Yesterday afternoon, Josh, Pat and Steve came over and we played some Pandemic. It's a cooperative board game, and this is the first time I'd had to try one of them out. Pat had played it once or twice at Gen-Con, but the rest of us hadn't played it before.
For those that don't know, cooperative games are set up in a way that the game is out to beat you, and players need to work together to 'beat the game.' In the case of Pandemic, there are four global virulent diseases spreading around the map (the game board). 2-4 players each pick a role (there are five roles, so one will always be left out), and set out from Atlanta's CDC to try to contain the spread and find cures to the diseases.
If any disease spreads out of control (all the disease cubes of one color are on the board), or if there are 8 outbreaks (where one city has so much disease that all neighboring cities get infected), or players run out of player cards to draw, the players lose. If the players can find cures to all four diseases (cure 1 disease if one player collects 5 cards of the same color, gets to a research station, and spends an action), they win.
We played three games of it. We lost the first two games, but realized each time we'd been playing it slightly wrong. The third time, we think we got all the rules right, and we actually managed to win.
It's definitely a fun and challenging game. It plays fairly fast, too (unlike Arkham Horror, another cooperative game we'd like to try, that from what Pat says, takes about 1 hour per player before Cthulhu and Co. eat your minds).
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