Enlarge (credit: Ndemic) Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com—and let us know what you think.

I’ve invested more hours in the board game Pandemic than I care to admit.

First released in 2007, it casts players as a team of medics cooperating to prevent a disease-induced apocalypse; over the years, it’s become one of the board game industry’s best-sellers.

Plague Inc.: Nurture your own pandemic for fun and victory points

But while Pandemic’s struggle against sickness provided some great game nights, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t perversely intrigued by the biological armageddon the game threatens—a possibility explored in films like Contagion and 28 Days Later. Sometimes Pandemic is most satisfying when the situation is most dire.
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