The rest of the world might be playing Pandemic: Legacy, we’re just catching up to Contagion, the one where you play as the disease.
The game is neat inverse of the original Pandemic. You have stats that determine your diseases strengths, you have cards that you use to either infect cities or improve your disease, and each turn a new event card is flipped that you have to deal with.
The depth of the game comes from the powers on the cities that trigger for the player who finishes them (usually card draw, so tempo basically), from the fact that you can use double the cards to account for ones you’re missing (also tempo), and from the details of the event which add a bit of helpful randomness and favor those who think ahead to prepare.
We played the 2 player variant which includes rules for a ‘bot’ who plays along with the players. I’m not embarrassed to say that the bot managed to beat me by 10 points, though Angelica crushed it. Well, maybe somewhat embarrassed I suppose.
If it’s not obvious, this is not a deep game, though decently clever for a 30 minute play. It’s fun, but I do want to say that it comes with one caveat: the manual is not super great. We ended up with a false-start game based on us misunderstanding rules, and then finished the game with a laptop open to the “FAQ and Errata” page. After you get the details though, the game flows pretty easily afterwards, it’s just learning that first time that’s a bit of a challenge.
Also, the little petri dishes are very cute.