Pandemic: A Board Game for the Times

Timely board game keeps families entertained

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Maria Nguyen

As a family favorite, Pandemic has kept us entertained, especially when it seems like we have too much free time.

Maria Nguyen, Staff writer

A deadly epidemic. Relentless outbreaks. Cities under lockdown. It has gotten all too familiar to us, who have dealt with Covid-19 for eight months and counting.

It’s no surprise that our lives have changed in many ways. With some people quarantined, some under lockdown, and some with just ample free time, new lifestyles have emerged all over the place. Many have learned new hobbies, picked up old ones or experimented with something that they’ve always wanted to do. Bearing that in mind, many people decided to turn to one place: the game store. 

Board games rapidly flew off the shelves. It was apparent that people were tired of Uno and Apples to Apples, and wanted to try new games. It wasn’t long before a rising favorite was singled out. Eerily fitting for the times, Pandemic soon rose to become a best-selling board game, surpassed only by Monopoly and Clue on Amazon’s board game sales chart.

Created by Matt Leacock in 2008, the board game exploded in popularity this past year, especially during the lockdown period in the spring. Like many others, my family discovered it during this time, and since then, we’ve been playing it every week since March. Because of its cooperative nature, I would say that it has even brought my family closer together. The hours of enjoyment we’ve had playing Pandemic are too high to count. 

Pandemic is considered one of the best cooperative games out there, but don’t underestimate it— winning is harder than it looks. In the world of Pandemic, the players cooperate to try to cure four diseases that threaten humanity. While trying to keep outbreaks in specific cities under control, the players must also deal with epidemics. These epidemics pop up randomly in the game to intensify the diseases and bring you one step closer to losing. The players also can’t forget about the new infections that ravage cities at the end of every turn. If they do, the disease will spread to all the neighboring cities and cause even more outbreaks. The challenge of the game lies in the fact that there are several ways to lose- but only one way to win.

It’s a challenging game to be sure, but no less addictive. As soon as you lose the game (and you will lose!) you’ll want to set it back up and give it another go. As someone who plays this game on a weekly basis, I can tell you that it’s a tough game to beat— but that is what makes it so mesmerizing. 

I highly recommend investing in this board game. I can assure you that you won’t regret it. Although the real-world events reflected in the game are somewhat depressing, it doesn’t downplay how fun it is. Pandemic is a cleverly built, addictive game with vivid details and colorful graphics. It’ll have you on the edge of your seat the whole time. And who knows— maybe beating this game will boost your positive outlook over Covid-19. Pandemics do not last forever. If we work together, we will win at the end of the day.