Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated board games of 2015. Pandemic Legacy is a cooperative board game based on the popular board game Pandemic, designed by Matt Leacock. In the original Pandemic game, 2-4 players take on the role of disease fighting specialists traveling across the globe, working together to contain and ultimately cure 4 deadly diseases.
Pandemic Legacy is a collaborations between Pandemic designer Matt Leacock, and Risk Legacy designer Rob Daviau. Matt Leacock describes the game on his website:
"Pandemic Legacy is a stand-alone, cooperative game for 2–4 players. Unlike most other games, some of the actions you take in Pandemic Legacy carry over to future games. As the games go on, the decisions your group makes will permanently shape your world. Each game is about 45–60 minutes and players will play 12–24 games before they reach the end of the story.
I co-designed Pandemic Legacy with Rob Daviau who pioneered the legacy-style game with his game, Risk Legacy."
The beauty of this game is that everyone who plays will have different gameplay experiences. There are blank spaces in the rule book that will get filled in with information as you play through the story. There are sealed parts of the game that remain secret until you're suppose to open that information. As you play through the game, the story is being revealed. Your characters will even change (or possibly die) over the course of the game. The actions you take will actually make a difference and affect future games! This brings somewhat of a role-playing/story element to Pandemic.
The game takes place over the course of one year. Each time you play through the game will represent a different month. So at the very least you will be playing 12 games before it's all over. With the actions of the previous game carrying over to the next game, I wondered if it were possible to screw up so much as to never get to play the rest of the story. Let's say we play through a month and keep losing - would we be stuck replaying that month forever?
W. Eric Martin over at Board Game Geek was able to preview the game earlier this year, and he stated, "Things might happen between games, such as your funding being reduced or expanded, but no matter how you do in your second attempt at battling diseases in January — whether good or bad — for your next game you'll move on to February and whatever it entails."
I've personally never owned a game that had a limited number of times to play through it. This feature might not appeal to every table top gamer. Most people, myself included, buy board games to have in their collection that they can play again and again. I try to think of Pandemic Legacy as more of an "experience" than a "game for my collection."
Think of it like buying tickets to a Broadway show. You spend a decent amount of money for this live entertaining experience. So instead of seeing it as you wasting your money on a game you won't get to play over and over, think of it as paying for this unique gaming experience that you'll be able to share with your friends! You will surely get your money's worth. And if the the name "Season 1" is any indication, we should see more of these Legacy games in the future.
I've already preordered my copy, and I'm anxiously awaiting for the release date!
Pandemic Legacy is available October 8, 2015
Head over to Board Game Geek to see preview images from W. Eric Martin's play through!
Also check out this (spoiler free) video review from the guys over at Dice Tower.