Plague Inc [$0.99] is a strategy title from Ndemic Creations with a pretty dark goal: launch a disease somewhere in the world and slowly infect the population, eventually infecting the entire world and eradicating humanity.

Sure, it’s just a video game, but there’s something about it that gets under your skin. First it’s fascination as you watch your creation spread and the number of infected skyrocket, then a sense of awe and sadness as that number slowly begins to reflect the number of deceased by your own doing. We pretty much cover it all in our review.

It can be unsettling playing Plague Inc, but also hugely satisfying due to the many different ways you can go about accomplishing your goal. You control the evolution of your plague, its resilience, and the manner in which it spreads by way of various upgrade trees.

There are 7 different kinds of plagues in the game, and as Ndemic has revealed there’s a special new plague called the Neurax Worm coming in the next update. If you’re curious what this worm does, well, it burrows into the brain of its host and is able to take control over their bodies. Sounds pretty unpleasant.

The Neurax Worm option will come with new infection behaviors and new options for evolution. Since it can control the minds of its hosts, a new feature called Trojan Planes allows you to get a host to fly to the country of your choosing and begin infections. There will also be more ways to win besides just eradicating humanity, and new graphics and sounds to accompany the Neurax Worm.

There is a tiny catch: you’ll have to have beaten the game on Brutal difficulty in order to unlock the new Neurax Worm content for free. Alternately, you can purchase it for 99¢. Seems like a good idea, offering a paid expansion pack but having the ability to earn it for free by accomplishing a goal in the game. I like that.

Whether you buy the new expansion or not, there is still a ton of stuff in this update that all players will receive, including new events and achievements, an improved interface, better graphics and AI, Twitter and Facebook integration, and a host of other tweaks and fixes.

Plague Inc is one of those strangely compelling titles. There’s not a ton of interaction while you’re watching your plague overtake the world, but the choices that you’re given and how you utilize your resources are crucial for success.

If you think you can live through the guilt of murdering billions of people through devious and likely painful ways, then make sure you check out Plague Inc and keep an eye out for the Neurax Worm update which has already been submitted to Apple and should be coming soon.

  • tahenry

    I love this game, even if that makes me cruel, but there is a side effect. After playing you'll have an overwhelming feeling to watch Contagion.

    • http://twitter.com/ktern Brady

      that's actually a symptom :)

    • http://twitter.com/TheCFS1 Carl Fredrik

      Hehe, I know. I watched it before, and as soon as I started this game, I instantly thought of the movie, and matter of fact, watched it again. Also played the game with Contagion soundtrack :)

  • Faeryan

    Sweet! I kinda got tired of this game after having played it straight for like a week.
    Good thing we're getting new stuff. Pretty sure this will re-spark my interest for eradicating the world of all humans.

  • http://twitter.com/TomateDiseno Tomate Diseño

    Anyone been able to get past the first "level" and unlock the other diseases without a purchase? I've tried starting in different countries, various strategies of quiet infection over fatality, I've been within 95% of global eradication, but never the whole shebang.

    • ducksFANjason

      Start in Greenland (as it's one of the hardest to infect being cold and isolated) and make sure you upgrade your infecitivity ONLY for a while. The idea is to get your plague to spread without it being noticed and upgrading severity and lethality make it too noticeable. Meanwhile you should try to stockpile DNA for later whenever you can. Once you've infected a majority of the world's population (I usually wait until I hit about 80% or so) upgrade it's severity and lethality. Systemic shock, paralysis & coma are instant wins as they are incredibly lethal and slow the cure process tremendously. Most of all, just be patient.

      • James Vaughan

        Of course - these tactics won't work for the Neurax Worm ;)

      • ducksFANjason

        Let's hope not. I'd like to have a truly different feeling plague with that :-)

      • MidianGTX

        Good! The one thing stopping me from buying the game was the single, easy route to success. I'm sure there are several ways, but I heard "start in Greenland" so many times it started to make the amount of options seem pretty slim.

      • James Vaughan

        You absolutely don't need to start in greenland - I never do. It isn't even in the most popular 10 places to start from actually :P

      • MidianGTX

        Ah, interesting. Maybe it was a small misconception that went around the forum at some point... I definitely remember seeing it as a "protip" in several places. Looks like I need to buy the game now!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=786119387 Joe Anderson

        I like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, for places that are well connected. Or Russia, Norway,if I want to hit Greenland early, starting in Greenland is bad for the same reason that it is hard to get there, it is so isolated that it will not spread quickly.

  • ducksFANjason

    Awesome news. I really like the option to unlock for free OR pay to unlock now. Very cool idea!

    • James Vaughan

      Glad you like it - I had to choose between a major new plague type (paid expansion) or a smaller, minor new plague type (free update)
      For the Neurax Worm, I made it big enough to count as a paid expansion - will be interesting to see how players take to it!

  • Pray4Mantis

    Plague is clearly a Pandemic clone. Pandemic was/is a flash game I used to play years before the app store. I hope it's the same guys :S

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000474676350 Jaime Coston

      This game fixes and improves a lot of the issues with Pandemic in such a way that Plague Inc comes out the much better game. This coming from a person who not only played the old Flash game but also owns the [Pandemic] Board game as well! Honestly, I can't see how anyone can complain about this being a "clone"; if anything this is how you're supposed to properly "clone" a game, by making it better than the original! To me there is more than enough to make this more than a clone but a much improved and better game than the one that inspires it!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=786119387 Joe Anderson

        The pandemic boardgame is a very different game, it is cooperative, the players are different medical specialists and are trying to treat, contain and cure 4 different epidemics that break out in the world simultaneously. Same theme but opposite gameplay. I really like it and a new edition is coming out this year in a much bigger print run.
        Both games have an intense, "am I going to make it" feeling with multiple ways that you can lose but only one way to win.

  • witedahlia

    I love this game. I like to name my plague after myself and watch myself take out the world.

  • drloony

    Well of course I'm hoping I can beat the game on Brutal to unlock the new virus, have pretty much mastered normal and all the plauge types. If I cant do that, I think I might buy it. This sounds like a pretty major update though, for an already fantastic game. Yes it may be a copy of Pandemic, but when they do it so much better you have to forgive that, otherwise you'd be stuck with a far inferior version, which I don't even touch anymore, because I have this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000474676350 Jaime Coston

      I have to agree!

  • DecafTable

    The game is sorely lacking. It's boring nature is evident in the the few ways in which you win. Continually degrading symptoms and just waiting for complete spread before unloading tons of lethality leave me turned off. Although there's a lot to do, only a few strategies are worth emlploying.

  • http://twitter.com/TheCFS1 Carl Fredrik

    Anyone else having issues with the achievements? I have beat the game on brutal, and unlocked the cheats, but only gotten some of the achievements. Most achievements aren't being unlocked. Tips?

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.a.murphy.1 Stephanie Anne Murphy

    I have an android phone with Plague fully updated. Still no neurax worm. I've completed all the other disease types on brutal and paid for the full copy so I have genetic mutations and can fast forward the game play. All I want is the damn neurax worm!! When is it coming to android??