TID – Day 7 – Sunday is a Day for Cooperating

Name Pandemic
Players 2-6
Play Time About an Hour
Game Style Cooperation, Card Playing

To say that I get excited about board games is an understatement, but some will get me to the table more quickly than others. Enter Pandemic, the first cooperative game that I had ever played. Here are the basic rules. You and your playing mates are a team of scientists and doctors working to rid the world of 5 major diseases that are affecting 5 geographical areas. Using card management and special abilities, you compete against the time and event cards to calm outbreaks and scrub the world clean. Let me say this from the outset, this is a HARD game to beat. Even at the normal difficulty setting, you lose more often than you win. But man, is it a blast to play. I love the ability to talk strategy as you work from turn to turn, each person laying out ideas for multistep missions, and strategizing towards a win.

Direct Curricular Applicability: Strong
– If there is any Game that screamed Health Class, here it is
– Biology
Time to Play Long
This one requires a lot of setup (time to lay out the game is about 15 minutes). Having a seasoned player, especially for the Junior grades is a necessity.
Tangential Learning: High
This one has a lot of great avenues. From the titles of the “Job” cards (scientist, microbiologist), to the geographic locations depicted, students can find themselves engaged on any number of topics.
Gameplay Complexity High
Like I said before, this one needs a seasoned veteran at school. The rules really only make sense once gameplay starts.
OVERALL: I can’t stress enough how much I love this game. Ranked 42 on BGG’s Boardgame List, it deserves it for a truly different gameplay experience, and for a tough challenge for any gamer.

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