Heidi and I (plus her husband, Andrew, and my boyfriend, John) started playing a board game in February and we most definitely will not complete play until sometime in 2017. Yep, we are really committed to this.
The game is Pandemic Legacy—the winner of the most innovative board game and best strategy board game in 2015. The players work co-operatively as disease-fighting specialists from the Center for Disease Control to prevent and cure four diseases before they spread and cause the world to fall into chaos. Players collectively win the game by “curing” each disease and “eradicating” that disease from all infected cities, all while diseases continue to to spread across the world map game board.
While the original version of Pandemic was released in 2007, the 2015 Legacy version is a continuous game played over 12-24 sessions. During each session, rules are added to the game and players have various challenges added to normal play. In the first month of play we lost in the final minutes before curing the four diseases when our outbreak counter surpassed 7. (Basically this means we had a lot of disease spreading across the board.) But, we made a comeback two weeks ago and won our first game. We were so pumped, we had to celebrate with ice cream cake and share on Instagram:
- Pandemic is a super open-ended board game and is made even more flexible by the rule changes and challenges that occur in the Legacy edition. During an individual move, players can eradicate disease from a city, travel to other cities, collect cards to cure a disease, or build research stations. Additionally, each player has an individual role (dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher, or operations expert) with special skills, making each player extremely valuable at various stages of the game.
- The board game is completely collaborative—all the players win or lose together. Not only does this make for a much more fun Saturday night, it also has been shown to engage players in unique behaviors. Researchers at the University of Utah found that due to the collaborative nature of the game, complex computational thinking occurs. Although this also happens in non-collaborative game play, it is limited to a single person because he or she aims to obscure their upcoming moves from other players. In collaborative play, computations occur between multiple players at both local (single-city moves) and global (disease cure or multiple-play) levels.
If you enjoy games like Settlers of Catan, you may want to give Pandemic a try! If anything really exciting happens in our game, we will update you… rumor is that players can actually become lost. Duh duh duh!