Have you ever wanted to destroy the world? Of course you have–it’s the holiday season. But who has the time, really? Well, with Plague Inc , you can do people in in a variety of ways without getting off of your sofa! Or whilst riding public transport! Or whilst hiding from your relatives during enforced get-to-gethers!
The goal is the kill the entire world (which has 7 billion people in it) by evolving transmission routes and improving symptoms, as well as evolving resistance to cures once the scientists are onto you.
You start off with bacteria being unlocked and can unlock the other types by beating the game on two levels– of which there are three:
Casual: No one washes their hands; Doctors don’t work; Sick people are given hugs,
Normal: 67.3% people wash their hands; doctors work three days a week; Sick people are ignored
Brutal: Compulsive handwashing; Doctors never go home; Sick people are locked in prison
Then you name your plague (my husband and I always go with Stupidity) then you choose where you want to kick off the fun by tapping on the world map. It’s always a good idea to start in a poor country because, let’s face it, rich countries cure their problems quickly.
There are a couple extra viruses–the Necroa Virus that turns the dead into zombies and the Neurax Worm that takes over the host. Those get their own graphics and are just a blast.
There are also extra scenarios. Oh, the extra scenarios. One of which is Mirror World, which make currently hot countries cold and cold places hot, rich becomes poor, etc. Which meant I got to kick off my plague in the States for once.
You also get the Black Plague, which was interesting to re-release on the modern world. Other real world diseases are Swine Flu and Smallpox, neither of which I’ve played yet.
Other extra scenarios included a mini Ice Age and Global Warming, which effect world-wide temperatures, impacting your plague; Who Cares and Xenophobia make it where countries don’t give a toss about what’s going on in other countries, whereas Created Equal and Golden Age are the opposite–everyone has great healthcare and takes care of everyone else. There are also a couple that impact transmission routes–by sea and air, so you have to pay attention and plan accordingly.
You can play all of the viruses in all of the scenarios on all of the levels so it will be a very long time before you tire of the game.
Anyway, once you’ve made all of those decisions, you start trying to infect people by evolving your transmission rates using DNA points. You collect those by tapping on orange and red bubbles that pop up indicating infection rates.
You can also evolve your symptoms, though these will often mutate of their own accord, if you focus on transmission rates. Handy.
Finally, those damn do-gooder scientists will eventually start trying to find a cure and you’ll need to head them off my making your plague drug resistant or impervious to heat or cold or likely to mutate its own DNA.
As you complete more levels, you unlock genes that you can apply to your beginning gene to give you an advantage, which is the only way I can imagine winning on a Brutal setting.
After a round ends, there are several graphs to view and see how things progressed. For example, once people contracted the Black Plague they pretty much died instantly. During gameplay it’s also interesting to see how air and water routes disperse difference types of plagues to different places.
Plague Inc is available from iTunes and Google Play for .99, which gets you Bacteria unlocked. The other main seven viruses shown above can be unlocked by beating two levels with bacteria. Other features can be unlocked for smaller amounts of money. But if you go for the $11 unlock, like I did, which gets you all of the plagues (including the Zombie and Neurax Worm), and the extra scenarios you get all future expansions for free.
One warning, this is one of those, ‘One more round… just one more… no really, one more…is that the sun coming up? How did that happen?’ games.
I would like to thank/curse Amelia Addams @batty_babe on Twitter for the recommendation. My productivity has dropped significantly since she’s recommended it. Cheers, darling!