Game Review – Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

Game Review – Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu


Martin Adil-Smith

Lovecraft fans, this is the game you have been waiting for as the Old Ones threaten to break out of their cosmic prison and enslave the world.

Everything you hold dear will be destroyed by chaos and madness, and only you and your fellow investigators can seal all the portals or else lose yourself to insanity.

There are good points and bad about this game. The bad is that this is not game a board game for young families. I certainly wouldn’t recommend playing with under ten years, and I might be hesitant with under fifteens, depending on how mature they are.

Additionally, for those of you who are die-hard fans of the Cthulhu mythos in its expanded form, then understand that a lot of content here isn’t exactly canon. Personally, I was ok with this, but there will be fans out there who will develop some sort of PTSD twitch because certain storylines have been bent to fit the game.

The good news is that this is not a Pandemic expansion pack and you don’t need to know the other games in the series or even own them, in order to play this.

If you are new to the Pandemic series, your first few playthroughs will probably be around the hour+ mark, but as you get more adept with the game mechanics you can expect that to fall to forty-five, or even thirty minutes.

However, unlike many of the Pandemic iterations this is a much slimmer version, but it also more colourful with both a deep and rich lore. Trading cards is easier and cataclysmic events don’t have the same degree of chain-reaction which marred other editions

If you are experienced with the Pandemic series, then there is much you will recognise albeit with different names. Players must work to shut down cults and ward off monsters while attempting to seal the gates. Travelling between key locations in four cities central to the Lovecraft’s Mythos you make use of your investigator’s unique ability to stem the tide of horror. However, investigating the depths of chaos and madness will stretch your sanity to the limit, and encountering unspeakable monsters will erode your sanity. Go over the edge and you’ll have fewer actions and a weakened ability. Only by working together can you save the world from the unspeakable horror that lurks beyond the portals.

As with these type of games, the miniatures are pleasing and the card artwork is good. There is good replay value, and this is a great introduction to both the world of Lovecraft and the Pandemic games.

Final verdict: 5/6