5 Games Like Pandemic
The world is all too familiar with how pandemics spread. And everyone has an opinion on how to stop it. The Pandemic board game is your chance to see if you can control the deadly disease before it takes over.
Pandemic is a cooperative, role-playing game. Players take on their characters’ abilities, such as medics or researchers. Working together, they must eradicate 4 diseases on the map. If too many outbreaks occur, it’s game over for players and humanity as we know it.
The board game mechanics mimic how an actual virus would spread. The virus moves from neighboring cities. Characters can travel or take action in the town they reside in.
Pandemic is a hand-management game that involves taking, using, and trading cards on each turn. Collect the right set of cards – and kill that virus before it spreads.
If you enjoy this board game’s theme, style, or mechanics, try these 5 games Like Pandemic.
- Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
- Flash Point: Fire Rescue
- Forbidden Desert
- Nemo’s War
- Castle Panic
#1. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Playing time: 60-120 minutes
Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island is also a cooperative survival game. It can be played in solo mode or as a team.
You’ve been shipwrecked! You and your fellow shipmates must learn to survive on this deserted island and scavenge for necessary resources to build shelters, gather food, and make tools. However, this island is not as simple as it seems. Catastrophes such as natural disasters and injuries happen often. Keep all members alive and create a sustainable life on this hostile piece of land.
The point system in Robinson Crusoe is similar to Pandemic. Players work to keep their morale score up, but it’s game over if they run into too many obstacles and it plummets.
Turn-taking and actions are more entailed and provide a good deal of complexity. The storytelling elements also set it apart. Get creative by cooking up that crazy meal from scraps or overcoming an illness to forge on.
If you want a similarly themed game to Pandemic, but with more in-depth mechanics, head to the island and fight the odds of survival!
#2. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Playing time: 45 minutes
Another game based on racing to save people! But instead of deadly diseases, you are dealing with a fatal fire. It’s also a cooperative game where players possess different abilities designed to complement each other.
In Flash Point: Fire Rescue, the fire spreads as you play, much like the diseases in Pandemic. Turn-taking is also similar. You get choices such as moving through the building, putting out fires, or rescuing people.
If the building takes on too much structural damage or you lose too many people, you’ve lost the battle. If you can rescue a 7th victim before the fire takes over, the team wins.
Get ready to storm the building. Find and rescue survivors and fight the flames before the building collapses. All in a day’s work.
#3. Forbidden Desert
Playing time: 45 minutes
In Forbidden Desert, you are adventurers whose lives are at risk! Find and construct the legendary flying machine. Make your way out of the dry, hostile desert before a death-defying storm arrives.
Forbidden Desert also has a strong theme and is focused on collaborative survival. However, rather than eradicating something, you must build something. Work together against the forces of nature and time. Brave sandstorms and dangerous heat to explore the hidden corners of this land.
This game plays upon the theme’s natural elements. The wind might move things around, and players must move across the board one tile at a time. The adventurers have special skills to contribute. The Archeologist can dig faster, but the climber can carry another player up the dunes.
If points on the Sandstorm increase too much, your team will be buried below. So dig into this game quickly and make your grand escape.
#4. Nemo’s War (Second Edition)
Playing time: 60-120 minutes
The year is 1870. You are Captain Nemo and his crew aboard the adventurous submarine. Your team has been tasked with exploring the vast underwater world. You may be one of the characters, such as the Captain, Officer, or Sailor – all contributing to the missions. Discover treasures, unearth new knowledge, and fight warships to gain Victory Points.
Nemo’s War has options to play solo, cooperatively or semi-competitively. This game has more flexibility and choices than you might expect. You can choose from 4 modes that will guide the game: War, Exploration, Anti-Imperialism, and Science. Winning isn’t as black and white – the game is more about the process than a specific end goal.
Nemo’s War also has a lot of action and character roles adding to the story. If you like the thematic element of Pandemic but want more adventure, Nemo’s War is yours to conquer.Nemo's War (Second Edition)
#5. Castle Panic
Playing time: 60 minutes
Protect the castle at all costs! Monsters are approaching, and panic has set in. In Castle Panic, work with a team to fight off enemy creatures. Your army works together throughout. However, if you are successful, your strongest soldier will be named the Master Slayer.
Castle Panic is also a tower defense collaborative game that involves hand management and card trading. Gather the right cards to defend your fortress, attack monsters, and keep the castle intact.
Like Pandemic, Castle Panic requires light strategy and teamwork to overcome obstacles. Castle Panic differs in that you must support the team’s goals while still trying to overpower your fellow members.
Stop the monsters in their tracks. But don’t panic! Just keep calm and play on.
We hope you enjoyed our list of 5 games like Pandemic! If you liked any of these games, I just know you’ll like these other titles too: Codenames, Splendor, 7 Wonders, King of Tokyo, and Hanabi.
Have you tried any of the games on this list? How do you think they stacked up to Pandemic? Drop a comment below and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.
You may also enjoy:
- Pandemic Review
- Best Pandemic Expansions
- Pandemic: On the Brink Review
- Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 Review
Like Pandemic? Check out these Expansions below: