A multi-platform game developed by Ndemic Creations, which is a Spiritual Successor to the web game Pandemic. After choosing your initial plague type, you are brought to the world map, where you freely pick your starting location. It's more strategical in the sense that certain countries have perks that make them easier or harder to infect; the U.S, for example, has better healthcare, while a country like Algeria or New Guinea is far easier to overtake with infection. Like Pandemic before it, certain countries are harder to infect than others. To list:
Caribbean, New Guinea and Madagascar: Their one port is frustrating.
Iceland: Tough to get to despite having a port and airport.
New Zealand: Good healthcare and low population density means a slow disease spread without Rodent Transmission or Drug Resistance.
Greenland: This country is a bastard to infect since it has one port and a very small percentage of ships go there. And if it did get there? Good luck infecting more than 10 people without Cold Resistance.
Canada: Its cold climate, good healthcare, no rural/urban bonus, and scattered population make it a pain to infect.
The Neurax Worm is a plague that promotes infection with an instant win symptom should you infect everyone.
The Necroa Virus promotes a Zombie Apocalypse scenario after you start killing everyone, where you get to command zombies(somehow).
The Scenarios update throws you into... well, scenarios, where Earth has been tweaked according to the scenario in question, such as Smallpox, Global Warming, among others.
The Simian Flu, a tie-in with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is a plague where the player must not only attempt to infect humanity, but also control intelligent apes to assist the spread of the disease in order to give control of the Earth to the apes.
Purchase the iOS version here, or the Android version here. An Updated Re-release called Plague Inc: Evolved was released on Steam Early Access on February 20th, 2014.Can you infect the world?
Apocalypse How: Planetary Human Extinction is your goal. You can still get Regional and Continental Extinctions (which would effectively mean Global Collapse or Disruption, at the very least) if Humans successfully fight back. Even if you're very unlucky, the spread of your virus is guaranteed to cause Regional Disruption with all the closures and emergency measures.
Apocalyptic Log: The news reports, as they track infections and lockdowns across the globe.
ArtificialBody Parts: One Scenario. They actually do slow down the death count when you start killing. Did we mention that they can violently rip them out if they're afflicted with Insanity? Or that they can malfunction?
The Black Death: A Scenario allows for modern day replication of the famous pandemic.
Body Horror: Yup. See Frozen Virus scenario, Necroa Virus, and Neurax Worm for the main offenders.
Book Ends: Subverted. At the beginning of the game, nations will report about mundane things, like natural disasters, Shout-Out news, and Real Life CDC reports. If everything goes right (or wrong, depending on when this occurs), your newsfeed then fills up with nations locking down their borders, establishing martial law, and burning bodies to prevent infection. This does not change for the rest of the game.
Determinator: The world will not stop cure research until every nation's government falls, which may happen at a surviving population of half a million or less, all infected with something that causes every symptom from organ failure to comas to rapid bleeding.
Devolution Device: Though a lot of the symptoms of the Pithovirus in "Scenarios" are realistic, some of them start causing humans to mutate into Neanderthals. Infect everyone once you have this trait and it's a nonlethal win for destroying human civilization, just like the alternate Neurax Worm win.
Hollywood Evolution: Every copy of your disease has the same traits. You can spread your harmless little parasites throughout most of the world, and then give every single one the ability to cause heart attacks simultaneously.
Hope Spot: For the humans, anyway. It's possible for them to complete the cure and start distributing it, only for the cure to be rendered useless through genetic reshuffle obtained afterward.
Horror Hunger: Cannibalism before zombie symptoms in Necroa Mode.
Humanity's Wake: A dead planet most of the time, mind controlled humans in Neurax Mode, dead Zombies in Necroa Mode, Neanderthals in the Frozen Virus.
Ironic Nursery Tune: For their PAX 2012 trailer, what could be more appropriate than "Ring Around The Rosy"? A patch also adds this in as a background noise being sung by a young boy that is played for the late game stages.
It Can Think: You play a (presumably) sentient and malevolent pathogen out to eradicate the entire human race.
Kill 'em All: The object of the game. Alternatively, Mind Control Them All for the Neurax Worm, Zombify them all for the Necroa Virus, devolve them all for the Frozen Virus.
Lampshade Hanging: Some of the random events point out the oddities of the world map, from Korea being a single region (they unified) to Alaska being a part of Canada (which got it in the "famous Hay-Herbert treaty")
Luck-Based Mission: Sometimes. Good luck getting DNA for the Necroa Virus when you spent it all on transmission!
Multiple Choice Past: Interestingly, the Necroa Virus has four possible backstories, dependent on starting location, DNA traits(activated before a game is begun), and initial evolution.
By starting in the U.S, and by upgrading saliva and drug resistance, a company called Dark-Water is mentioned in red in the news. Once you get to the mid point, Dark-Water admits to creating the virus and does a Heel-Face Turn of sorts to combat it.
By starting in Egypt, you get reports of an expedition into an ancient tomb. Allow it to progress, and the disease is revealed to have been dormant and originated from ancient tombs, with bite marks on mummies and ancient readings of plagues.
Power Incontinence: The Bio-Weapon is too powerful for its own good—it automatically kills people it infects even if they have no symptoms, and it gets more lethal over time. On the plus side, this means people can start dropping dead for no apparent reason and the authorities won't identify the plague and start researching a cure. On the downside, this means that it has a strong tendency to burn itself out by killing its hosts too quickly unless you spread everywhere, fast.
Interestingly, the CDC has taken this game as a simulation warning should an outbreak actually happen IRL. See Shown Their Work.
The best example is the "Peer Pressure" achivement. You can easily get it by having only one unoticable symptom like 'sneezing'. The doctors will not notice, the government will ignore it, but the people will riot over it. Forcing them to investigate, months later, the government will confirm the plague, alerting other countries while the cure starts, although at minimal priority.
Puppeteer Parasite: The Neurax Worm. It even has a special interface viewer representing the severity of it`s cerebral infection, depicted by nerve tendrils leading from it`s mandibles to a human brain.
Random Event: Some of the achievements require the player to trigger certain events, either by accident or they can invoke it. Some are easy to trigger, some require luck, even if you follow a guide and do things right.
Real Life: Many real life events and people are alluded to in Plague Inc, but with parodied names to avoid legal issues and/or controversy.
Ripped from the Headlines: Some events in the news ticker are updated every few months. During the later quarter of 2013, one news ticker mentioned the US Government Shutdown.
Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: The parts of the map that are infected by a deadly plague become more and more covered in tiny red dots until the entire country is red. This is the infection phase. When these countries face fatalities, the more people that die, the more the countries turn a bloody dark red. Furthermore, ships and planes that carry the infection leave a red trail rather than a white trail.
Army of the Dead: Upgrades allow the individual groups you send to grow to millions in size.
Dead Weight: Further symptom upgrades allow some zombies to become living bombs by building up flammable gas and rot-juice.
Elite Zombie: Certain combinations of Symptoms and Abilities can enable certain kinds of these; symptoms do stuff like increase bone, skin, and muscle density to make zombies harder to kill, hit harder, and run faster, mutate the salivary glands to make zombies gob acid, and build up flammable gasses and garbage juice to make them explode violently. It also mentions the Horde Master subtype. One symptom also turns freshly-reanimated corpses into Trap zombies.
Not Using the Z Word: Forced to confront the issue, governments say the virus can cause "pathological aggression in corpses" but claim the situation is under control.note When seen from the player's perspective, it's easy to mistake this for an aversion at first..
Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Necroa cannot reanimate headless corpses until Cranial Metastasis is evolved. The mutation Cranial Elephantitis increases the skull's thickness, making it harder to re-kill zombies.
Technically Living Zombie: As long as you avoid the actual zombie symptom, your infected victims will be this. The non-undead symptoms include ravenous cannibalism-inducing hunger, madness, an aversion to sunlight and excess drooling.
Walk, Don't Swim: Another upgrade tree allows zombie hordes to cross bodies of water (including entire oceans) faster. Subverter with an upgrade stating that they float down currents due to decomposition.
Zombie Puke Attack:The symptoms Acidic Reflux and Naja Mortis makes the infected projectile vomit, which increases combat efficiency and disease spread
Updated Re-release: Plague Inc: Evolved, released for Steam as an Early Access gamenote as in, still in development, including multiplayer modes to infect the Earth or cure it, custom scenariosnote like a level editor, updated graphics and a ton of other things. Buy it on Steam.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Averted. Having "vomiting" or any other extremely noticeable symptom will have everyone freak out and increases severity.
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: On the other hand, making your disease horribly over the top and gruesome is a sure way to screw yourself over. Killing everyone too quickly with horrible combinations will quarantine the plague quickly, followed by curing unless all the infected die.
Video Game Geography: The Earth is actually flat in Plague Inc, or at least the transportation methods act as such. For example, a plane travelling from the US West Coast to Australia will never cross the Pacific. It will cross the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans.
By triggering special conditions at the beginning of the Necroa Virus mode, you get one in the form of the DarkWater company. Advance correctly, and it's revealed they created the virus, and pull a Heel-Face Turn to stop it.
You Can Panic Now: Zigzagged & played realistically: pop-ups will inform you about your disease being discovered, though by the time they do, your disease is still young and isn't perceived as a threat. This will alert other countries, damaging your stealthiness while giving research for the cure minimal to zero priority. But as you continue adding resistances and symptoms, the priority rises.
The RMS will warn people that your disease can evolve, become lethal, they will eventually put it at the top of their list. You might also get the event where the CDC will look for patient zero; and your news feeds will go dark quick.
In special scenarios, weeks after your plague is global, scientists will respond telling people not to worry as the plague is easy to cure. After a month or two, however, they'll immediately warn people that your disease has regenerative abilities (Necroa Virus) or mind manipulation abilities (Neurax Worm). Sometimes events like this will lead to paranoia, slowing the economy, thus slowing the cure. However, it can also cause every country to give the cure maximum priority.
I Did What I Had to Do: Do things right and soon every country will do whatever it takes to impede your progress, as the news feeds go from bad to worse:
From: closing borders > to institutionalizing the sick > to executing the sick! Stops land transmissions.
From: killing rats/pigeons, and banning livestock > to culling all rodents/birds/livestock. Stops animal transmissions.
From: doctors disregarding safety measures > to legalizing human experimentation. Cure meter rises faster.
Whole Plot Reference: To Resident Evil for the US version of Necroa. an unscrupulous pharmecutical company is responsible for a mutagenic Zombie Virus outbreak and is desperately trying to cover it's ass. It even dispatches Cleanup Crews.
The UK versions backstory is similar to 28 Days Later. The Virus was created for a completely benign reason by a lab in Britain but was released during a lab accident.
Remember, in real life, moving to Greenland will not make you immune to deadly pathogensnote , especially if that's the starting location.