Board Game Night Playlist: Games Designed by Matt Leacock

You may not be familiar with his name, but there’s a good chance that if you’re a modern board game fan, you know at least one of his games. He’s the guy that created Pandemic, one of the biggest and best modern board games in existence.

Looking at his portfolio of games, he clearly has a niche. Co-operative games are his bread and butter, which he does better than just about anyone in the business. In this edition of the Board Game Night Playlist, you’re not only getting a spotlight on Matt Leacock games, but also a great co-operative game night.


2-4 players
Ages 8 and up
45 minutes

In the world of Pandemic, four dangerous diseases are quickly spreading across the globe. As members of the Center for Disease Control, you and your team must slow the spread of the diseases and find cures for them all before it’s too late.

This is the game that really put Pandemic on the map. Besides having a great theme and mechanics to match, it was the game that popularized the co-operative board gaming sub-genre. It might be a bit old at this point, but it’s a game that has – and probably will continue to – stand the test of time.

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Forbidden Desert

2-5 players
Ages 10 and up
45 minutes

Your helicopter has crash landed in the desert. The only way to get out is to collect the pieces of a magical flying ship, put it together and fly away. This is easier said than done, as an epic sandstorm is burying everything and players can die of dehydration if they run out of water.

Forbidden Desert is shares some similarities to Pandemic, but its a worth alternative. For one, the modular nature of the board adds a lot of variety to the world while eliminating the alpha gamer problem. The tornado mechanic is also great, as it makes sense within the context of the game while adding a great layer of challenge. If you’re looking for as simpler alternative, try Forbidden Island, the predecessor of Forbidden Desert.


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Pandemic Legacy

2-4 players
Ages 13 and up
60 minutes

Pandemic Legacy ups the ante of its predecessor by adding a distinct layer of permanence to the game. Unlike the original, where the game world resets after each play, you partake in a campaign that spans a year of disease fighting. Everything that happens in the game is permanent, from characters dying, to cities being completely wiped off the map. All of this is done with stickers that mark up the board and player cards, dossiers that reveal new information and a Legacy deck that guides you through the entire story. Pandemic will always be his original baby, but Pandemic Legacy might be his very best.


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