A very Pandemic Easter

So, this Easter (and the day after that) I brought Z-Man Games’ Pandemic to my in-laws house to try it (I had bought it recently and never tried it). We were 5 to play it, so we alternated.

In a nutshell, the game is a collaborative effort by a team of experts traveling the world to stop 4 concurrent epidemics before they take over the world. You play against the game itself, and the game plays pretty hard 🙂

It was a roaring success!

This game really has some quality going on:

  1. It’s easy to learn: we read the rules and went to play in minutes.
  2. It’s short: a game never lasts long, especially if you lose, so you can easily say “hey, let’s play another round!”
  3. It’s challenging: ok, we beat Easy on the second game, and after 3 wins in a row we upgraded to Normal… but then lost like 10 games in a row of that. Did I mention that the game is short, and so you play again if you lose? Oh yes I did on “2” 🙂
  4. It’s beatable: oh yes, the game is challenging, but not impossible. We beat Normal a couple of times on monday, so we upgraded to Heroic. And lost.
  5. It’s varied: the 5 roles, with one always missing, and even the disposition of the roles around the table can change in a significant way how you play (and win) the game. This is not something easy to engineer in a game that’s so mechanically simple.
  6. It’s fun and addictive! Sum up all the points above, and you get 5 people (of whom only 1 can be considered a gamer, and not a hardcore one) playing more than 20 games in less than two days. And wanting more!

I’m definitely going to pick up the Pandemic: On The Brink expansion in the future, so that we can all play together, and the new roles seem fun. I’m kinda scared of the additional difficulty though: not sure we need that, for the time being! 😀

So, what now? Are there games that you would suggest to someone who enjoyed Pandemic so much?

My hat’s off to Mr. Leacock: truly an impressive feat of game design. Bravo!

Hosting for my 3:16 maptool package updated

A couple of commenters noted that mediafire somehow had lost the files for my 3:16 maptool package.

So I merged the two zip files and re-hosted. Here’s hope they don’t get lost again.

Download the full package here (hosted on mediafire.com)

Inside you’ll find a brief README file explaining how to use the package (it’s easy, really).
Also, let me know if this is still working in new versions of maptool (I’ve not used it in ages because on linux-java it’s too crash prone and often releases simply don’t even start).

Escape or Die! at InterNosCon09 Actual Play

With horrible delay I write here a few AP notes regarding my experiences with Fred Hicks’s Escape or Die!, a game still in development, that the author was very kind to send me for an on-the-fly Italian adaptation and playtest.

The occasion was the wonderfully successful InterNosCon09 (INC09), a gathering of players much in the vein of Camp Nerdly or the Nerdly Beach Party in the US.
Continue reading “Escape or Die! at InterNosCon09 Actual Play”