Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu Review | Zatu Games

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Awards

87%

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Easy to learn.
  • Challenging co-operative play.
  • The Old Ones track creates higher replay-ability.
  • Sanity mechanic adds a nice and thematic touch to the game.
  • Figures for investigators, cultists and Shoggoths (these can be painted).

Might Not Like

  • Theme may not be to everyones taste.
  • Potential alpha gamer issues but this is true of all co-operative games.
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Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu Review

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu Review

Beings of ancient evil, known as Old Ones, are threatening to break out of their cosmic prison and awake into the world. Everything you know and love could be destroyed by chaos and madness. Can you and your fellow investigators manage to find and seal every portal in time? Hurry before you lose yourself to insanity.

Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu is a re-implementation of Pandemic with many of the same mechanics. Two to four players take on the role of investigators dealing with rising numbers of cultists, supernatural beings, and trying not to go insane.  For the players there is one win condition which is to seal the four portals, and like Pandemic there are numerous ways to lose. It is fast, fun, fully cooperative and tough to beat.

Contents

Visually this game looks good, the board is dark and thematic, depicting the fictional towns of Arkham, Innsmouth, Dunwich and Kingsport. There are numerous figures representing the Investigators, cultists, and Shoggoths.  The various cards are thematic, and all components are good quality.

Overview

At its heart, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a fully cooperative action selection and set collection game. It is more cooperative than Pandemic because all cards are open and visible to all players, so a greater degree of planning on how to seal those four portals becomes possible.

Like Pandemic, the game has a time limitation or if you prefer a turn limitation factor. If the draw deck of player cards runs out, that’s it, game over, so the investigators cannot hang around, acting fast is essential. Another limiting factor, though the players can manipulate this more, is if there are no more cultists available in supply the Investigators lose. Other ways to lose are if all the investigators go insane, if there are insufficient Shoggoth figures to enter play, or if the Old Ones track reaches the end point and Cthulhu rises.

There are a few nice additions:

  • Investigator cards are two sided, the reverse side being used if the investigator goes insane.
  • The Sanity mechanic. Certain actions, including playing relics, require the player to roll the sanity die and apply the result to their investigator or the overall game. There may be benefit in having one insane investigator and it is possible to recover from insanity if needs must.
  • The Old Ones track. Cthulhu is on the last place of the track, the other places on the track are filled with randomly selected Old Ones which are face down until game conditions bring them into play. Each revealed Old One changes some game conditions and brings new challenges into play.

Gameplay

Like Pandemic, each player takes the role of a character, in Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu these are investigators.  On their turn each player can take four actions. Those actions are:

  • Move their investigator which can be done in various ways. (1 action)
  • Trade a clue card or a relic (1 action)
  • Fight cultists (1 action)
  • Fight a Shoggoth (3 actions)

Players may also play a relic that their investigator holds; this does not require using one of the four actions, but playing a relic does require the player to roll the sanity die.

As in Pandemic, after actions have been taken the player then draws cards and applies those results, commonly adding cultists to the board or moving Shoggoths and at times the Evil Stirs card is revealed at which point more bad things happen, more cultists, an Old One awakens, a Shoggoth enters play and the player must make a sanity roll.

Play continues player by player until either the players manage to seal the four portals, or one of the lose conditions is met. It’s fast, challenging, tense, and fun.

Final Thoughts On Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu

As a re-implementation of Pandemic, this is a very solid game.  Personally I like Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu more than the original Pandemic.  Here is why:

  • The Old Ones track introduces more variation in game play.
  • Full disclosure of all cards in player’s hands aids planning and cooperation.
  • There is more happening on the board than simply outbreaks of cultists or diseases.
  • The theme of Cthulhu is implemented well in both presentation and gameplay.

Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu is an excellent introduction into the area of cooperative games, it is easy to learn, plays in 45 minutes or so, and is both challenging and fun.

This game is available right now at Zatu Games! 

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

Awards

87%

You Might Like

  • Easy to learn.
  • Challenging co-operative play.
  • The Old Ones track creates higher replay-ability.
  • Sanity mechanic adds a nice and thematic touch to the game.
  • Figures for investigators, cultists and Shoggoths (these can be painted).

Might Not Like

  • Theme may not be to everyones taste.
  • Potential alpha gamer issues but this is true of all co-operative games.

Buy The Game

Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here
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Really good service and quick delivery. Website was clear and useful.

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Have only just placed my first order so haven't received the games yet, but website is great, prices are good. I like the outlet store [one of the games was for me not a gift so am happy for the packaging to be less than perfect]. Appreciated the discount which covered the postage. Trying to buy from different retailers this Xmas instead of going through the large online retailer. Looking forward to playing the games!

Ordered on Friday and received Saturday mid morning No issues at all once again Fantastic prompt service Never lets me down

Ordered on Friday and received Saturday mid morning No issues at all once again Fantastic prompt service Never lets me down

Great value compared with anywhere else will use again !!!

Great value compared with anywhere else will use again !!!

Great webshop; Great prices And good service

Great webshop; Great prices And good service

I love Zatu games always competitive on price, always quick on delivery, super easy to use website, altogether a superb shopping experience

I love Zatu games always competitive on price, always quick on delivery, super easy to use website, altogether a superb shopping experience

Made an order on Zatu for some Christmas gifts, as I’m trying to avoid the site that is monopolising online shopping, the items arrived the next day although I did not pay for an express delivery, the site was easy to use, payment was easy, so would definitely use Zatu again. Totally positive experience!

Made an order on Zatu for some Christmas gifts, as I’m trying to avoid the site that is monopolising online shopping, the items arrived the next day although I did not pay for an express delivery, the site was easy to use, payment was easy, so would definitely use Zatu again. Totally positive experience!

Simple straightforward ordering process

Simple straightforward ordering process

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