Matt Leacock has again managed to release the gaming virus on the world. The first time he bombarded the world with the (game) virus was back in 2007 with Pandemic. Pandemic is a cooperative board game in which players need to get four life-threatening virus outbreaks under control in time by working together smartly and handling your hand cards wisely. Now, eight years after the great success of Pandemic, Matt Leacock is doing it again, but this time with dice.
Thematically Pandemic The Cure doesn’t differ that much from Pandemic, but the game material does differ a lot. This time you do not play on a large board with a world map, but the world consists of six round cards with the continents (and a number) on them. The speed at which the viruses spread is tracked on a plastic round “score track”. And as befits a dice game, there are a lot of dice in the box, including four colors of dice representing the viruses that are spreading around the world.
Each player is assigned his own role with special characteristics, so the doctor can heal better and the scientist can develop medicines very well. Each player also has his own set of dice. On the sides of the dice are symbols that indicate the different possible actions. At the beginning of each turn you throw your dice and the roll determines what you can do. You can roll as many times as you like. However, this is not risk-free, because every dice also has a “biohazard” symbol. Dice with the “biohazard” symbol may not be thrown again and cause the virus to slowly but surely spread.
With the other symbols you can heal the sick, travel to other locations and take samples. If you take a sample, you may take a virus dice and place the two dice together in front of you. As soon as you have at least three dice, you may throw the dice once each turn. If you manage to throw 13 or higher, you have invented a medicine for the virus in question.
After a player has completed his turn, he draws three or four (depending on the phase of the game) virus-dice from a bag and throws them. Then they are placed on the part of the world that reprecents the number which is thrown (or in other words: more people have become ill again). If a fourth dice in a colour is placed on a continent, an outbreak follows. You may have a maximum of seven outbreaks during the game, otherwise you’ll have lost.
There is one way to win this game (develop a medicine for all four viruses) and there are three ways to lose the game (an eighth outbreak, too many “biohazards” thrown, too few virus-dice in the bag to replenish). With a little luck and especially by working well together it is possible to win, but you certainly will not get it easily.
Pandemic The Cure Review Conclusion
Pandemic the Cure is worthy of the name Pandemic. As far as I’m concerned, Pandemic is one of the best cooperative games there is, and Pandemic the Cure is no different. I find it harder to win The Cure than Pandemic and that only makes it more addictive. If you don’t win, you just want to try again immediately.
Because of the dice there is of course a certain luck factor in it and of course it is frustrating when you lose by a very unfortunate throw, but on the other hand sometimes you can also be shamelessly lucky so that the virus-fighting is easy. The game is well made and you really have to think carefully about what you do and work well together, otherwise you’re hopeless (no matter how well you throw).
This game is an absolute must for lovers of cooperative games.