Ever fancied playing as a disease & trying to infect the world? Ever wondered what it would be like to wipe out humanity all the while dodging their efforts to cure you?
Well thanks to the very clever Plague Inc. You now have the opportunity to find out!
Plague Inc. is a strategy game that puts you in control of a disease. You are tasked to infect patient zero & then spread throughout the world adapting & changing to the environments & humanities attempts to stop you.
Choosing where to start is very important as the poorer the country the easier the plague will be to spread. The draw back to this is that by time you have evolved your disease to the levels that it is a world-wide pandemic the richer countries will already be putting blocks & cures in place. Time is of the essence & the right path of evolution is key….
Once patient zero has been infected the disease will spread without you having to do much. To evolve & adapt you need to collect DNA points. This is done by popping red infection bubbles that appear when new countries are infected & yellow strands of DNA. These points can be spent in several categories:
Transmissions– This adapts the way in which the disease is spread. Some of the more notable ways to transmit is through air, via water & through rats.
Symptoms – This evolves the lethality of the disease starting with minor headaches & coughs to eventually massive organ failure & cysts.
Abilities – This is where you can adapt the disease to environments & toughen it up for cure research.
There are a finite number of DNA Points available though & as your disease wrecks destruction on the world less & less will come in. It’s a game about balance….do you go down the openly aggressive route killing your early disease bench markers gaining lots of DNA Points early but scaring the hell out of humanity forcing them to close down their borders?
Or do you go about the sneaky route…slowly infecting people around the world, building your resistance towards environments & future cure attempts before becoming deadly?
Once humanity has begun research on a cure the deadliness of your disease becomes very important. The more people you kill, the more countries will throw their weight behind the cure. However the more people killed will see these same countries fall into anarchy & make them unable to assist with curing.
As you can see it is a bit of a juggling act & is by no means easy to achieve 100% extinction. Often a few countries will have closed up their borders early enough to halt the infection meaning that you will still fail with a high percentage of the population dead.
This can be frustrating but with most games taking no longer then 15-30 minutes to complete there is no issue with trying multiple times. The game has several different types of diseases that you can play as giving new challenges. The first is Bacteria with ones such as Fungus & Bio Weapon becoming available once you win on certain difficulties (or you can buy out right for a small price).
There are 3 difficulties: casual, normal & brutal. All your unlocks come from normal or higher so it is worth starting on that difficulty. The biggest change is how easier the infection spreads on harder difficulties with winning on brutal very tough.
The last additional changes you can make before the game starts are to modify your genetic code. These are unlocks (in-game or via micro-transactions) that can help during game play. Things such as additional DNA points from popping bubbles or bonuses for your plague it certain environments. To balance this some unlocks make it easier for humanity to cure, choosing which ones to help you on your way takes careful planning.
Plague Inc. is a lot of fun to play & offers certain educational benefits as well (The CDC showed interest in it). It mixes challenging game play with real benefits that can improve what is on offer further down the line. The clever idea of choosing a country to start the plague is let down by the lack of a confirmation. Once you click on a country that is it & with a limited zoom function some of the smaller ones are harder to select. Winning takes skill, a bit of luck & it can be very frustrating to see 99% of the population killed off & still fail.
Priced at 69p….this is one of the bargains of the App Store.