Pandemics, am I right?
If you would have asked me when I was a child if I thought the idea of stopping a Pandemic was awesome I probably would have said, “huh?” Then I probably would have said, “Sure, but what’s a Pandemic?” Well, little Danny, a Pandemic is a worldwide plague bent on your utter jelly destruction. It’s also one of the greatest co-operative board games of all time. You have to work together, utilizing your various strengths and abilities, to stop the various plagues that threaten to send humanity back to the bubonic stone ages.
The game starts off pretty simple but things quickly grow out of control and it’ll take all of your combined wit to win the game. It doesn’t end there though. There are multiple versions of Pandemic but by far the best iteration yet is Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Blue and Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Red. These new versions of the game add a brand new story element that takes you and your friends on an adventure that involves fighting these plagues for an entire year. The story progresses from there and you’ll face certain doom along the way at every junction, but the rush of having overcome such a difficult challenge with the people you like the most in this world is truly a great feeling.
If you’re unsure of which Pandemic Legacy game to buy, just pick a color. They’re both the exact same game. The reason for the two different versions is if you want to play the season with different groups. You’re supposed to keep the same group of people playing throughout the story (which can take quite a few board game nights to finish) so if you love the game as much as we do then you can get both copies to play with different groups of friends.
What did it take to create a game like this?
If you do some googling (or watch the video below) you’ll find a presentation that the creator of Pandemic, Matt Leacock, gave at a Google Tech Talk on how he created Pandemic. The simple way in which it evolves from a math algorithm into the pulpy disease soup that is the world of Pandemic is truly fascinating. Watching videos like this simultaneously give me hope for my own personal goals of developing games, but at the same time present me with a daunting challenge. How do you build a game that stays fun and relevant for nearly a decade?
This definitely makes me appreciate the delicate process behind creating board games and if you watch it I hope it does something for you too. Designing games is not all fun and games. It’s math (ick), play-testing, more math (ick²), more play-testing, going back to the drawing board, creating all of your design work, play-testing, scrapping the idea, redoing all of your previous design work, and so on and so forth.
For Real Though
Make sure to have fun with friends and family this holiday season and other than crushing them beneath your boot heel there is no better way to enjoy your time with them than by playing a few co-operative board games. Be sure to stay plague free out there and feel free to tell me about your favorite Pandemic moments below.
In the meantime, Stay Board my friends!
P.S. I’m actually sick while writing this.