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At the beginning the game begins like the original Pandemic, in which your team of disease-fighting specialists races against the clock to travel around the world, treating disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand, but soon morphs into something more. Pandemic Legacy has a story arc that occurs over the course of year. Each passing month brings new objectives, new challenges, and even new rules. Trigger certain events and you’ll unlock tools that reveal strategies for dealing with each new problem. Throughout, the clock is ticking. You have only two chances to win a game during a month before moving on to the next, so be careful. Your actions have a permanent impact on the world, for better or for worse.
During a player's turn, they have four actions available, with which they may travel around in the world in various ways, build structures like research stations, treat diseases, trade cards with other players, or find a cure for a disease. Each player has a unique role with special abilities to help them at these actions After a player has taken their actions, they draw two cards. These cards can include epidemic cards, which will place new disease cubes on the board, and can lead to an outbreak, spreading disease cubes even further. Outbreaks additionally increase the panic level of a city, making that city more expensive to travel to. Each month in the game, you have two chances to achieve that month's objectives. If you succeed, you win and immediately move on to the next month. If you fail, you have a second chance, with more funding for beneficial event cards.
During the campaign, new rules and components will be introduced. These will sometimes require you to permanently alter the components of the game; this includes writing on cards, ripping up cards, and placing permanent stickers on components. Your characters can gain new skills, or detrimental effects. A character can even be lost entirely, at which point it's no longer available for play.
Overall Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is an exciting co-operative game that will enhance any game night in the future.