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Plague Inc. - Ndemic Creations

Plague Inc. iPhone Game Review.

With Plague Inc for the iPhone and iPad, you won't really feel guilty about putting the entire world's population to the axe. You're not really playing God, maybe more of a bio-terrorist as you develop a new unknown virus and unleash it upon the world. The question is, can you infect the entire world and kill every single soul before the cure catches up to you?

You might have played similar games in the past. Plague Inc is very similar, but way better looking, to Pandemic, playable in the browser here.

How to play

Players will have to pick a type of disease in the beginning of the game and develop it to become the most effective and lethal plague possible, bringing about the end of humanity. Unless you spend some cash, you won't have access to the entire array of diseases. You can only pick a bacteria. Don't you worry, that's effective enough. Some strategy is all it takes.

After you've selected your disease and also named it (you can get as creative as you want with it), you're launched into the game and presented with the world map. You need to choose a country to deploy your newly spawned disease. It will then infect Patient Zero and you're off to killing humanity.

Strategy

No matter which type of disease you pick or where you decide to deploy it, you will have some planning to do. By itself, the new disease won't matter more than the common cold. As your disease infects more and more people, you earn DNA points, which you can then spend to develop it. Additionally, DNA bubbles will pop-up around the screen. If you pop them before they disappear, you'll rack up more DNA points.

So how can you develop your disease? Like any good disease, it has symptoms, abilities and transmission. Developing symptoms will make the disease more and more lethal. Developing its abilities will make it more resistant to the environment and potential drugs and cures. In order to infect more and more people, you need to develop its transmission.

In my first game, I made the mistake of wanting to kill everybody off too quickly. So I started developing its symptoms. The deadlier the disease becomes, the more attention it drew from the international community. They started working on a cure and develop it faster than my disease was killing people off. Also, people were dying faster without having the chance to infect others.

My second time around, I started ramping up the disease's abilities to make it resistant to the environment. Then I developed its transmission. In almost no time at all, I infected the entire world's population, without the research groups even starting to work on a cure. Just have patience. The disease will also mutate by itself, without you spending DNA points, and you can get some symptoms for free. The moment the disease will start killing, the research groups will come into play and start working on the cure. Luckily, if you played your cards right, all or most of the world will have already been infected. There's little the researchers can do when everybody dies left and right.

It's important to note that the game has two speeds. In normal speed, you could just grow old waiting for your disease to spread. In fast forward, it feels more natural. Having said that, the game might be missing a speed. Fast-fast forward if you will.

The graphics are really, really good, very polished. The game also has three game modes. In Casual mode, people don't wash their hands, research doctors don't work and sick people are very friendly to each other. I wouldn't want to live in this world. In Normal mode, a little over the world's population washes their hands (could that be a realistic figure???), doctors work 3 days a week and sick people are ignored. In Brutal, people wash their hands compulsively, doctors never go home and sick people are locked in a prison. Imagine how hard it is to spread the disease under these circumstances. Thankfully, you can save and load a game as well, so you can play a long strategy game if you so wish.

Downsides

I did find it quite disappointing that the game makes you shell out more cash in order to pick another disease than the bacteria. But that's not even my number one complaint. What I found was the biggest issue is the passive game play that you'll have to undergo after a while. No matter which strategem you adopt, be it a low-profile highly infectious disease or a highly lethal virus, after a certain point on the disease evolution scale, there's nothing left to do but wait and ocassionaly pop those DNA bubbles. No matter the route, it will always be a race between finding the cure and your disease killing everyone off, but you're allowed very little participation in the race. Popping bubbles isn't worth $0.99, much less the add-ons.

The game is very captivating and extremely realistic. For half the game play time at least. Once you've gone a certain route down the stragety lane, you only have to wait around to see who wins. Your disease or the research groups developing a cure.

I'm not sorry I've spent the $0.99 on Plague Inc, but I was expecting more.

Screenshots

  • plague-inc-iphone-game-review-disease
  • plague-inc-iphone-game-review-disease-traits
Plague Inc. icon

Plague Inc.
Developer: Ndemic Creations
Category: Games
Version reviewed: 1.5.3
Price: $0.99

Our Rating

4 / 5

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iPhone Review Posted in App Reviews, Games & Entertainment
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