Back in August I made mention of a game I’d been playing during all my free quarantine-time, Plague, Inc. It’s a pandemic simulator in which the player’s goal is to actively destroy humanity with a disease; I’d heard of it because its publishers had announced that they were working on a new game mode, The Cure, in which the player instead is spearheading a global fight against a pandemic. It was released yesterday, and I’ve been failing at it since. It’s FREE TO PLAY (apparently), until “Covid-19 is under control”.
Part of the game unfolds as one is used to: tiny red dots slowly fill the globe as a disease breaks out and spreads across the planet, following the lines of transit. This time, though, instead of guiding the plague to different symptoms and increasing potential vectors, the player attempts to thwart the virus by building a response network, imposing quarantines, educating the populace, expanding treatment options, etc. Strong quarantines are an option, but they can backfire just like strong symptoms do in the regular game mode, provoking a counter-response: this time, populaces can start not-complying, and they’ll do so even as the country is collapsing around them from the dead. So far I’ve played five games and…failed 4/5ths of them.
My first attempt was oddly the most effective, despite my not knowing what I was doing: I didn’t even know how to access tools until the game yelled at me to do something before it was too late, and I was slow to explore the various options, so by the time 93 million people were dead, I’d slowly woken up to the fact and and was starting to issue vague announcements that people should you know, wash their hands and stuff. Eventually the plague spread too far and killed too many and I was fired. But hey, we had a vaccine and it was just about to start being distributed!
My second and third attempts also resulted in my being fired, apparently because I was imposing too many strictures and people were still dying. I’ve gotten better at not letting the disease spread, though. I mean, all of Central Asia is dead, and so is South Korea, but they had it coming — noncompliance was at 100%! All I did was close everything and order everyone to stay at home and watch Netflix.
Finally, on my fourth attempt, I managed to not get fired long enough to see the vaccine finished, manufactured, and distributed. It was a close-run thing: I got all the way down to 2% authority before I imposed censorship to stop people from complaining. Those wicked Canadians broke the gag order, but by that time I’d already started shipping vaccines and my authority rose.