Recently a few board games have made their digital way to the Nintendo eShop. One of which was Pandemic, a game were you played as scientists who have to save the Earth from a life threatening virus. That is a great experience, but oh so cliché. That’s why we now also have Plgue Inc, where you can try to exterminate all life on Earth, now that is an interesting experience!
At the beginning of each play session you have the choice between different pathogens. This can be quite classic viruses or bacteria, but also biological weapons or a zombie virus are selectable. You give your creation a name and then comes one crucial choice. Do you take a populous country like India, where the virus spreads quickly, but can also be quickly discovered and fought? Or do you start in Greenland, where the virus spreads slowly, gets used to cold temperatures and you can develop it a bit? Especially that last part is essential. The spread of the disease is not controlled actively, but only passively through modifications and mutations, which are unlocked with DNA-points obtained. These DNA points are only obtained if more people and countries become infected. The goal is then clear: the total annihilation of humanity.
However, do not try to act to fast. If you immediately increase the fatality of the disease with your sour earned DNA points, you have the first victims very quickly, but the affected nation then reacts very quickly and closes, for example, airports and accelerates the research of a cure. And if the borders are locked before it can spread then the game can be over fairly quickly.
Therefore, you have to think and first increase the degree of infection and resistance to, for example, heat or antibiotics. Then you increase the symptoms very slowly. Coughs and runny nose help spread the disease. Later, rashes or even tumors are added and the disease continues to mutate into a killer. However, one should not overdo it. If the hosts die faster than other people become infected, the spread is reduced very quickly. It is a balancing act that brings forth the best results.
The graphics of Plague Inc are very simple. On a world map you can see the spread of the disease as well as flight and ship routes. Individual information can be retrieved for each country, with many smaller countries grouped together (for example, Central Europe). In simple presented submenus, statistics such as the course of infection and the development of a remedy can be displayed. In addition, the effects of the disease on world events are regularly discussed in short, fictional news, which keeps you updated on what to look out for and work on to become more dangerous and protect yourself.
Plague Inc: Evolved effectively lets the player recreate the effects of a worldwide pandemic. It is entertaining, easy to understand and simple, but appropriately presented. In keeping with the motto: “Easy to learn, hard to master”, you can climb your way to ever more difficult objectives. In addition, you will learn many background information on how “real” diseases would spread. Well suited for “educational” purposes.
Plague Inc: Evolved is an easy to learn, hard to master strategy game with a different outcome each play session.