Pandemic 2.5 vs. Plague Inc. showdown

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.

Replay value

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:

Plague Inc.

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
Version: 1.o1
Seller: Dark Realm Studios Inc.

Plague Inc. $o.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Version: 1.1
Seller: Ndemic Creations Ltd.

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  • http://www.touchgen.com/ Matt Dunn

    Ah yes… the Dave disease plagues us all…

  • iphoneAPE


  • Bob

    Hopefully pandemic will get an update and some things cause plague inc cannot run on my ipod :(

  • ApPandemic Global

    Plague Inc is probably one of the best games I have played yet on my iPhone, of course second only to PvZ. :) I have some things to say about Plague Inc, and why I love it so much at http://appandemic.blogspot.com/.

  • anon

    i got plague inc for free on google play

  • Anthony

    You have to kill everyone in Plague, Inc. if some survive you haven’t won. Hardly a bug!

  • Martin

    Getting rid of ads and unlocking fast foward costs $0.99.

  • Dooge

    I prefer Universe Pandemic on Google Play way better than both of these.

  • Michael

    But… Pandemic 2.5 didn’t have the edge in any of those. There are several elements of that game which are better than those of Plague Inc., and although I do believe Plague Inc. is the better game, it’s only fair that you list things Pandemic was good in. Especially since Plague Inc was inspired by Pandemic 2…

  • President Madagascar

    BUT Madagascar dosnt SHUT
    in plauge inc

  • erikb85

    Man I hate it when people discuss a certain topic without its key element. What about Madagascar? Is there still that one country in Plague Inc you pretty much not get when you are not starting there?

  • cjgrayso

    For those who think Plague Inc is a clone of Pandemic, here’s a question for you: IS Google’s Android phone a clone of Apple’s iPhone? Steve Job’s thought so. He hauled ‘em into to court over it. But here’s the twist: the iPhone was not the first smartphone. Steve Job’s was inspired by Palm, the first smartphone to combine touchscreen with a cellphone. Job’s saw the potential and he made his version of it. People flocked to it for its clean design and easy functionality. Where Palm was good, iPhone was great.

    The same is true with Plague Inc. over Pandemic. Notice I said “Pandemic” and not Pandemic 2.5. So many people fail to understand that it was the original flash game that programmer/designer James Vaughan was inspired by. He admittedly was inspired by that game and made it cleaner, easier to navigate and better game play. To call it a clone is like calling iPhone a clone to Palm. Or Android a clone to iPhone. Similar? Yes. Clones? No.

  • Neuro the Nuerax Worm

    Yes, Greenland.
    You need Cold II to even so much as spread there, and Extreme Bioaerosol to get there. Not to mention that the population is really spread out, so you’ll spread slowly anyway.

  • SoM

    Pandemic Original*
    If you listen to an interview with James , you’ll hear him say that he wrote down things that could make Pandemic better, then realised that he had a Game design in front of him.

  • Neuro the Nuerax Worm

    Greenland does :/

  • New Guinea Is Actually Clean

    lol i killed both madagascar and greenland, died out to new guinea

  • John KP

    Theres a game called Infection nowadays on iPhone, and the old flash game Pandemic 2, so I doubt I will buy this.

  • lepusfelix

    Or just go waterborne level 1, cold resistance level 1. A ship from Norway or US will take it there, and it’ll spread, slowly but surely. Cold 2 will make it go crazy. I’ve never used extreme bioaerosol even once.

  • Trae Graves

    dam Canada is a B*** with zombies, along with Sweden, but New Zealand is the worst

  • TheUnknownGamerS

    i found that infecting greenland is the hardest fucking thing in plague inc
    i drives me nuts as i have infected everybody outside greenland, my plague hasnt been noticed yet and grrenland is still not fucking infected!