Cold and Flu Invasion is an online game sponsored by Halls, a company that makes cough drops.
In this game, a lot of people are getting sick with either a cold or the flu and you play as a man providing large versions of their cough drops that cure the people instantly.
The game starts with four drawers, more as the levels progress, each containing a different flavor pill, which can be seen by mousing over them. People enter, requesting a certain flavor and you must click the correct pill, then click on them to throw it to them. Giving them the wrong pill doesn't work and makes them walk faster. Giving them the right pill heals them, causing them to sigh, do a certain animation depending on what they look like, and disappear. The pills in a drawer can run out, making the light on top flash red, and can be refilled by pressing the "REFILL" button and then the empty drawer. If you pick up the wrong pill by mistake, you can drop it in what's called the "recycler".
Every time a customer sneezes or coughs, the thermometer on the left will rise, making your character move slower and, if it fills up completely, catch a cold, signalling game over. However, the thermometer resets at the beginning of every level. If five customers are waiting at the desk at any point, you will have to repeat the level. Boosts may be randomly-generated to help you. These include:
- Lightning Bolts: Look like blue cartoon lightning bolts and make your character move twice as fast for 30 seconds.
- X-ray Eyes: Look like green eyes and let you see all the pills in the drawers for 15 seconds.
- Hourglasses: Look just how you'd expect and make the customers walk slower for 20 seconds.
- Medkits: Look just how you'd expect and make your thermometer reset.
- Anti-flu candy: Looks like a red pill with steam coming from it and cures every visible customer.
Cold and Flu Invasion provides examples of
- Artistic License Medicine:
- While it's believable that the customers might have colds, they certainly don't appear sick enough to have the flu.
- People with colds don't have red bubbles above them like your character does when he catches one.
- A large amount of people getting a disease is referred to as an "epidemic" or "outbreak", not an "invasion".
- Balloonacy: After the blonde girl is healed, she gets a balloon and floats up into the air.
- Expressive Health Bar: As your health goes down, your character's face becomes red, he starts to walk slower, and red bubbles begin to form above his head. He goes back to normal if another level begins without him getting sick or if you take a med kit.
- Hammerspace: Some of the characters' healing animations involve objects. Some objects come from a logical place, such as their pockets, but some, such as the blonde girl's balloon and the boy in the yellow sweater's scooter, seem to crop up from nowhere.
- Have a Nice Death: Failing the game results in the message "Unlucky! Looks like the cold finally got to you, too!"
- Inexplicably Awesome: Some of the unusual things the characters do can't just be explained away by video game logic, but when you heal the man in the purple hat, he climbs into his hat and disappears.
- Magic Antidote: Unlike real cough drops, these "drops" cure everyone instantly. Exaggerated for the anti-flu candy which apparently cures colds as well as flu and doesn't even need to be touched to work. Med kits also preemptively cure the player character's cold.
- Medical Game: This game is about administering pills to patients that have either colds or the flu.
- Sick Episode:
- Your job is to cure some people with colds and flu.
- Failing the game means the player character catches a cold.
- Sickness Equals Redness: Zigzagged. None of the sick customers appear red, but if the thermometer gets too high, the player character appears red in the face.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Two recurring customers are men with just pants, shoes, and feather accessories; no shirts.