a prequel set in the early Cold War era.