What is it about world-threatening diseases and the media’s use of these diseases, usually fictional, but based on something real, to make movies, games and board games? The threat of mankind, while no laughing matter, has always meant big bucks. From mid 90s films like Outbreak to more sci-fi themed ones like I Am Legend and World War Z, pandemic movies largely follow the standard outbreak template; an infection breaks out and our heroes have to find the cure. The template also includes key roles that must be fulfilled by the hot, the not-that-hot-anymore, and the up and coming stars of Hollywood. You’ll have your doctor, your researcher, your medic, your scientist etc. The pandemic/outbreak genre is in no way exclusive to movies or books. Console games like Resident Evil have used the same formula, as have mobile casino games like Zombie Hoard and Zombie Outbreak.
Pandemic: The Cure has all the features, traits and hallmarks of your typical outbreak scenario. This board and dice game has been designed with meticulous attention and appeals to both male and female players. If you’re looking to save the world from the next deadly disease with world-shattering ramifications, then let Pandemic: The Cure help you live out that jilted fantasy!
As mentioned, the care and attention implemented in this board and dice game’s design features are impressive, making this one of those games well-worth its asking price. Unboxing this game will reveal a Treatment Centre Ring, Regional Tiles, dice (infection dice, action dice), cards (event cards, cure cards, role cards) and player pawns.
The Treatment Centre Ring displays the various stages of an infection in various colours and ends with a small red skull. The Regional Tiles consists of 6 continents with colour bands at the bottom to show which diseases are more likely to flourish in that area of the world. The Role Cards and player pawns work hand-in-hand. Each role card looks like an ID card. A total of 48 dice have been split into 4 groups to indicate 4 types of diseases. This also includes action dice, reference cards and cue cards.
Playing The Game
Your mission is to cure all 4 viruses before they destroy the planet, that’s all. To do this, you’ll need to treat infected continents, dispatch treated viruses to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control), get samples from the CDC and then roll the dice to find a cure. Each roll of the dice is unique, thanks to a set of custom dice. Outcomes can range from travelling to another continent to treating a disease.
The entire board setup is a series of discs. At the centre you have the Treatment Centre and surrounding it, the various continents numbered 1 to 6. Each dice is colour-coded and meant to represent a different disease. Viruses are determined by drawing dice from the bag, rolling them, and then placing them on corresponding continents. Rolling a set of dice that has a bio-hazard symbol come up results in a move on the Treatment Centre Ring and each time a bio-hazard symbol appears, movement on the track of the treatment centre occurs. Once a demarcated area is passed, you have an epidemic on your hands. Play then resumes with new dice and a redistribution of the virus to the various continents.
Travel, treat viruses and save people, these are the fundamentals of Pandemic: The Cure. The complexities of the game fall away quite fast once you acquaint yourself with the rules and start to play.