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Best of Board Games 2015 | Pandemic Legacy Season 1

Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is the kind of game other games always claim to be. Meaningful choices. Persistent world. Surprising. Innovative. And you’ll only play it a dozen times. If you don’t know how to play Pandemic already, check out the TableTop episode.

What does Legacy manage to add to this already great co-op game? Everything.

First off, you get the game and a box of mysteries. Folders filled with little flaps just waiting to be opened. Boxes that you don’t know about. You don’t want to know about these boxes. And the most terrifying thing about this box: stickers.

When a city gets hit with an outbreak, there’s panic. It gets a sticker. You’ll get more and more of these stickers as the panic rises. There will be rioting. And then it’s going to fall. And not just for your game, but for all games here on out. Every time you start up a new game, you’ll see that city that you couldn’t save staring right back at you.

Catch yourself in the middle of an outbreak and your character gets a wound, and these wounds affect you by making it harder to play as that character. It could be that your character can no longer pass through the city where they got hurt or maybe they feel so remorseful for not making it in time that you have to clear out every city before moving on. Three wounds and they’re dead. Not just out of the game; you tear up the card.

This is a game about stories. It’s the stories you tell each time you play. It’s the deck you pull from at the beginning of each of the games that doles out bits and pieces of the larger story. And by the end, you will have a story, unique to anyone else who has played the game. And I can honestly tell you right now, you have no idea where this story is going. There are moments where you read a card and the world will change.

And even with all of this added to the game, it’s still Pandemic. Pull cards. Eliminate viruses. Find the cure.

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