Tag Archives: Quick play time

Pandemic: The Cure

Pandemic: The Cure. Z-Man, 2014. $50. Designed by Matt Leacock. 48 infection dice with bag, 7 player role cards and pawns with 37 player dice, 6 region cards, a plastic “treatment center” ring with tracks with two markers, CDC tile, 10 event cards, and a rule book. 2-5 players. Ages 8+. 60 minutes.

This fully cooperative dice rolling version of the board game Pandemic has 2-5 players take on one of the 7 roles, each of which get their own special dice set. During each player’s turns they roll their dice and can reroll trying to get results that let them move, treat, sample, or perform some other special ability. But each time a “Biohazard” face is rolled, the infection rate marker moves up the track. Its position on the track determines the number of infection dice rolled and if it goes to the end of the track, you lose.

After every player’s actions, the infection dice are rolled and placed on the 6 regions. If there’s no dice left to draw from the bag, you lose. When too many are placed in one region, an outbreak occurs and they spill over into the next region, potentially causing further chain reaction of more outbreaks. Too many outbreaks and you lose.

Diseases are cured by treating infection dice in a region which moves them to the “treatment center” and then by collecting samples from the treatment center. But taking a sample requires you to lock a die with it, thus reducing the number you’ll have to roll next turn! Luckily you can give samples to other players in your region. At the end of your turn you may roll all the collected sample dice of one infection color. If you roll 13 or higher on those dice, you cure the disease. Cure all four diseases to win the game!

This is an easy game to play but a very hard game to win. It can get frustrating to play since so much of the game depends on getting the right rolls and having event cards (and dice to buy them) to use at just the right time.

It feels very much like Pandemic but sets up easier and plays faster. Players need to plan and cooperate together for any hope for a win. A solid addition to cooperatives games with top notch components and a worthy version of Pandemic.

Though I believe this review to be fair and objective, I feel obligated to provide the following information. This review was written based on a copy provided as payment for work as a member of Z-Man’s demo team, “Z-Force”. No compensation for this review was involved.

c2014 by Richard A. Edwards

King of New York

King of New York. Iello, 2014. $50. Designed by Richard Garfield. 8 dice, 1 board, 66 cards, 46 tokens, 6 monsters (boards, figures, and plastic stands), 45 Building/Unit tiles, energy cubes, and a rulebook. 2-6 players. Ages 10+. 30-60 minutes.

Just as in its predecessor, King of Tokyo, players take on the role of a movie monster in a fast paced, dice rolling game that’s easy to learn and play. King of New York however, introduces some new concepts that improves the game. During setup Building tiles are placed in the various boroughs. In addition to the Attack, Energy and Heal dice faces, the dice also now have a “Destruction” face that allows you to destroy Buildings to gain victory points, energy cubes, or life points. These Buildings then turn into Units. Another new dice face is “Ouch!” When you end up with one or more of these at the end of your rolling, the Units attack! The “Celebrity” dice face can, if you roll three of them, make you a “Superstar”. While Tokyo has been replaced by Manhattan, where there are three zones and each progressive zone provides more reward at the start of your turn, if you stay in Manhattan and are the target of everyone else’s attacks.

The addition of Buildings and Units changes the game significantly and for the better, allowing new strategies to gain victory. When you to roll three of the new “Celebrity” (star) dice faces, you gain the new “Superstar” special card that gives you 1 victory point and 1 more for every “Celebrity” rolled in the future. There are also several cards that allow you to build on being the “Superstar” monster.

For those who enjoyed the monster to monster attacks of King of Tokyo, you may find less combat in King of New York. Since there are additional ways to gain victory points, such as buildings and units, there is sometimes less motivation to attack other monsters. The addition of the “Statue of Liberty” special card seems fairly pointless. You only get it when you roll three “Ouch!” and it gains you 3 victory points but only unit someone else rolls three “Ouch!” when you then lose the 3 points and they gain them. And “Ouch!” faces are not usually something you strive for.

This game will replace King of Tokyo for me with a lot of new fun.

This review was written based on a privately purchased copy. No previous relationship with the game publisher nor compensation was involved.

c2014 by Richard A. Edwards