Plague Inc.

The Anti-Pandemic

System Requirements:
iOS or Android device
Ndemic Creations

Most mobile games are little time-wasters, suitable for entertaining yourself while you wait for the bus; few are deep, involving, and require strategic thinking. Plague Inc does, however.

In Plague Inc., you play a disease, and your victory condition is the complete extermination of humanity. Experiencing fiero because you've just killed every man, woman, and child on the planet is... strange, but interesting.

The game comes with seven different plague types (bacteria, virus, parasite, and so on); only bacteria is unlocked at first. Each poses somewhat different difficulties; for instance, the virus mutates frequently, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can gain new abilities without requiring you to spend "DNA points," but you may also evolve in a way to alarm humanity more quickly than you'd like.

DNA points are earned as your disease spreads; you invest them in "evolving" your disease. The basic strategy (which does need to be modified for different disease types) is: invest in transmission abilities to spread your disease quickly; avoid evolving symptoms, particularly lethal ones in the early game, because you don't want the humans to start working on a cure, or prioritize it heavily, too early; wait until every country is infected, and the most recently-infected ones are rapidly getting sick; then rapidly evolve a set of highly lethal symptoms.

There are basically two ways to lose: Humanity can develop the cure too fast, or you can get lethal too quickly, killing off everyone infected and leaving some still alive. And you must keep an eye on isolated islands, Greenland and Madagascar in particular; their air and sea links are few, and they tend to get infected last. Even a few holdouts in the icy wastes will prevent you from victory.

The Android version is a free download; the iOS one a $0.99 purchase. There is a further appeal to monetization, but Ndemic is not pulling annoyingly hard at the money levers; you can unlock diseases and "starting genes" early by paying, but can earn them by grinding as well. And there are two additional diseases you can download for an additional cost: the Neurax Worm (a puppetmasters/pod people scenario) and, inevitably, zombies.

Plague Inc. is both hilariously transgressive, and a strategy game with surprising depth of gameplay. A bargain at the price.


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inspired by

the Pandemic series I assume?

Great to have you back!

I never closed the tab, because hope.

Also, Plague Inc. seems nice.


I missed PTT.

I recall playing Pandemic and feeling that its balance might have been better. In particular, I tried developing a disease that had no harmful effects and very low visibility and woult later mutate into something lethal. But humanity would still recognise it as a threat long before it became one.

I'm curious about this new version.

inspired by

Yes, the developers have said they were inspired by Pandemic.