If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Have You Played… Plague Inc: Evolved?

The only game in existence where Greenland is your nemesis

Plague Inc: Evolved is a game about killing off the human race with a disease. Billions of human beings are boiled down to numbers of healthy, infected, and dead, allowing players to neatly sidestep the potential well of moral turmoil that such subject matter invites (especially in these times), and instead focus on evolving their plague.

It's a fairly challenging little strategy game that can be played out in the span of perhaps 10 minutes. And, strangely, it's just about the only strategy game I routinely play where I haven't the slightest desire to get any better at it.

There's a surprising amount of complexity in the systems of Plague Inc. In most cases, evolving your disease is a delicate balancing act. You'll generally want to maximise your creation's infectiousness first, before suddenly cranking up the lethality once you've passed the point of no return. This change has to come at just the right moment, though. Too early and you risk wiping out all your hosts, preventing further transmission. Too late, and the humans will likely develop a cure before you have time to reach your goal of total genocide.

Another thing to think about is that there are various different manners of spreading each disease. Countries that border one another are obviously vulnerable to transmission of the disease, but other countries are islands that can only be reached via plane or ship. And if a country gets too jumpy about the potential severity of your plague, then they'll close off their ports, stopping you from infecting them.

Incidentally: fuck you, Greenland, with your one port that you close the instant anyone so much as sneezes in Australia.

But anyway, there's a startling depth to Plague Inc, and to this day I don't understand why I've never felt any desire to look up different tips or strategies to see how I can do things better. Generally, I win about half the time, and lose the other half. And I've no idea what I do differently each time which results in a win or a loss. I'm sure reasons do exist, but I have no interest in finding them. I think it might just be that I play Plague Inc. Evolved not as a strategy game, but as an experience. I adore the sinister, dreadful atmosphere of the game, from the darkly organic soundtrack to the ominous spread of red across the planet. It's quite calming, in what is probably a very twisted way.

Of course, the moment I stop and thinking about what I'm doing, it's pretty bleak and horrible, and the effect is of course compounded by the current real-life pandemic. Fortunately, the game is almost always enjoyable and engaging enough to distract me from its subject matter. And let's not forget that at its heart it's also a pretty powerful educational tool that sheds new light on the topic of disease and infection with its unique perspective. There's a reason why Plague Inc saw such an enormous surge in popularity early last year.

About the Author

Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is known round these parts for having the deepest voice in existence. Some say he used to be quite good at Rocket League. His favourite pastime is burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

Comments

We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More Features

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch