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Pandemic (2008) is a strategy game where you are an elite disease-fighting team trying to stop four viruses from spreading across the globe. You play as uniquely skilled characters, who move around the board, using their abilities to make different disease-fighting actions. It is a game of logistics and cooperation where clear strategy, good decisions and team discussion might just save the world.

To cure all four diseases and save the world, you must work as a team, using your character's unique skills in the best possible way. You only have a limited number of actions and after you take a turn, the diseases spread. So, you must work out where each player should move and which actions are prudent with the current state of the game. For example, the Medic can remove all Disease cubes from a city in one action, whereas this would take all other character’s multiple actions.

As you progress, you begin to remove Disease cubes from the board, and you might even collect enough City cards to cure a disease completely – removing it from the game. Unfortunately, as you take cards from the deck, it becomes more likely that you draw an Epidemic card, which creates a sudden upsurge in at least one of the viruses. This means that just when victory seems more likely, it gets further away again.

You only win by curing all four diseases and there are multiple ways to lose. It's a game that you are more than likely to lose and lose often. But what makes people come back to try again and again, is just how fun it is to fail. Your best efforts often go unrewarded, and you are left with the sense that if you had only just done something differently, then defeat could have easily been turned into victory.

Our examiner, Rob Prior, first checked Pandemic 24 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 4 weeks ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Battle, Brain Game and Strategy game with Collecting, Communication and Traversal elements. You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room. Best with 4 players.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes 1 hour to learn. The first time you play it's worth knowing the following:
  • Each character has different abilities, so choosing what your team can do as a collective is important.
  • The viruses spread quickly, so it is important to take more time on your first few turns.
  • Discussion is key to this game, so listen to each player's ideas and work as a collective.

Play Time: This game will take between 45 minutes and 1 hour to complete.


Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to have high levels of patience and be good at working within a team to solve a group challenge. They also need to be good at dealing with defeat.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds. This game features viruses that are spreading around the globe infecting and killing people. However, this is thematic and not presented visually.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2008

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 2-4

Genres: Battle, Brain Game, Strategy (Collecting, Communication and Traversal)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: Board, Cards, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Developer: Z Man Games (@ZManGames_)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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