Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Don't panic! It's only game night.

Last week I took some kids up skiing at Crystal Mountain so I missed game night. The week before that I slacked off and didn't post. I figure I'm pretty overdue.

Tonight's game night was all about one game for me: Pandemic. I played this new game for the first time tonight and we all liked it so much that we played it something like seven more times before the night was over. In fact, I only played one other game: To Court the King, wedged in between games of Pandemic. Obviously there were other games played as well by other players. But for me it was all about Pandemic.

Look for a proper review here soon but for now let me give you a quick rundown of what it's all about.

Pandemic is a cooperative game. All players cooperate in an effort to win the game together as a team. That means that either everyone wins together or they all lose together. It's a little like group solitaire. Now that could be really boring but in this case we thought it worked wonderfully. Each game played just a little differently and we always felt challenged to figure out the best way to deal with what was going on.

The game is about stopping four diseases that are spreading throughout the globe before they get out of control. The tension in the game starts high and with each turn it gets higher. It's a pretty challenging game. And we didn't even play it in its hardest configuration.

Each player plays a slightly different role with unique abilities and a big part of the game involves trying to use each character's ability to maximum effect.

In short: this game is a keeper. It's challenging, the theme really works, and it plays very quickly (under 45 minutes). It's definitely one of the best cooperative games I've ever played. I highly recommend it.