Plague Inc. is a wonderful little app I came across the other day and have been playing incessantly since picking it up for a mere $.99. The game simulates the mutation, growth and spreading of a disease across the globe. Instead of fighting the virus, like in the fantastic co-op game Pandemic, instead the player in this iOS app is taking on the role of the virus itself and trying to infect and eradicate the entire human population.

Players start the game by selecting a country to infect. Slowly, the infection starts to spread to others in the region and the player earns DNA points which can be spent to mutate, adapt and change the characteristics of the disease. How players need to change their disease is dependent on where the disease started and how people are reacting to it. Different modes of transmission work better under different economic and environmental conditions, so how the player adapts really matters in terms of where the disease is spreading in the world. There are also symptoms that can be adapted that increase the disease’s infectivity and lethality. Lastly, abilities of the disease allow for resiliency and special characteristics for survivability As players are able to win games, they unlock new types of diseases: viral, fungal. Each one has its own unique characteristics that make play very unique and keep game re-playability high.

As the disease begins to grow, the world begins to work on a cure. Then the race is on to mutate and spread the disease, infecting and eradicating everyone in the world before they are able to come up with a cure.

Plague Inc. is a fantastic look at how infectious diseases work, from the inside out and comes with a big recommendation.