Continue if you are looking for games like Pandemic and are curious about what similar games to play next. In Pandemic, you are working with the other players to completely eradicate a virus. The map is based on the real-world map and you need to travel from city to city to stop the spread and create a vaccine. It is a real race against time.
To determine this list we broke down Pandemic to what it is. Pandemic is the gold standard for cooperative board games. It is all about working together as a team, where everyone has a specific role and putting out individual fires before everything burns down. If you are looking for something similar, you have come to the right place. We took all this into consideration and came up with this list of the 5 board games like Pandemic.
FOR MORE: Pandemic Page | How To Play Pandemic | Pandemic Review | Buy Pandemic on Amazon
#05 | Nemo’s War
Nemo’s War does depart from the whack-a-mole nature of Pandemic (things keep popping up everywhere and you need to knock them down before damage is caused. It does just barely make the list of games like Pandemic because of the cooperative and teamwork nature of the game. It ventures more into area control than in the move and problem solve arena.
The game is modeled, both in art and story, after Jules Verne’s classic 20,000 leagues under the sea. It is the year 1870, you set sail in this amazing electric-powered submarine, assuming the role and motive of Captain Nemo as you travel across the seas on missions of science, exploration, anti-Imperialism, and War. For 1 – 4 players, games run about 1 – 2 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy Nemo’s War on Amazon
#04 | Horrified
Horrified is less of a race against the clock and more of an adventure, but it makes the list of games like Pandemic because it is a cooperative journey where character matters. You are also technically trying to collectively stop and evil force before it destroys everything.
Horrified reps iconic monsters in sculpted miniature form (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon). Players are working together against the monsters with varying levels of difficulty. Just as each monster is unique, they require different strategies and tactics to be defeated. You travel around and try to eliminate the threat, just like in Pandemic. For 1 – 5 players, games run about 1 hour.
FOR MORE: Horrified Page | Games Like Horrified | Buy Horrified on Amazon
#03 | Burgle Bros
Burgle Brothers makes the list of games like Pandemic because you have to work together as a team and use your action points wisely to pull off the impossible. Both games have you running around a space trying to do different things to keep things contained and running smoothly.
You and other players are unique members of a crew trying to pull off a building robbery without getting caught. The building has three floors (4×4 tiles), each with its own safe to crack. Everyone starts on the first floor and has to escape to the helicopter waiting on the roof. If a player gets caught by a guard, you lose, and if you can open all three safes, and escape through the stairs to the roof you win. For 1 – 4 players, games last about 45 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Burgle Bros on Amazon
#02 | Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Flash Point: Fire Rescue makes the list of games like Pandemic because you are racing against the clock with a team to put our a fire, where everyone on your squad has a particular role. There are more dice here but you are still using a limited amount of action points to attack the problem. It is all about containing the fire, literally and metaphorically.
You and your teammates are attempting to rescue 7 of 10 victims from a raging building fire. As you try and save victims, the fire spreads to other parts of the building, causing structural damage and possibly blocking off pathways through the building. Each turn you must choose to try to extinguish fires, move through the building, move victims out of the building or perform various special actions such as moving emergency vehicles. For 2 – 6 players, games last about 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Flash Point Fire Rescue Page | Games Like Flash Point Fire Rescue | Buy Flash Point Fire Rescue on Amazon
#01 | Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island easily takes the top spot on the list of games like Pandemic. It is everything that Pandemic is but in a completely different recipe. Instead of flying around the world to put out viruses as they pop up, you are jumping around an island trying to stop pieces of it sink away forever. And every member of the team has a specific job on the team.
You and other players take turns moving your pawns around the ‘island’, which is built by arranging the many beautifully screen-printed tiles before play begins. As the game progresses, more and more island tiles sink, becoming unavailable, and the pace increases. Players use strategies to keep the island from sinking while trying to collect treasures and items. As the water level rises, it gets more difficult- sacrifices must be made.
Also need to give a shout out to follow-ups to this game that are complete standalone games you could play instead of Island. There is Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Sky. Both follow this put out the fires before it all burns down vibe, just different themes/locations within this world.
Sorry… Nemo’s War is a solo game you COULD play cooperatively, but not many would recommend it be played that way. However, it is definitely one of the best solo games out there at the moment.
Nice mention of Flash Point! I also like Spirit Island in this category a lot. And I think if they’ve already mastered playing Pandemic, Forbidden Island is too light weight. Better to recommend Forbidden Desert as the go to in this group.
But if someone is truly looking for a Pandemic-like experience then the first thing I’m recommending is the pirate themed Dead Men Tell No Tales. It adds the whack-a-mole aspect of threats popping up to a board that is only gradually revealed as you play. You are adventurers boarding a shipwrecked pirate boat looking for treasure. And when you climb on board you see the ship is on fire. As you explore further, you find those darned pirates left kegs of gunpowder laying around everywhere. And just when you think that’s tough enough, you learn that the skeletal ghosts of the ship’s former crew hand the decks. So it time to plunge ahead in a mad, disaster-timed, push-your-luck race to find the treasure before this burning, exploding, haunted pirate ship does you in!
It’s a blast!
Thanks for the feedback Blane, all good points!