Infect mankind. Eradicate all life. Pray Madagascar doesn't close their port. These three things are the key fundamentals in the sinisterly infectious sequel, Pandemic 2.

After infecting the world with zombies in the non-stop entertainment game Infectonator: World Dominator I decided to take my devious intentions to the next level. Pandemic 2 sponsored by is an intelligent game based around the ideas of complexity realism and an added touch of darkness.

Plus it is REALLY fun.

My initial impression was 'Oh great another game that will suck 30 minutes of my life away and all it has is a cool sound track.' Well I was right about the sound track, but that's about it. This game really stepped up the to plate with the amount of ingenuity and creativity, bringing together several different elements incorporated with strategy games to produce a good product.

Two modes are available, one simplistic one, and one with more realism... Clearly only the one with more realism is worth your time.

Now because I knew this game would be complicated, I didn't bother with the tutorial and just stepped right in. I figure who needs tutorials right?

I was half right.

Users are put in charge of initiating, supporting, and evolving an infectious plague as it spreads across the world. Your first choice is the type of infection; Viral, Bacterial or Parasitic. Each choice has its benefits, be it a faster rate of infection or harder to detect globally, there are several options.

I personally went with the one more like a ninja, since I myself am part ninja.

The world map will jump up with navigation in the top left, under which is a live text box with global news and events. You can see planes flying and ships sailing, and users can also chose to speed up or slow down the rate of the game in the lower right.

There is an option on the first menu to disable music, but man the soundtrack is so perfect who would want to.

Play continues with something called 'Evolution Points'. These points are gathered over time, and the rate is determined by what type of infection you chose at the start. You can use these points to augment certain characteristics of your disease. Everything from whether people sweat when they have it, to if it is an airborne infection can be controlled.

More and more dangerous symptoms can be acquired through upgrading and unlocking with valuable evolution points. It should be noted, getting rid of a symptom also costs points, this is because it makes your infection less noticeable... which is VERY important.

Once you start to spread wide enough, and the death toll begins to climb the game begins to shine with realism.

Countries will start to close their airports. They will keep children home from school. Even go so far as to burn dead bodies, all to stop the spread of infection. Countering this is your primary objective, and as I found, can be accomplished most easily by having few or no symptoms, and being highly resilient to medication.

Just hope that Madagascar doesn't close their seaport before you infect them... it's the only way in.

After a period of time the global community will start to try and develop a vaccine to prevent against the spread of infection. The only solution to this is to be so infectious, and so deadly that you force countries to close hospitals and hope you don't eradicate them all.

But that is exactly what I did.

There is a top score, but considering I don't even know what generates points, it really doesn't serve a purpose. Infecting the world, and ending the human condition is all you should be worried about... that and stupid Madagascar.


Longevity: 5.0/5
Interface: 4.0/5
Addictiveness: 4.0/5
Sound: 4.0/5
Simplicity: 3.5/5

Overall: 4.1/5