Games Like Pandemic: What to Play Next in 2022

I’ve chosen seven of the best games like Pandemic. My top choice is Flash Point Fire Rescue.

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So you loved Pandemic, but now you’re ready for a new challenge. Perhaps you want another cooperative board game that has the same feel to it, but you’re having trouble finding the right one.

No problem. I’ve got you covered. There are plenty more games with similar game mechanics. I like Flash Point Fire Rescue because it can be played by a wide range of players and interest levels. It’s easy to learn and fully cooperative but engaging and involves strategic depth.

But if you want something different, there are several modern board games that can scratch that itch.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive right in.

At a Glance: Games Similar to Pandemic

What drew you into the game Pandemic in the first place? Perhaps it was the “race against the clock,” the collaborative element, or the strategic planning. Whatever the reason, there are board games with those features.

Not a fan of super competitive games? You’re not alone. Many people prefer a collaborative game. If you like the collaborative element of Pandemic, you might try Flash Point Fire Rescue, Nemo’s War, Horrified, or Forbidden Island.

You also might enjoy playing Pandemic if you like strategic planning. If you’re in search of a good strategy game, then Pandemic: Legacy is a great choice. You might also like Dead of Winter, Forbidden Desert, Nemo’s War, or Flash Point.

If you love Pandemic because you want to save the world, you’re in luck. There are several games with the same feel. For an exciting survival game, I suggest Dead of Winter, but you could also look at Flash Point, Forbidden Island, or Forbidden Desert.

For families and younger players, I would especially recommend Horrified Monsters, however Flash Point, Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert are also suitable for ages 10+.

Games Like Pandemic: Reviews

Flash Point Fire Rescue, 2nd Edition: Best Board Game Like Pandemic

Players: 2-6

Playing Time: 45 minutes

Age: 10+

Bring the intensity of fire fighting to life in this collaborative board game. In Flash Point Fire Rescue, players work together as firefighters to rescue victims, extinguish fires, and investigate points of interest.

To start, players must choose between two modes, basic or advanced. The basic mode is appropriate for most players. This game is advertised as a 2-6 player game, but some reviewers said this game works as a one-player game.

The goal of Flash Point Fire Rescue is to save 7-10 victims from a blazing fire. Along the way, you will have to deal with smoke, fire, explosions, wall collapses, and in the more advanced game, hazmat and hotspot areas.

For each turn, a player has four Action Points (a.k.a. APs) to use. Players spend these points on various actions such as walking, putting out fires, changing a fire to smoke, carrying victims, moving emergency vehicles, and more.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue 2nd Edition - A Thrilling Cooperative Board Game For Kids, Teens & Families to Save Lives - For 2-6 Players Ages 10+ with 30 Minute Play Time by Indie Boards & Cards

As the fire spreads, you have to make decisions about how to attack the flames while carrying victims to safety. You lose the game if four victims die or if the building collapses from too much structural damage.

Reviewers noted that this game is easier to win than Pandemic, especially with 3 players. The more players you add, however, the harder it is to beat the game.

Some people felt that the play was slightly clunky, and they had to refer to the rulebook multiple times on that first play. However, buyers loved the game’s mechanics and entertainment value.

If you’d like to play board games like Pandemic, Flash Point Fire Rescue is at the top of the list.


  • Easy to learn
  • Fully cooperative
  • Includes strategy
  • Choose your difficulty level
  • Solid game components
  • Affordable


  • Some felt the play was a little “clunky”

Dead of Winter A Crossroads Game: Best Semi-Cooperative Board Game

Players: 2-5

Playing Time: 1-2 hours

Age: 13+

Dead of Winter, published by Plaid Hat Games, is a zombie apocalypse survival game that will have you watching your back as you attempt to find weapons, find food, and fight off zombies.

It’s a post-apocalyptic world, and players must work together to survive the harsh winter ahead. Each player leads a faction of survivors. But there’s a catch. The players also have secret individual objectives they must meet in order to win.

As the game progresses, players must make difficult decisions that often pit what is best for the colony against what is best for themselves.

This is a semi-cooperative game, which adds to the excitement and variability. Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing.

Dead of Winter A Crossroads Board Game | Post-Apocalyptic Survival Strategy Game for Adults and Teens | Ages 13+ | 2-5 Players | Average Playtime 1-2 Hours | Made by Plaid Hat Games

It’s also a worker placement game that includes strategy, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to plan and plot in this fun game.

Buyers raved about Dead of Winter. They loved the mechanics, the replay value, and the story-driven play.

This game does have a learning curve, so it’s not the best game for parties. It’s better suited for a core game group. And of course, with the thematic elements, this game is not suited for younger children.


  • Includes strategy
  • Semi-cooperative worker placement
  • Zombie Apocalypse survival game
  • Story-driven
  • Built-in variation


  • Not for younger children
  • Complex, challenging to learn

Forbidden Island: Best Card-Based Game like Pandemic

Players: 2-4

Playing Time: 30 minutes

Age: 10+

Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures in this great cooperative game! Forbidden Island packs strategy and action-packed fun into one portable card game.

The game is set on a desert island, where players work together to find the four sacred treasures of the legendary Archean empire. But finding these treasures is not the only challenge.

The island tiles sink if intruders attempt to capture them! Players attempt to prevent this disaster as they carry out missions. Once players capture the treasures using the appropriate cards, they must make it to Fools’ Landing and escape by helicopter.

If the island sinks before you complete your tasks, the mission ends in defeat.

Forbidden Island – The Cooperative Strategy Survival Island Board Game,2-4 players

This game allows players to choose their difficulty level. Simply set the appropriate water level for your gaming skill.

Players get to choose their own characters with different abilities to help. Each turn, players take three actions. They can move, “shore up” a flooded tile, give a card to a player on the same tile, or play cards to claim an artifact.

Customers enjoyed the high-quality artwork, fast-paced play, and easy-to-learn rules. This game feels a lot like Pandemic when playing with the obvious difference of being card-based. Some felt like the replay value was lacking, while others were able to enjoy it repeatedly.

The bottom line? Forbidden Island is one of the best card-based cooperative games like Pandemic.


  • Fully cooperative
  • Fast-paced
  • High-quality game components
  • Exciting adventure
  • Easy to store, portable


  • Not technically a board game
  • Lacking replay value

Forbidden Desert

Players: 2-5

Playing Time: 45 minutes

Age: 10+

Forbidden Desert is the sequel to the game Forbidden Island, developed by Matt Leacock.

In this co-op game, a plane has crash-landed in an inhospitable desert. Players must find a way back to civilization. Players race to locate the parts of an ancient flying machine before the desert claims their lives.

Players choose their characters, each with their own unique abilities. They take turns exploring, digging, and collecting parts of the plane.

Users liked the added difficulty and new challenges Forbidden Desert presented. Since players can die of thirst, you might have to change strategies mid-game to find a water source.

Gamewright Forbidden Desert – The Cooperative Strategy Survival Desert Board Game Multi-colored, 5"

But there were varying opinions about the game’s difficulty. The primary reason is that the more players you play with, the harder the game gets.

Users did find this game to have a high replay value, which means you can play to your heart’s content.

Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert are both great games like Pandemic, but this version is more appropriate for gamers and those who enjoy a more difficult path to victory.


  • Fully cooperative
  • High-quality components
  • Easy to store, portable
  • Challenging
  • Good replayability


  • Player count heavily affects difficulty

Horrified Monsters: Best for Family Game Night

Players: 1-5

Playing Time: 60 minutes

Age: 10+

In Horrified, the classic cinematic monsters we know and fear take center stage. Players are a team of heroes set on defeating these villains and saving the world.

Horrified features six monsters, including Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, Dracula, Wolf Man, Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Each has its own unique condition that players much fulfill to defeat them.

Each player represents a unique hero. Players can choose their desired difficulty level. They then take turns completing actions, including moving the hero, moving villagers, collecting or trading items, or defeating a monster.

Ravensburger Horrified: Universal Monsters Strategy Board Game for Ages 10 & Up

Reviewers enjoyed Horrified Monsters. They found it to be a great gateway game for a wide range of players. It’s also easy to learn and easy to set up, so you can start playing in little time.

Some felt that the game components were lacking in durability, but everyone agreed the artwork was neat. This game achieves its thematic aim.


  • Fun Hollywood monster theme
  • Fully collaborative gateway game
  • Choose your difficulty level
  • Simple to set up
  • Great artwork
  • Easy to learn


  • Best suited for 2-3 players
  • Complaints of flimsy components

Nemo’s War: Best Board Game with Single-Player Option

Players: 1-4

Playing Time: 1-2 hours

Age: 13+

Nemo’s War is published by Victory Games and is based on Jules Verne’s book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

To start the game, a player must choose the type of adventure they want Captain Nemo to have. The four adventure types are Science, Exploration, anti-Imperialism, and War.

To start a round, each player draws an adventure card. You must risk one or more resources and pass a test to get a reward. Otherwise, you lose any resources you risked while activating any fail conditions.

After playing the adventure card, players roll dice to see how many actions they have and what new ships are added to the oceans. Players then take action to move, search for treasure, attack ships, or incite revolution!

As the game progresses, you could potentially increase in notoriety. If you become too notorious, you’ll lose the game.

Nemos War 2nd Edition 2nd Printing

The ultimate goal of Nemo’s War is to survive until the final card is drawn. If you do, you’ll tally up victory points based on different criteria. If you manage to survive and gain enough victory points, you win the game.

Buyers enjoyed the thematic elements and the high variation within Nemo’s War. Some players felt that the outcome was too heavily influenced by dice rolls. There is still an element of strategy, however.

If you like cooperative board games that can also work for solo play, Nemo’s War is a good pick for you.


  • Great solo game
  • Built-in variety
  • Blend of strategy and dice rolls
  • Literary war-based theme
  • Cool artwork


  • Some felt it relied too heavily on luck

Pandemic Legacy: Best Campaign-Style Board Game

Players: 2-4

Playing Time: 45-60 minutes

Age: 13+

I couldn’t create a list of board games like Pandemic without including Pandemic Legacy. If you love the base game, you might enjoy this campaign legacy version.

Just like the original version, Pandemic: Legacy features players working together to save the world from four diseases. Outbreaks occur in cities across the globe. Players travel across the world map board to treat diseases, share knowledge with other players, and use their special skills to discover cures.

In Pandemic: Legacy, however, the decisions players make affect all games going forward. There will be the destruction of cards, stickers applied, new discoveries, and secret packages.

This great game is designed to be played over twelve months. How players achieve victory will change from month to month, so players must be flexible.

Pandemic Legacy Season 2 Board Game (Black) - Fight to Save Humanity from Plague! Cooperative Strategy Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 13+, 2-4 Players, 60 Minute Playtime, Made by Z-Man Games

Users had high praise for this board game. They loved the variation and constantly evolving storyline. They enjoyed the

This version does still have a “quarterback” issue. There tends to be one player that takes the helm and makes most of the decisions. But other than that, the game mechanisms are almost impeccable.

This game is not for everyone. Some people don’t care for legacy games. However, if you’re someone who does like them, this game provides a truly unique experience from other games.


  • Exciting co-op game
  • Strategic depth
  • Unique gameplay
  • Played over 12 months
  • Story evolves as you play


  • Has a finite replayability
  • Still has a “quarterback” mechanism

Buying Guide: Board Games Like Pandemic

What to Look for in a Collaborative Game

There are many things you prefer in a game, but it’s always important to have high-quality game components. No one wants to play with flimsy or ugly pieces. Secondly, engaging game mechanics are a must. Sitting for long stretches without anything to do is no fun.

Lastly, you want a difficult but achievable pathway to victory. The right level of difficulty varies by person, however, so many collaborative games include the option to choose your level of difficulty. This clever innovation allows a wider range of players to enjoy the game.

Conclusion: Best Cooperative Board Game like Pandemic

When it comes to board games like Pandemic, you have several options. My favorite? Flash Point Fire Rescue. It’s one of the best board games like Pandemic. It has similar mechanics and a wide appeal. It’s sure to be a hit at your next game night.