Pandemic: Hot Zone Game
An abbreviated, smaller version of the original game. Instead of fighting disease on a global scale, your team is fighting it in North America only. The other main differences from the original are as follows: there are only three diseases to cure, and they cannot be eradicated; there is only one permanent research station, and no others can be built; only four character cards are in this game (dispatcher, medic, generalist, researcher); there are only three epidemic cards and the game is always played with all of them; only four cards are needed to cure a disease; and there are less disease cubes, less cards, and a shorter infection track. A final addition to this game includes 7 “crisis cards” that create situations such as air transport being grounded. These cards can be added to the game to make it more challenging. With just a little less of everything, this version can usually be finished in about 30 minutes. An excellent option if you love the original, but want a faster, snappier version. For 2-4 players. Game includes board, 24 city cards, 38 player cards, 3 epidemic cards, 4 event cards, 7 crisis cards, 24 infection cards, 4 reference cards, 4 character cards, 48 disease cubes, 3 cure vials, 4 player pawns, 1 infection rate marker, 1 outbreak marker, and instructions for play. ~ Janine
From designer Matt Leacock, Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America is a completely cooperative game in which players win or lose as a team. As members of an elite disease-control unit, you 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 research the cures together. Use your character’s unique abilities and devise a strategy that plays to each player’s strengths—cooperation is key to keeping disaster at bay!
If you think cooperative games are just for kids, this brilliant game will change your mind! 2-4 players work together as members of a highly skilled task force as they try to cure four infectious diseases spreading throughout the different regions of the world. Each player may perform four actions per turn including treating a disease, traveling to another city, or passing a card to another player. Randomly chosen role cards assign occupations to each team member at the beginning of the game and provide different advantages to the basic actions, based on the unique skill set of that member. With outbreaks looming and epidemics increasing the rate of infection at unknown intervals, you'll need seamless teamwork and careful planning in order to discover the cures and save the world. Built-in features such as random shuffling, five different role cards, and a flexible amount of epidemic cards provide a different game every time and allow for easier to harder levels of play. A very cleverly designed game that will take all your wits and may still beat you!
Our family has long enjoyed playing co-operative games from Family Pastimes. We play competitive ones, too, but enjoy fostering team spirit as we all work toward achieving a goal. If you haven't tried this alternative to playing together, here's an assortment of some of our favorites from this company.