Review with Spoilers
I assume you are here because you’ve already played Pandemic LEGACY or you just don’t care (otherwise here’s the review). I’m not going into every little detail of the game, but I will, in an unstructured way, highlight some parts of the game that I found very cool.
First of all let me talk about the character development in the game. I mentioned this briefly in the review and I like to elaborate on that. First of all I like the part where you can name your own character. It’s just a small detail, but you can give it a personal touch. Secondly, I found the introduction of relationships very clever. The idea of having to give a character a relationship with another character, which basically means that you can do something special things if both of those characters are part of your crew, is really fun. Before, you only had two or more characters that could do something cool by themselves. Now you can create, if you make the right choices and everyone stays alive, a very good team.
I stated that I thought that this character development probably would work better with more than two players. That’s because you just use fewer characters in the game. Plus, the game, at least the first half of the year, is easier with two players, so once you’ve created two or three characters you’ll stick with them for a long time. You’ve upgraded them after all.
In our case the game really played like a Hollywood movie, the incurable virus turned out to be blue, Europe and North America in chaos, and later city Zero, the one where patient zero was found, was London. It’s just a coincident, but it was a fun coincidence.
The addition of the second character type, military, and the associated bases was also really interesting. Both types, military and medical, have different abilities, different focus areas, and before every game you had to decide which type you would likely need more.
I also loved the moment when the game did a 180 on us. First you were building up a military system with bases all over the place and just like that it turned out that it was the worst thing you could have done, you’d helped the enemy, and you had to repair the damage. That was a fantastic twist.
There were two other mechanisms in the game that I found very interesting in a similar way. Those were the roadblocks and the search tracks. The roadblocks blocked the spread of diseases, but also blocked the way, because you had to pay a card to pass it. It made things easier, but, if you placed it on the wrong road, it slowed you down much when you wanted to cure diseases in that area.
Something similar happened with the search track. Once you’d found what you were looking for it gave you something good, but you had to spend a lot of cards to do so. About one card per spot on the track.
Both the search tracks and the roadblocks gave you something good, but at a high price. Sadly we made a wrong decision concerning a search track in October and it haunted us for the rest of the year.
Next up are the stickers on the cards. Later in the game you could add stickers to your cards and that added a new layer to the game. Now you could not only use them to cure diseases or to travel from one city to another, but also for their special ability. You now had to think twice or trice before playing and discarding a card. Plus, you had to think carefully about on which card you would stick those abilities.
I can also talk about the components in this part of the review and I must say that they are stunning. From the cubes to the little dudes to the houses to the vaccines. Every bit fits the theme so well. It has the right colour and is made from the right material. It’s amazing and it just helps to tell you the story.
I stop here. Go get the game. It’s great.