Pandemic Hot Zone North America game is a co-operative game of strategy and team building to stop the three deadly viruses from spreading all over the world! This is not the first time we have come across the Pandemic genre by Z-Man games. We have previously reviewed the Pandemic game and the game is unique and fun as you are not working alone to fight against the virus. Just wondering if Trump had played this game before, he might be able to deal with the current pandemic in a better way!
Anyway, the differences between the original Pandemic and this Pandemic Hot Zone North America are: there are only three diseases in Pandemic Hot Zone North America instead of four; the number of cards drawn is slightly different; to discover a cure, players need only four cards instead of five; one research station, three Epidemic cards in the player deck, and all of them are used every game; diseases cannot be eradicated; Researcher and Dispatcher effects are slightly altered: and Crisis cards can be added to increase the difficulty.
In this game, it comes with four role cards, four playing pieces, 38 player cards, four reference cards, 24 infection cards, 48 disease cubes, three cure markers, six research stations, one infection rate marker, one outbreak marker, game board and instructions. It is suitable for eight and above and for 2 to 4 players.
For the first initial play, it took us at least 30 minutes to understand the instructions! There are quite a lot of steps to set up and follow through to make sure everyone understood their roles. We did have the reference cards each to refer back to, but we still had to keep referring back to the instructions. There are four roles to choose from Dispatcher, Medic, Researcher and Generalist. Each player needs to learn their specialists’ strengths to gain the advantage.
The game board depicts several major population centres in North America. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions or five for the Generalist. Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists’ strengths in order to conquer the diseases. All players must work together to discover cures to three deadly diseases threatening the continent. Travel from city to city treating cases and preventing outbreaks as you all research the cures together.
We all enjoyed the strategy element to the game and it seems quite apt at the moment too. How I wish we could get rid of COVID-19 like how we played the game. We will definitely play it again and again. I love that this game is not an individual game and working together enables us to be able to problem-solve and strategise together. It is a shorter version of the original game, which is great if you prefer shorter game time. It is available to buy from good toy stores or Amazon. For more information about this game, please visit https://zmangames.com/en/games/pandemic/
Disclosure: We are members of Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club. We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. We have included an Amazon affiliate link to the product. If you click on this and buy, we may earn a small commission.