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Pandemic: The Board Game

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Pandemic: The Board Game App Poster Image
Save-the-world co-play strategy game challenging but fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to identify the locations of major cities on a world map. They can also learn to listen to others and communicate their own ideas, think strategically, and work as a team.

Ease of Play

Difficult to win, but with tutorial and lots of help, relatively easy to learn to play.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases for add-on game content is available without parental permission.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pandemic: The Board Game is the app version of a popular cooperative board game of the same name. Although the premise is somewhat dire, there's no reference in-game to diseases or symptoms. There's add-on content available via in-app purchase that doesn't require parental permission. This game is difficult to win and may be frustrating for younger kids. That said, kids who enjoy some strategy and are able to read will be able to play with everyone else. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

PANDEMIC: THE BOARD GAME sends a team of up to four disease experts to stop four deadly diseases from spreading out of control. The game requires a team of at least two, although a single player can just control two or more teammates since it's cooperative. Players travel to cities around the map, treating the sick, curing the diseases, and eradicating them, if possible. The goal is to cure all four diseases before a massive breakout. Whatever happens, avoid those epidemics! It includes a tutorial, as well as in-game tips, making it approachable even to those who haven't played the board game. 

Is it any good?

This extremely challenging game requires a lot of strategy and communication to win the final prize, but it can be a great option to take family game night to the next level. Pandemic: The Board Game isn't for the faint of heart. You can and will lose -- often spectacularly -- just as you were about to cure your last disease. For those who already own the board game, it can be fun to play without all the setup and constant shuffling of the pieces. Yes, you lose the tactile nature of the board game, but having it on-screen also removes the possibility of accidentally knocking all of your pieces off the board. Solo players will likely enjoy the app more as well as it's easy to control all the team members. Because of its subject matter, it's likely not a great fit for little kids or sensitive older kids who might worry about diseases, but otherwise it's an involving simulation. Pandemic: The Board Game requires a family (or friends) to work together toward a common goal, and while you'll likely lose more often than not, at least you're losing together. And when you have to work for it, the win is all that much sweeter. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cooperative games like Pandemic: The Board Game. How can you work together during these types of games? What are some good strategies for playing in teams?

  • Discuss in-app purchases and how/if kids can request purchases from an adult. What are the family rules?

App details

For kids who love multiplayer apps and board games

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