When I first heard the concept of Pandemic, I was blown away. Everyone play together against the game? What an awesome idea! Either everyone wins or everyone loses. The only problem was, that when we found out about the game it was just about sold out everywhere. Luckily, my friend found a copy at a local game store and snagged it. Right away, I was blown away by the game itself. It was easy to learn and play. The rule book was laid out nicely. There were different difficulty levels. The theme of trying to save the world from epidemics, as each player takes on the role of a different specialist...I am still amazed at how good this game is. And not only that, it's great for gamers and non-gamers. Since this is a cooperative game, it is very easy teach to new players. You do have to watch out for one player running the whole game, but other than that you really can't complain about this one.
Shortly after Pandemic came out, Matt Leacock created another game called Forbidden Island. The game has very similar mechanics to Pandemic, but you are all on an island that is beginning to sink. You need to collect four treasures and get back to the Helio-pad before you drown. Many say that this is a simpler, more family-oriented version of Pandemic, and I would tend to agree. This one is great for playing with kids, as you can help them make decisions, as this one is cooperative as well. A lot of the mechanics of the game are the same as Pandemic, but they have been streamlined to make it an easier to learn experience. The game maybe too easy for the experienced gamer, but we like to keep our copy around, especially for introducing new people to the hobby. The price on this one is a steal as well, running about $15-20 retail, but I have seen it for even cheaper than that. It's a great buy in my opinion just based on the price, and the game experience is well worth it.
We have one game left...I know the anticipation is killing you, but just hold out a little longer to see what game we believe is the best for two couples.