So… I really like Pandemic. And they recently released and new version. I was interested to see it, but not too excited, as I really like the old version. I can now definitely say that I don’t like the new version. Not because there is any change in gameplay, or anything to make the actual playing of the game any less amazing.
The first problem comes with compatibility: there is none. The new version and new expansions are completely incompatible with the old version and the old version of the expansion. I can see no reason why this has to be. Especially since I quite like the older board as you will see shortly. It just alienates older fans and makes it so people who own the older game are less likely to get the new expansions. I have no idea why they would do this, especially since the old version was almost perfectly serviceable in terms of design.
However my main problem is in the look of the new version. It’s too dark. I’m not sure why everything has to be so dark these days, but it would seem Pandemic is following suit. The board looks more drab and black. It doesn’t look nearly as fun, it doesn’t even look like the world. The last board was perfectly playable and even inviting, this is dark and off-putting. The cards have been redesigned and now they’re harder to read and it’s harder to understand where they represent on the board. The character artwork is now more “realistic” but it too conveys that unnecessary darkness.
I’m not saying that an epidemic spreading around the globe is funny, but the game didn’t need to be darkened. The last set was pleasing to look at and made you excited to play. This almost looks like the map to a zombie game rather than Pandemic.
I just don’t see why it needs this. I’m not a fan of the darkness that invades everything these days. Why does everything have to be so dark, especially escapist things like board games? The cartoony artwork, pleasant green and blue board, and simple aesthetic made Pandemic more fun in my opinion. I realize that they can change anything they want to, but I don’t like their changes to the game, and I certainly won’t be getting the new version or any new expansions.