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Pandemic 2.5 Review

By , on May 9, 2012


Pandemic 2.5
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Traits system encourages experimentation; provides efficient means of specializing your disease.
  • Madagascar no longer shuts everything down if so much as a sneeze occurs half-way around the world.
  • The rare opportunity to annihilate the world through the power of disease.

CONS

  • No Save/Continue option; progress lost if backgrounding fails.
  • Interface does not show closures correctly or as they happen; lacks a lot of important information.
  • Important notifications scroll as fast as non-important; no way to track anything you've missed.

VERDICT

For fans of Pandemic 2 (and I know there are a lot of you), Pandemic 2.5 is exactly what you could have expected of a port of the title to the iOS. Unfortunately the opportunity to refine and address playability issues was not taken, leaving newer players more than a little lost and confused.


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It's a strange thing, but some may know the meme, but not the game that was responsible for creating it - I am of course referring to Pandemic II by Dark Realm Studios. Even if you were half way around the world, Madagascar closed its borders if it heard you had a runny nose. The developer is back, this time in iOS form, to bring its infamous infection simulator to the masses, adding in a few tweaks to make it a worthwhile purchase for returning fans.

Your task is simple - infect and destroy humanity with the deadliest plague ever. You can choose between starting as a bacterium, virus or parasite - each have their own basic traits and access to different symptoms, changing how the game progresses.

For those familiar with the original, there's little in the way of introduction required for Pandemic 2.5 and the biggest change you'll need to deal with is the re-ordering of each upgrade in to new categories - 'Symptoms', 'Supports', and 'Traits'. If you have enough spare 'genes' - a currency earned by infecting new people - you can upgrade and add to your gene 'length', unlocking new tiers and potentially powerful abilities.

Unfortunately for newer players the game is not so easy to grasp and while the 'instructions' do try to describe the basics, it's quite likely you'll fail terribly until you pick up nuances important to surviving the country of origin, let alone with world.

This becomes even more frustrating when you face other design flaws such as the inability to directly save progress (a huge set-back for the long games that can occur); stalemates continue to occur with disturbing frequency; and it's all too easy to miss important notifications scrolling on the bottom of the screen as there's no communication log.

On the plus-side, Madagascar is no longer the most problematic country to infect and should you perform difficult feats you'll be rewarded with 'traits' that provide powerful benefits to your plague, placing your closer to worldwide annihilation.

For fans, this is an easy game to recommend, but if you're new to the series, check out the free Flash title first to see if it clicks with you.

Screenshots

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