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Pandemic II

rated 4.43 / 5 stars
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Simulation - Other

Credits & Info

Jul 14, 2008 | 4:57 PM EDT
  • Frontpaged July 14, 2008
  • Weekly Users' Choice July 16, 2008
  • Daily Feature July 15, 2008

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Author Comments

Big News: Pandemic 2.5 is in development for iPhones everywhere! Find out more on my site!

Finally after months of development and balancing and testing, Pandemic II is here! I've tried my very best to ensure the game has surpassed the original in every possible way. Now its up to you to evolve your disease, infect mankind and kill them all!

**updated to version 1.16: bug fixes and tweaks based on user reviews**

Online guide and tutorial videos are available from with in the game, and it is HIGHLY recommended you watch the video tutorials.

edit: Thanks to the staff of NEWGROUNDS for the front page!!

Special thanks to the great guys at Crazy Monkey Games for sponsorship. And special thanks to Globex Designs for the music. Developed by Dark Realm Studios.



Rated 3.5 / 5 stars


Interesting concept and reasonably original, this has the potential to be an absolutely brilliant game. However, as the reviewer 'MegaUltraTron' pointed out down below, there are some major flaws that need adressing:

- Deaths don't seem to have any purpose to the game, you don't get more evolutionary points for killing people. You can infect the world with a harmless disease and countries will act the same way as if it was a fatal disease. That does make sense because there's a chance the virus might mutate, but there doesn't seem to be any point of causing deaths in the game at the moment.

- The visibility thing definately needs looking at, a parasite with practically no visiblity and only 100 infections or so can still result in closed borders if you leave it long enough. This ruined the game to an extent because it didn't allow for a "stealth" in vasion.

- Evolutionary points, I think you can come up with a better idea than to use these. For a start they seem to be pretty random when increasing, as I said earlier they don't increase for deaths. They are entirely responsible for making the game boring, it's no fun to sit there waiting for more points when there's nothing else I can do. For the 3rd game I think you should definately consider replacing this whole system.

- There are numourous more features you could potentially add to the game which it's really lacking in. At the moment the player watches the main screen and occasionally clicks a few buttons, involving a lot of waiting around. I don't need to give you ideas to expand, I'm sure you can come up with some.

That aside, excellent game, just work on the AI, then work on expanding, and you'll have a great 3rd title (if you make it).


Rated 3.5 / 5 stars


Cool game. Except for the fact that you spend 90% of the time just waiting. There should be more to the game than just choosing symptoms, resistances, etc.

Now I'm gonna make a virus that infects the entire world population and gives everyone diarrhea.

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Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Lacks sufficient feedback mechanisms.

This is a really cool sim and all, and as an Edutainment title, it sure teaches the player a lot of symptom terminology. But it's not very much fun to play as a game.

The main problem is, the game lacks proper feedback mechanisms to inform the player as to what's going on. This stuff could be happening at random, and a lot of it probably is, but if I don't have any way of knowing it. I have no clue why I earn evolution points at a given rate or how a low visibility rating helps me.

Is low visibility only good at preventing the initial detection? Infection seems straightforward enough, but does "the government started killing rats" mean rats no longer work as a vector in that country? Or do one or two rats still slip through, as in real-life, and bite someone, regardless of the government's best efforts?

Abstracting complex real-world events down to numbers is fine, all computer games need to do that. But further abstracting the numbers into colorful textual descriptions just makes the interface too nebulous. I understand how to click all the buttons, that part of the interface is super. It's just that I have no clue what clicking any particular button will DO. I mean, what they REALLY do, in terms of gameplay.

What does "Almost undetectable mean?" Is "Spotted in America" different from "Comes to America?" How deadly is "Very deadly?" I chose every deadly-sounding teir III and IV attribute I could afford, but it still only filled the meter 1/3 of the way up. If they would just show me the XP cost and the ammount of Visibility and Lethality, as *raw numbers,* maybe I'd have a chance as a gamer. But as things are, there's not enough feedback to develop a successful strategy.

Even with zero visible symptoms, they still notice me on the third day. Even with zero deaths, they still seal up their borders and pour their GNP into developing a vaccine for me. WTF?

I tried being highly infectious and resistant and spreading only through obscure vectors like rats and air. I was able to turn the whole world red in this manner, and I even developed immunity to the vaccine, but then I stopped getting evolution points, so I couldn't evolve any deadly symptoms. After watching my 1ep sit there motionless for a few weeks, I quit the game and tried again.

I tried being as deadly as possible and as stealthy as possible, but that led to what seemed like slower evolution (or maybe it just felt slower because the other build path was cheaper, I dunno,) and I did mannage to kill some people, but then the vaccine worked and I couldn't spread any further. They don't say Game Over or anything, they just tell you that you're pwned and the game keeps running.

(Madagascar is fucking cheap, BTW. They close their borders at the drop of a hat, and even Moisture Resistance IV + Waterborne isn't enough to get you across the ocean.)

As intriguing as this concept is, I just don't feel motivated to play the game, because I have no idea what I'm doing. Some kinda particles or other effect would be nice to show how exactly our virus is spreading from nation to nation. This would make it easier to see at a glance which tactics work better than others.

I also don't understand why the tutorial had to be on YouTube, which means it's "No Longer Availible" for some reason. Which is odd, because you can still play it and you get sound, but the screen is too dark to really see what's going on. Would it kill Blips to type all that up and put it on a website? Or better yet, directly into the swf?

Ultimately, playing the game feels pointless. Much like the original Sim City, you'll think you are doing well, but then all of a sudden, player growth drops off with no real visible cause, so you can't see your glorious plan through to completion. Maybe the "realistic" mode is better, but I've seen the "fast" version of the game lock itself up into unwinnable states, so why would I want to try playing the game even slower?

Great concept. But the gameplay just isn't fun. It needs better feedback to the player.

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Rated 3.5 / 5 stars


For everyone, this is a strategy game. Where you can plot out your disease's killing points, plotting out the people's weak points.
For me, It's a torture game. You are basically crafting out the single most deadly disease on the earth, and you can choose each of the illnesses...It's almost like being a god!
However, there are a few kicks:

Controlling the map is very hard, but they fixed that issue in the sequel
'Pandemic Swine Flu'. ( Of course it's only one country, so I doubt it will work on a whole world map)

There is always the fact that this game is unbeatable in a incredibly frustrating manner. You first have to make sure your disease is as low visibility as possible- then swoop in and attach all of your evolution points to the most deadliest symptoms and the world will forever more be free of humans.
But, the Countries will instantly catch you as soon as you manage to get your disease out of the beginning country, they then close down all transport between the other nations; Which leaves the almost funny thought of one country filled with dead people or people gone insane from your disease, and on the border of that country is filled with happy smiling people who are not concerned with your virus and have seemigly found a cure to every illness known to man: DESTROY THE TRAVELING SYSTEMS TO OTHER COUNTRIES!

This game is a great simulator, but is ruined by a incredibly difficult task; in fact, trying to do dance dance revolution on hard with a keyboard is about the same difficulty.


Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Nice game. Made my group's best Timekiller list.

Cool concept, but I don't like the vector model. If the remaining countries have healthy people and all they do is close the borders, its not going to help against the rodents and insects. You always end up with a few immune countries. Besides, once the droughts and earthquakes hit, you would think the containment measures would be less effective. Especially since when the dying starts there will be throngs of people pushing to get into the healthy zone. All those military people holding the border of an infected region? Well, they're not just going to lay down and die of painful butt-sores. They're going to invade the healthy places. Madagascar wouldn't last 20 seconds.

Anyway, I was frustrated because the concept was cool, and it just didn't go far enough for me. Keep workin!

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