Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

RRP: £49.99

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RRP £49.99

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Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is the game of Pandemic set in the Lovecraftian universe of Arkham. Cultists spread their evil across Arkham, Shoggoths slither around the streets and beyond the gateways lie the old ones ready to destroy everything. In Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, players take on the role of an investigator, perhaps the detective, hunter or doctor among others. Each role h…
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Category Tags , , , SKU ZBG-ZMG71140 Availability 5+ in stock
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Description

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is the game of Pandemic set in the Lovecraftian universe of Arkham. Cultists spread their evil across Arkham, Shoggoths slither around the streets and beyond the gateways lie the old ones ready to destroy everything. In Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, players take on the role of an investigator, perhaps the detective, hunter or doctor among others. Each role has their own special ability to help in the fight against the coming darkness. Cultists spread and complete summoning rituals and reveal the Ancient Old Ones. In a single game there are six who will be revealed each with a game changing effect, but if the seventh summoning occurs the final ancient one awakens, Cthulhu and destroys the world. Cultists aren't the only ones spreading destruction across Arkham, Shoggoths slither through the streets towards the gateways that the players need to close. When they go through an ancient one follows, summoning more evil to the world. Shoggoths are not to be taken lightly; they can drive any player insane. Investigators must collect enough clues from each area of the board to seal the gates, once the fourth is sealed they win the game. They will have some help along the way, in the form of artefacts. Some might fight against insanity, others might stop the ancient one and still others may help move cultists or investigators around. Can the investigators stop the cultists summoning rituals or the Shoggoths before Cthulhu awakens to drive the world insane before destroying everything, or will they be driven to insanity before they get the chance? Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a challenging game based on the classic Pandemic Game mixed with the rich world of H. P. Lovecraft. Player Count: 2-4 Time: 40-60 Minutes Age: 14+

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! 

Zatu Score

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.

Awards

Dice Tower

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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