Infect as many people as possible before humanity finds a cure.
Plague Inc. is an eerie pathogen simulator that lets you become a deadly disease set out to infect everyone on Earth. Players start off by picking a country, trying to evolve their pathogen from a nonlethal disease into a highly infectious epidemic capable of ending life as we know it. Players earn DNA points by infecting more countries, which they can use to add certain attributes to their pathogen, such as the ability able to spread via animals or cause more deadly symptoms like organ failure and insanity.
Plague Inc. highlights the different ways that diseases can spread depending on environmental factors and specific countries’ economic status. For example, evolving your pathogen to survive in warm water will increase the likelihood that it will infect those in humid areas. Less developed countries have a harder time fighting off the disease while richer countries scramble to find a cure. Just as real-life pathogens often evolve to counter humanity’s efforts to eradicate it, the player must do the same in Plague Inc. in order to survive. In-game CDC announcements and news headlines pop up during play, giving feedback on how the players’ pathogen is faring.
Multiple pathogens and strategies for infecting the world encourage players to explore different styles of play and strategies each time they play. They can start out at a remote part of the Earth, slowly moving undetected to the rest of the planet or to quickly evolve in a higher populated area trying to cause as much chaos early on as possible. The more you play Plague Inc., the more you learn, sometimes without even realizing it.
Plague Inc. developer James Vaughan presented the game at the CDC as a potential tool to teach the public about outbreaks and disease transmission. He also spoke at the 10th Anniversary Games for Change Festival.