Fans of Pandemic and newcomers to the series alike will find plenty to enjoy in Pandemic: Iberia, a historical take on Z-Man Games’s hit co-operative game from designers Matt Leacock and Jesús Torres Castro. As in Pandemic, two to five players will be working together to try and cure four diseases. In Pandemic: Iberia, these diseases are actually four real ailments that afflicted the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) in the mid-19th century – the era this game was set in. You and your teammates will take on unique character roles in order to combat malaria, typhus, the yellow fever and cholera. In a further departure from Pandemic, Iberia also introduces the importance of infrastructure.
You can’t just get in a plane and fly to the next city in 1848, after all. Developing the peninsula’s rail system is key to victory in the game and distributing purified water around its towns and cities is also important. Leacock and Castro also built a couple of different scenarios into Pandemic: Iberia so that you can change up your experience from time to time. The Influx of Patients variant increases the importance of hospitals as patients rush to get to them. The hospitals themselves are more powerful in this version, so managing them is much more important than normal. You can also play the Historical Diseases variant, which gives each one of the four diseases different characteristics based on its history and medical effects. This variant forces you to adapt the way that you treat each one, learning their different behaviours so that you can keep them under control.
There is plenty to enjoy in Pandemic: Iberia, with a theme and mechanics that will appeal to a wide range of players. Fans of Pandemic will be able to engage fully with this fresh take on the game, even if they’ve played the original over and over again, and the fresh take on the system is a great reason to take a look even if the original isn’t your thing.
Player count: 2-5 Time: 45 minutes Age rating: 8+