The game board depicts several major population centres on a stylised map of the Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases’ activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the “normal” spread of the infections.
Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists’ strengths in order to conquer the diseases which are spreading quickly and time is running out. If one or more diseases spread beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!
There is only one way to beat Pandemic: cure the diseases, but there are numerous ways to lose. Run out of player cards, hit the outbreak limit or run out of disease cubes to place on the board. Play carefully and keep on top of potential outbreaks or the game will beat you.