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.


I wrote earlier about the game I have been designing about the Underground Railroad. I am thrilled to announce that it has been picked up for publication. Freedom – The Underground Railroad should be out from Academy Games in the Spring/Summer of 2013. It has been a wonderful process and I have gotten such positive response from both the gaming and educational community. I will be sure to post updates as the process goes on.

I just wanted to share an amazing insight into the game design process from one of the most influential designers of our time.

This is a great look at how games and play experiences fit within the educational space from Knewton.

This has been a crazy few weeks, I have been writing almost everyday to finish up the first chapter for the book I am working on for Neal-Schuman. In that time, I also put up my first game that I have designed free to share. It is called Conductor and it is a cooperative, card driven game about the Underground Railroad. Players are working together to help bring down the institution of slavery utilizing action tokens, specialized player roles and cards that feature events and people who were influential during that time period.

Here is a quick link to the rules and some images of the game board and cards. The game is currently free to print out and play, you will just need to do some cutting and constructing to get the game together. Please feel free to send me an email if you have any questions.

As I research resources for the book I am working on, I come across some resources that I really want to share out. Case in Point: Scribblenauts Remix an iOS app for the iPhone and iPad, approx $.99.

SR is a sandbox game where players have to solve certain problems to unlock the star hidden on each level. They can type in or speak what they want to create in the game environment and <poof> it appears.

Need to get a star from the top of a Christmas tree? Simply type in axe, chainsaw, or ladder and give it to your character to use. The game recognizes, and encourages adjectives and descriptive terms as well. So why not create a giant hungry rainbow beaver? The real strength of the game is that how players solve the problem in the game is completely up to them.

While aimed at the children’s market, there were definitely several levels that were a challenge for me to complete which raises the bar on this fun and creative game. I give high marks to Scribblenauts Remix and look forward to updates that bring more levels to the game.

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