Thursday, March 19, 2009

Introducing: Pandemic Online!

Yesterday morning, while preparing the info for my forthcoming Pandemic review I noticed that Board Game Geek said it was playable online. After double checking my sources, I found this news to be accurate: as of 3.15.09 Pandemic can be played on the German board game site BrettSpielWelt!


Wasting no time at all, last night Tom and I took the plunge and played an opening game to familiarize ourselves with the interface. We started out on easy mode with just four epidemics since this was only Tom's second time playing and we weren't really familiar with the commands. The interface feels very well designed once you learn your way around, although it is a little difficult the first time through simply because all the cards and commands are in German!

(An example of a BSW Pandemic game in progress. Courtesy snoozefest on BGG.)

As we often do when playing a game online (especially when learning one) Tom and I used audio chat through AIM while we were playing. This was especially helpful playing Pandemic because we could fully discuss available strategy options in a very timely fashion. Also, this meant we didn't have to use the online game's system for proposing moves, which looks like it will be a useful way to discuss strategy with unfamiliar players, especially those that don't speak English. Using the same picture action icons as you use to actually make decisions in the game, you can suggest a hypothetical turn, and then allow other players to agree or suggest an alternate strategy. Useful, yes, but it seems like it may slow the game down considerably. I'll be interested in seeing how well that mechanic works in real time.

Anyway, we won our first game fairly easily, so next time we'll up the difficulty for sure. If anyone out there would like to play a game of Pandemic with me in the future, just drop me a line!

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