Spoiler Free Pandemic Legacy Written Review

This review of “Pandemic Legacy” will feature no major spoilers. For that reason it may be a little light on overall story detail, we’d apologize, however trust us, we are doing you a favour here, you do NOT want ANYTHING spoiled for you. If you haven’t played a Legacy game before, a quick explanation. Legacy games are campaign-style games that change as you play, changes are permanent and carry forth as the game continues. How this occurs in “Pandemic Legacy” is via stickers placed on the board, on cards, cards being destroyed and components changing / being added as you play, all of these things are hidden and only revealed by the players when prompted to do so. Even the very rules will change as you play. Needless to say this mechanic forever changes the gameplay, but also ups the thematic build as the story is ongoing and this aids game intensity.

“Pandemic: Legacy” is designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, so you know this is going to be good, before you’ve even opened the box. It’s probably a good idea that you’ve played regular “Pandemic” before setting foot in “Pandemic Legacy”, this will aid you in understanding the game and allowing for a better flow, it’s not necessary, but it’s a good idea.

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Setup and Gameplay
As in regular “Pandemic” the world is on the brink of mass viral outbreaks. Players take on the roles of scientists and specialists sent out to deal with the outbreaks in the hope of containment. If you’re a regular player of “Pandemic” the first month of “Pandemic Legacy” might seem all too familiar, but fret not, things will change, this is not just a “Pandemic” clone. “Pandemic Legacy” takes everything that is great about regular “Pandemic” and ups the ante. Needless to say we’d love to go into more detail, but you’d want to kill us and to be honest, we’d just hate ourselves for it.

Setup of the game is essentially the same until new things are added, how these are added flows really well, with things hidden in secret dossiers and boxes, only to be opened when prompted by the Legacy Deck cards. Most important thing on setup is the Legacy Deck, leave it in the tray so it isn’t knocked over or changed in any way. There’s even a handy finger hole so you can easily draw the top card as play continues without having to remove them from the box insert (it’s the little things!). If you’re still confused, here’s the thext on the top card of the Legacy Deck: “Do not draw, reveal, look at, handle, or otherwise disturb these cards until instructed”. Okay then, got it.

Once you’ve set the board in pretty much the regular way it’s time to play, but this time your character can move forward, month to month with you. When we played we used the same 4 characters throughout and trying to keep them alive – because they can die – just added to the tension in game. Characters get upgrades to become better as you play, but they also get scars if in the wrong place at the wrong time, too many scars and you’re dead and stuck with some crappy civilian until that round ends (and the lost character is lost forever, torn up, gone!).

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Game Build Quality
The build quality on “Pandemic Legacy” is top notch, great board, great cards, great components (the same sort of quality as “Pandemic” for those who have that game). We have noted reports of some copies featuring the wrong boxes and therefore the wrong components, which would be SO annoying if that were to happen, but ours was perfect, so nothing to report here.

Gameapalooza House Rules
None to note with this, they’re unneeded as it’s all pretty much perfect just the way it is. We guess the using the same character throughout could be a house rule, since you can switch them in and out, but we found it more rewarding to try and keep your same characters alive for the entire year (which we managed for those wondering).

Overall
There’s not a whole lot we can say about “Pandemic Legacy” without traipsing into spoiler territory and we don’t want that, not even a little. What we can say is this is a must buy game, no question. We’re giving it the Gameapalooza Critical Hit. Of all the many games our group has played, this is one of the last year wherein we’ve got in from work and thought, we NEED to play another month, or two, or as many as time allows. The reason for this is simple, it’s gripping enough that you want to see what happens. It’s fascinating that a board game can manage such pulling power, it does happen from time to time, but not to this magnitude.

Australian Tabletop Gaming - Gameapalooza Critical Hit!

[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – We LOVED Pandemic Legacy, the overall experience was phenomenal, it’s thematic, gripping, shocking and an absolute blast. Sure you can only truly play it once without knowing the story, but that once is something like 15-18 games. Get it, no question… go! [/authorinfo] [/author]