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Board Game Spotlight: Pandemic Iberia

In another of our board game spotlights, Zatu Games has an overly intense blepharoplasty and can’t help but stare directly at Pandemic Iberia, the highly anticipated upcoming release from designers Jesús Torres Castro and Matt Leacock, and publisher Z-Man Games.

The Game

As aptly demonstrated by Chris Quilliams’ excellent box art, Pandemic: Iberia is about a 500-foot nurse gazing deep into your soul while her slightly shorter brother accidentally sets the sea on fire with his microscope.

The latest in the hugely popular Pandemic series, Pandemic Iberia transposes that winning co-op disease battling formula onto the part of the world where Europe is a bit too shy to hold Africa’s hand.

As in other instalments, each player takes on a different role (nurse, railwayman, rural doctor, sailor and more) in their quest to prevent the spreading of deadly diseases. Together, they must research the four horsemen of the medical apocalypse (medicocalypse ©): typhus, cholera, malaria and yellow fever. If they succeed in doing so, they win the game.

Players may perform four actions out of an available nine each turn: moving either by carriage, ships or train; building a railroad; treating a disease; building a hospital; researching a disease; purifying water; sharing knowledge. They must travel the peninsula, each using their unique skills to purge the land of bacterial evil and averting the eponymous pandemic… Iberia.

As Pandemic veterans might expect, winning is not an easy task. Insufficient nursing, railywaying, rural doctoring and sailing can result in widespread panic, widespread disease, or widespread not enough cards left, all of which result in a loss.

The Publishers

Z-Man Games was founded in 1999 by Zev Shlasinger. They have published some of the most well regarded board games out there, including Carcassonne, Agricola and, of course, the Pandemic series.

The Designers

Jesús Torres Castro is a Doctor of Physics at the University of Córdoba, his hometown. He has been a game critic for many years and more recently branched out into the design.

Matt Leacock has worked as a user experience designer for a number of huge tech companies, including Yahoo!, AOL and Apple. His 2008 game Pandemic was (obviously) a huge success and since 2014 he has been a full-time game designer.