Sad news. The world is going to end. On the bright side, it’s because you’re going to destroy it.
In Pandemic: Contagion, you and up to four of your friends play viruses competing to put an end to life on Earth. Whoever destroys the most cities wins. And, ironically, the rest of humanity loses. So enjoy that victory on your desolate, god-forsaken planet!
Times Played: Twices
Did I ever win? No! Apparently, I’m a terrible virus.
Most Often Played With: A trio of friends.
Expansions Owned: No expansions yet. Though some viruses may cause bloating.
Pandemic is one of my favorites games of all time. So… no pressure.
PLAYING PANDEMIC: CONTAGION
- At start of round, reveal a new event card and resolve when instructed on the card
- On your turn, choose two actions
- Draw cards equal to your Incubation rank
- Infect a new city with cubes equal to your Infection rank (by playing two cards of the same color as that city)
- Infect a city again (by playing one card of the same color as the city, and any other card)
- Mutate your virus’s Incubation, Infection, of Resistance ranking (by discarding cards equal to the cost to increase rank)
- Cities go kaput when there are infection cubes equal to the population
- Most cubes on a dead city score top points, second place gets runner-up points per the card
- Game ends when there are either two cities left or you run out of event cards
IT’S SORT OF LIKE…
Pandemic with an evil goatee.
MOST FUN WHEN…
You steal a city away from another player, claiming the special action that comes with the location card.
WANTED TO FLIP THE TABLE WHEN…
I realized, too late, that I had not invested enough into my mutations. There’s no recovery for that.
The player boards are great and explain all the actions you can take on your turn. Plus, there’s a little cozy hole for the peetri dish,
It’s a simple game. Explaining it can actually prove confusing. One practice round is all it takes to know how to play.
CAN YOU PLAY THIS GAME DRUNK?
Not recommended. Drinking increases your exposure to viruses… or something.
If there’s an expansion to come that adds either complexity or tension, yes. But if it’s more of the same, definitely not.
THREE BEST THINGS
- Quick set-up and tear down, plays in less than 30 minutes.
- Smartly replicates how viruses work in the original Pandemic.
- Nice player boards, pieces, and cards.
THREE WORST THINGS
- Lacks any of the tension of the original Pandemic.
- Card draws play a huge role in your success.
- Not memorable.
NUMBER OF DEADLY VIRUSES I’D IGNORE BEFORE STOPPING THIS GAME TO SAVE THE WORLD
None. I’m a goddamn hero.
GET THIS IF
- You love, love, love, love, love Pandemic and need all things Pandemic (because this is one of those things).
- You need a short, enjoyable filler game.
- You like being the bad guy (or germ, in this case).
Questions about GAME? Ask in the comments. Played GAME and have your own opinion? Tell us! We may feature you in the Dog and Thimble Podcast.