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'Pandemic Legacy' Interview Teaser: Rules of Play speaks to Matt Leacock

Pandemic has infected the board game world and quickly spread into the hearts of players everywhere and they're all enjoying its addictive, wonderfully co-operative gameplay.

Through its subtle mix of co-op strategy, clinical design and the wonderful way events can spiral out of control and leave players scrambling to cope as the world's population coughs and splutters its way to extinction (or is that just Rules of Play's games?), Pandemic has earned its place as one of the most talked about board games around. 

Part of Pandemic's genius lies in its simple, easy to grasp gameplay and the fascinating ways it tasks players with working together to overcome what is, let's be honest, a frighteningly real threat. But, do you know what's more frightening? 

What if we told you more of Pandemic's viruses are about to threaten the population of the world in an entirely new take on the formula... Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. An ambitious new episodic board game that puts players in the heart of the action. 

Rules of Play caught up with Pandemic's designer, Matt Leacock (@mleacock), to talk about Pandemic's future and what players can expect from the highly anticipated Pandemic Legacy.

Pandemic is a hugely popular game, but where do you see it going in the next few years? 

“Well... our third expansion is out [soon] and it's called Pandemic: State of Emergency. And then this Fall we've announced Pandemic Legacy, which is a whole new way of experiencing the game because every time you play it it changes.

“Like Risk Legacy, you play the game and as you're playing it you get new instructions in the form of Packets or Unlocks and you follow the instructions, you put on stickers, you write on the board, you tear up cards and you do all sorts of things like that.

"Your game evolves in a unique way to your play group. Another person playing the game will have a totally different experience because they'll have a different board and different characters. That allows you to play out a series of games, a total of 24 games, almost like a TV season with a larger arc.”

We've never heard of a board game like that before! Where did the idea for an episodic board game come from?

“Yeah, it's a really new idea. I've co-designed it with Rob Daviau who has pioneered this new up and coming genre with Risk Legacy and there really haven't been any games on the market since. It delivers a lot of potential, firstly for story-telling, but also managing complexities because you can gradually introduce rules over time.

“I wasn't designing [Pandemic] for expansions and initially I thought the [game] systems were too fragile to handle it.

“But it turned out to be pretty robust and we've been able to add more and more expansions to it for the people who have played it. I didn't anticipate that people would play it 100 or 200 times, but people really wanted more variety and that's great. There were a lot of different ideas online and a lot of ideas that other designers proposed.”

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 will be available to pre-order soon, but if you're interested in playing Pandemic or its expansions head over to the Rules of Play shop.


Get involved in the conversation, follow us on Twitter: @rulescardiff or join us on Facebook: Rules of Play. Keep an eye out for more interviews and features, too. We'll have more going up on the site soon!

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