Hopefully, Life Will Soon Imitate Art
Ndemic, the publisher and developer of disease simulator Plague Inc, has been hard at work for quite a while. The game has seen adjustments and additions before, most notably the addition of anti-vaxxers as a buff for your plague, but it’s about to get a whole new expansion: one dedicated to saving humanity rather than destroying it. The devs worked with health experts around the world to create Plague Inc: The Cure, which they hope will provide a bit of hope in these trying times. Founder James Vaughan describes the new mode as “…an engaging and timely simulation which lets players explore the issues that humanity faces when trying to stop a global pandemic.”
The original game tasks players with managing the spread and development of a pandemic. The Cure instead places you in charge of the global pandemic response. You’ll send research teams to try and find Patient Zero, track the spread of the outbreak, support local responses, and boost your testing capacity. There’s a wide variety of possible measures you can take in your struggle to contain the disease, including contract tracing, lockdowns, and border closures to try and halt the spread of the pandemic.
Your most difficult obstacle, however, will probably be PR. It’s not enough to just design pandemic response measures: you also need to get people to agree with them. As we’ve seen in real life, all the plans in the world won’t matter if people don’t listen to the experts. Richard Hatchett, the CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), had this to say about the project: “Games like Plague Inc: The Cure represent an incredibly important medium for education and public awareness that can be used to show the world the steps needed to address similar global health threats and their associated complexities.”
Plague Inc: The Cure is available now for free on the App Store and Google Play, and will soon be available on PC. It will remain free until COVID is “under control.” We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we hope this game doesn’t stay free much longer.