Board Game Defacing? Pandemic Legacy Review

This was our first purchase that initially I was not too excited about. The genre just wasn’t my style but the game itself got rave reviews in 2016 and my lovely wife really wanted to give it a shot. I am so glad she pulled for it as the introduction of this style of game has further hooked me in the overall board game universe. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 – published by Z-MAN Games – is a co-operative story about the world succumbing to the potential outbreak of four various and deadly diseases. The game itself is sold in two box variations – one red and the other blue – but there is no difference between the two as far as the game itself. It is our job as players to prevent widespread outbreak, find potential cures, and hopefully eradicate each one of the diseases! The game is meant to evolve as you play it, and you will be adding stickers to the game board, to your character cards, and even some of the other cards along the way. You are also instructed to destroy cards once you have failed or accomplished certain tasks!

This kid had no problems doing it!

Destroying the first card – I have to admit – took a few moments to ponder. Were we really going to destroy something that was part of a larger $60 purchase? I actually threw the card in an empty box but as soon as the game was finished we performed the solemn task of ripping up the card and chucking it in the waste basket. After the initial card ripping ceremony it became easier for us to shred things as we go and laugh about it. As the game evolves, there are components sealed off behind secret dossiers and boxes that are to be revealed or not revealed as the game plays out. The instruction book itself has the base set of rules and is meant to have more rules added to it by way of stickers revealed during game play that will be used from that point forward. In the end you wind up with a game that I imagine will be very tough to play through – once it has fully evolved – and you will not be able to experience the game is you did in it’s infancy.

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This story arch last for an entire year in Season 1 of Pandemic Legacy. A sequel is due out in 2017 aptly named Pandemic Legacy Season 2. You get monthly objectives and win or lose you get two shots to complete them before the game instructs you to move on to the next month – hence the game will evolve whether you like it or not! There are starting characters with various special abilities you can chose but remember this is a living game so I wouldn’t get too attached! So far we have been lucky in that retrospect. There is a nice game board, a deck for infections, and a player deck that is loaded up with various countries cities to visit, perks, and potential catastrophes as you draw and reveal more cards. The un-boxing and setup was really quite swift as there weren’t a million cardboard tokens for me to punch through or a million different decks of cards to sort out and shuffle.

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The game is meant to be quite basic if you have played the regular Pandemic series but of course we jumped right into the more advanced version with Pandemic Legacy Season 1. Not that the rules were hard to follow but we seized our opportunity to visit YouTube and found a very informative “How to Play Session” by Bored Online? Board Offline!

We have now watched a few of this guy’s videos and find them very informative and without spoilers. Worth the like and the subscribe! After a short initial setup, a glance at the rules, and the twenty minute “How To Play” session we were well on our way with the first game. Of course we totally hosed up the first play through and although we accomplished the objective we had put the board in a really rough spot for the games to come. This was my fault as I had over shuffled the player deck – when it comes to card shuffling in this game PLEASE pay attention to the finer details! Luckily we had not shred any cards up and the wife was able to nimbly pull off the stickers so we could reset and start again.

Counting the flub up of the first session we have played five total sessions and are combating the deadly diseases as – in the board game – winter has turned to spring. Overall we are really impressed and intrigued to play more. The wife having to work today gave me a breather to write about our experiences thus far. Now the game will get more challenging and will most likely become harder as we go. I won’t expect us to be 4 and 0 by the end of it all. The overall rating is very good so far – will see what happens in the future of Pandemic Legacy Season 1!

Picture Credits: Z-MAN Games

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