In Pandemic Iberia you go back in time to mid 1800’s. On the Iberian island (Spain and Portugal for those of you not so well know with Europe’s naming of its regions) four deadly and highly contagious diseases broke out. It’s up to you and your teammates to contain this pandemic and find the root cause. In this cooperative board game you play together to save the Iberian island.
Pandemic Iberia plays the same as the base game Pandemic. In your turn you complete four actions, you draw 2 cars and afterwards you contaminate additional cities in the contamination phase of the game. You will play a specific role each with its own unique abilities. What’s different from the base game is that the roles and the assigned abilities are different. This makes Pandemic Iberia have a completely different feel, which is a welcome change.
Of course flying wasn’t an option in this day and age, that’s why you travel by foot, boat or train in this game. Unfortunately at the beginning of the game there aren’t any train tracks yet. During your turn its up to you to lay the tracks for you to be able to use them from travel. 1 Action means you can travel as far as you like by train, so investing in tracks early can really pay off in the long run as you can travel from infestation to infestation a lot faster! Because rest assured, there will be a lot of of traveling and healing civilians in Iberia. Like in the normal game, people get sick at an increasing higher rate and its up to you to prevent these diseases to become outbreaks. But in contrast the the original, you are not able to invent or create your own medicine or eradicate a disease completely. Most you can do is thoroughly investigate a disease (hand in 5 of the same player cards at a single hospital). This won’t give you any advantage, it keeps spreading at the same rate, you just know better why it is happening.
Luckily you are not completely powerless against the spreading diseases. You are aware that clean water contributes to keeping the population healthy. One of the actions you can take is turning in 1 player card for 2 water tokens which you can place on the board. If during the contamination fase a nearby city would be infected with disease, you can in instead remove the water token and the city will remain healthy. This is a very effective way to prevent diseases, but they have a price. They player cards you turn in are also needed to research the diseases itself, so choose wisely!
You can lose Pandemic Iberia in many ways, but winning can only be achieved one way. You need to research all 4 of the diseases and this can only be done by working together effectively.
Conclusion: Pandemic Iberia, a welcome change
As a true Pandemic fan you will surely love Pandemic Iberia. They game is one of the best looking games you will see in a long time and is a very fun addition to the Pandemic serie. It may work and look a lot like the original, the changes are big enough to give it its own identity and make it worth while to play. The games makes you balance your strategie between curing and researching the diseases and building the needed infrastructure to move effectively. If you want more challenge, two additional variants are included in the rule book for you to make it even more exiting.
I honestly can not foresee anyone liking the original not liking Pandemic Iberia.