It’s 2021, and considering all that happened last year, we thought that going over Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy would be appropriate. While this will not be a review in the literal sense of the word, we’ll be doing a quick guide into the gameplay and rules.
The main point of this article will be to cover the differences between these two; but before we do, lets discuss the backstory for each game.
Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy Have the Same Storyline
In general, Pandemic is contagious, pun intended. Unlike other games, with Pandemic, you and the other players are working on the same side. The game starts when four deadly viruses are discovered in random locations around the world.
You have two tasks: contain the viruses and come up with a cure. It may seem like a handful, and in certain situations, it can be. The viruses are constantly evolving and changing, making predictions extremely difficult.
Each player has a different role in the process of containing and eradicating the viruses. You can travel to cities with outbreaks, work on a cure, get grants from governments, etc. In essence, the game puts you in the driving seat of a team whose goal is to work together to find cures for all four viruses. If you manage to do that, you will be victorious; otherwise, you lose the game.
With the short gameplay overview out of the way, let us look at the differences between Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy.
When we look at both versions of Pandemic, the gameplay and mechanics are similar. In both cases, you and the other teammates are members of the CDC team sent to battle the viruses.
In the original Pandemic game, you play the game, battle the viruses, and the game is over. The Legacy version is slightly different.
While the original Pandemic can be played repeatedly as many times as you want, Legacy is limited. The gameplay changes throughout the game, deepening on the player’s choices. As the game changes, new additions are introduced, causing you to make modifications to the board.
You could get about 12 to 24 games out of Legacy, where the previous one will dictate how the next one will unfold. In the end, the board will not be usable for a new game. Legacy will provide you with a unique story each time you play it.
Going deeper into some of the differences will mean that we need to spill the beans with some spoilers…so be warned.
Players and Playtime
The regular Pandemic can be played by 1 to 4 players with a game-time of around 45 minutes. Pandemic Legacy, on the other hand, can be played by 2 to 4 players. In both cases, it is recommended to be played by 4 players.
When it comes to game time for Legacy, things are not so simple. As we mentioned, Legacy’s campaign is played through individual games, all connected with a story. While one game usually takes about an hour to complete, going for the full story will depend on how the story goes. It can be 10-12 hours or well over 20.
Regarding the age, the regular Pandemic is intended to be played by children from the age of 8 and above. On the other hand, Pandemic Legacy is for 13 or more.
Game Night Expectations
Both games are exciting, and if you are a board game fan, you will most likely enjoy either one. The main problem comes with Pandemic Legacy.
Anyone can play the regular game, and it doesn’t take too long. Even if no one around you likes board games, you can play it solo, despite our recommendation of it being best with 4 playersf.
Pandemic Legacy is a game you should consider only if you have at least one person that may be interested in it. The way the story is set up, you’ll need to have people around you prepared to play it. It is a game that requires commitment because even though one game takes an hour to complete, the entire story can take days.
Which Should you Buy First? Pandemic or Pandemic Legacy
Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy are two games that are very similar but also quite different. Both games’ rules and goals are identical, but both go down a different path to get to the end. With that being said, if you are new to the game, then we recommend the original Pandemic.
Since Pandemic Legacy takes much longer to complete the whole story, you may lose the interest of friends or family that aren’t prepared for playing games for an extended period of time. The regular version of Pandemic will be much quicker and you can replay it unlike Pandemic Legacy.
At the end of the day, whichever one you choose, you will definitely have a blast.