boss▲battle Review - Plague Inc. (iOS)
There aren’t many games you win by killing every single person on earth. NdemicCreations is not the first to hit upon the concept, but it is very possible James Vaughan — the guy behind the game — is the first to hit upon it so cleverly with Plague Inc. “Clever” because there’s a lot of strategy that goes into winning, more than might seem possible since the game takes place on a mostly static image of a map of the world. (And don’t be fooled)
You start by naming your disease, picking a country to infect, and collecting DNA points as it spreads around more and more. Do you want to infect Egypt first? China? Canada? First-world countries have more money at their disposal to develop a cure, so that’s something to consider when you plant your contagious flag. Also: What’s the climate like in that country? How many airports does it have? Is it landlocked?
Once you’ve selected a landmass to start at, you use DNA points to evolve your disease’s lethality, contagiousness, and how easily detected it is. There’s also a news ticker alerting you to current events, which sometimes can be exploited to make your disease even more widespread — the Olympics are like the great medal-dispensing meetup for infectious diseases because lots of people come from all over there and then come back home.
As your condition pops up more and more in the news, countries around the world will attempt to develop a cure, which you can squash by changing your disease’s evolution and also poking blue vials that pop up over different areas on the map. It’s the only aspect of the game that feels “gamey,” but everything else, really, is seamless and makes for an experience as viral as the illnesses you’re trying to kill everyone with. Never before has a little worldwide genocide felt so harmless and fun.
David Wolinsky is a guy with a computer who writes about games and computers and guy-things for Maxim, BuzzFeed, and Games Computers Guy-Things Magazine. He tweets about all that and chewy molasses candies here, and also wildly inaccurate facts about cats (cat facts) here.