Critical Play: Pandemic


There are 2-4 players in this game, and they are all working together to overcome the pandemic together. They are different modes of playing, either playing with or without your hands shown. The showing of the cards changes the mode of difficulty for the players. The number of cards are also dependent on the number of players playing the game. For example, 2 players would take 4 cards, 3 players with 3 cards, and 4 players with 4 cards.


The objective of the game is to find all the vaccines t0 the diseases that eradicates the spread of the disease. Once this objective is met, the players won the game. Otherwise, the game won, and the players lost.


Setting up

The game starts with everyone taking a character card, and putting their respective colored pawns to Atlanta. A research center will be placed there as well. Cure markers are placed on their respective slots to indicate the presence of the disease. The epidemic cards are placed in the deck, before they are shuffled into the deck. Lastly, draw the top 3 cards from the infection deck, and place 3 colored cubes in the relevant cities. Draw top 2 cards from the infection deck, and place 2 colored cubes in the relevant cities. And lastly, draw the top card from the infection deck, and place 1 colored cube in the relevant city. The colored cubes will be of the same color as the colors in the cities on the cards in the infection deck.


Each person can do 4 actions. There are 8 types of actions.

  1. Drive/Ferry – you move to a city that are connected by the white line.
  2. Direct flight – discard a city card on your hand, and move to the city.
  3. Charter flight – discard the city card (that corresponds to the same location of your pawn) on your hand, and move anywhere you would like.
  4. Shuttle flight – Move to a city with a research station (and only if you are in the location with a research center)
  5. Build a research station – discard the city card that you are in, and place a research station at where you are.
  6. Treat disease – remove 1 disease cube at where you are. However, if a cure is found, you can eradicate all disease cube of that color. If there are two cures, and two colors in the same city, you can eradicate the disease cubes with 2 actions (since there are 2 different colors)
  7. Share knowledge – you can give or take any city card that matches the city you are in to another player.
  8. Discover a cure – If you are at a research center, and you have 5 city cards of the same color, you can discard all 5 of the cards to get the cure of the color you just discarded. If all of the disease cubes are not on the board, you can flip the cure marker to show the “cancel” sign.

After doing their actions, they can draw 2 player cards in the player deck. If one (or both) of them is an epidemic card, you have to execute the epidemic cards. You execute the epidemic cards by executing these 3 actions sequentially

  1. Increase – increase the infection rate marker by 1
  2. Infect – draw the bottom card from the infection deck, and subsequently put 3 colored cubes on the city. The colors are associated with the colors on the infection card. If there are already 3 cubes of the same color in the city, an outbreak occurs, which spread 1 cube of the same color to the surrounding cities.
  3. Intensify – reshuffle the cards in the infection discard pile and place top of the infection deck.

Repeat the actions.

There are event cards that you can play at any time, only after all the actions of the cards are executed. *Event cards can be played between 2 epidemic cards.


The players can only move to other cities through the methods written above. The players can only find a cure in a research center, and only if they have cities of the same color.


The resources that the players have are the cards that they have on their hand. However, if the game runs out of resources, such as cubes or cards, then the game won and the players lost. They can also trade player card if they are in the same city. However, each player can only have 7 cards, and anymore of that would require the players to discard all 7, and draw cards.


The boundaries of these games are the rules of the game. Any more rules will limit the fun and overcomplicate the game.


In the event all cures are found, the players will win the game. However, if the outbreak of marker reaches the last space, the number of cubes have finished, or the player cannot draw 2 player cards due to the lack of player cards, then the game won, and the players lost.


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