Because humans deserve to be eradicated by Dave the disease.
Simulation games usually revolve around the concept of progress. In Kairosoft games you build cities, develop soccer teams and space stations. The Sim City, Sim Ant and other classics such as Civilization by Sid Meier feature a will to evolve, survive and prosper. Now a new breed of simulation games has hit iOS, and they are all about destruction, death and halting evolution. That of course depends on your point of view. If you view it as a human it is true that this is all about death, but from the view of the disease it is about progression.
Both Pandemic 2.5, and Plague Inc. are based on the same idea. Create a disease in a country, and give it attributes to survive, spread and kill. Both start with a single infected individual, and you get points the more people get infected. These points can be used to give the disease new horrifying symptoms and new abilities to survive. In Pandemic 2.5 there are a number of special traits that unlock over time, and in Plague Inc. you can select a number of ways for the disease to transfer between people.
Both games feature a lot of sitting around just waiting for the disease to spread. In Pandemic 2.5 you have up to 10x speed to get the game moving. In Plague Inc. you get a more active role, as you tap orbs to gain extra points. Later on you can also slow down cure research by tapping a cure orb. I found the feedback in Plague Inc. to be much more interesting, and at times even fun. There are a number of references to popular culture that keep the news reel fresh.
The menus is also much clearer, and cleaner in Plague Inc. making it easier to navigate statistics and abilities. Plague Inc. also feature a proper tree for the evolution of symptoms that is far better than the list used in Pandemic 2.5.
Both games have some issues with game not ending properly, but I have had most bugs with Plague Inc. The game hasn’t ended even after 100% of the population is reported dead. Sure a couple of healthy people have been spared on Greenland, but with six billion dead I consider it a win for the disease.
Plague Inc. is slightly harder in my opinion, but both games feature a balance of luck, timing and skill.
This is where Plague Inc. excels with a great style, clean menus and a great evolution tree for the symptoms. You can zoom in and out, but to be able to tap all orbs you have to play as zoomed out as possible.
Pandemic 2.5 is ugly compared to Plague Inc., and the statistics are poorly presented in quite boring fonts. Overall the game looks decent playing on my iPhone, but on the iPad it forces me to play in portrait mode with large black borders. Clearly not optimized for the larger screen estate, and it feels more like I am playing an iPhone game double sized.
The sound is quite boring in both games, and I prefer playing my own stuff right away.
Both games can be played over, and over again. In Pandemic 2.5 you can start on any of three different difficulty levels, and three different disease types: bacterial, viral and parasitic. Beating all three types on normal is truly hard, especially parasitic that gets detected quite quickly. Plague Inc. offers three different levels of difficulty, and one initial disease type: bacterial. To unlock the next type you have to eradicate the earth on normal difficulty. This is actually quite hard, and it took me six attempts to beat it. After that you get virus, fungus, parasite, prion, nano-Virus and Bio-Weapon. Where Pandemic 2.5 feels more like a high score game Plague Inc. feels more like a game with progression where skill has to be developed. Both games use Game Center for high scores. The replay value is high for both, but the edge goes to Plague Inc.
And the winner of the most lethal showdown yet is:
Slick presentation combined with gameplay featuring some arcade elements give the newcomer the clear win. Pandemic 2.5 might be an update to the original, but it has a long way to go to be on the same level as Plague Inc. Both games are worth adding to your iOS device if you enjoy the formula, but if you just want one Plague Inc. is the one to get. It is surprising, and somewhat disturbing to experience how much fun killing the population of the Earth can be.
Pandemic 2.5 $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Dark Realm Studios Inc.
Plague Inc. $o.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Ndemic Creations Ltd.