Just like many strategy games out there, Pandemic isn't about having fast clicking fingers and finger twisting control schemes. Nah, far from it. The controls are pretty easy to handle - you will use your mouse for the most part. Use it check up on a city and see how the disease is spreading and what control methods you have. Click on quarantine to keep people from leaving and entering, hit the Neutron Bomb to obliterate the whole city, and those are just to name a few.
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Prevent the disease - the American Swine Flu, from spreading and keep the whole nation calm. That is the overall objective of Pandemic - one of the most puzzling and mind boggling strategy games around.
Played on a large map of the United States, Pandemic is one of those strategy games that might overwhelm the beginning strategy player as each state requires your attention. True, the level of alarm is NOT the same for every state. Some of them may require increasing military presence. Others have air ports, harbors, etc. which you may need to close or keep open depending on the situation.
Click on each icon to bring up the city or state's current status. You can see how many residents it has - how many are healthy, how many are immuned, how many are dead, how many are infected, and everything else in between.
You can also see the actions you can take as well as how much each action would take. Want the more humanitarian way of dealing with the disease? Quarantine them, BUT the recurring cost may cripple the national budget. Want something cost effective BUT not too humanitarian? Simple! Click on the nuclear or neutron bomb, drop it, eradicate the whole city's population, and you are assured the disease won't spread from there.
Open Ports: Harbors, open ports, airports, etc - keeping them open will bring you money which is necessary for fighting against the Swine Flu. HOWEVER, the risk is that there is a greater chance of an infected traveler making it to your country and infecting more residents. This is a tricky one especially if you have never played before. BUT worry not, the game is slow enough to make sure you learn the ins and outs of the game before the disease eats the whole nation alive!
A Crucial Element You Should NOT Ignore: One of the key elements to win the game is to keep your relationship with the media in great shape. The media is doing everything they can to make the American people panic, and if you don't act accordingly, the whole nation will clamor to have your head delivered on a silver platter.
You need to give more positive stuff for the media to report on. BUT that won't be enough to patch everything up. You can, HOWEVER, use the leeway provided by the positive reports to create a vaccine and keep the virus from spreading. For those of you who thinks being a president is a piece of cake, try your hand in one of the most fun and dark strategy games out there and let's see how you fare.