Monday, January 28, 2013

Plague Inc. and The Mirror Lied

Today I'm going to be reviewing two vastly different games. One is for iOS/Android, and the other is for the PC.

Plague Inc.

If you have a smartphone, chances are you've at least heard of this strategy game. It's a title released by Ndemic Creations, which only has one person--impressive, to say the least! The game has you beginning a plague that is meant to wipe out the entirety of civilisation as we know it. You can choose how your plague behaves by spending DNA points, currency you earn by infecting countries, on various attributes. You decide how your plague is spread, its symptoms, and how it reacts to medication and lab research.

To say the game is a little morbid would be an understatement, but to say it's a little addictive would be the same. B13 and I have been having a blast with this game. It requires careful planning on the gamer's part, especially in the later stages, and though it can get frustrating at times, wiping out the entirety of the population is scarily satisfying, when you're able to do it.

 Plague Inc. has three difficulty modes: casual, normal and brutal, and 7 different plague types, ranging from a simple bacteria all the way to a bio-weapon, and you can unlock different genes to customise your plague with. For a $1 app store game, it is extremely versatile and great for any type of player.

The game also features an eerie, haunting soundtrack, and a stylish interface. It's surprising, to say the least, that all of this was done by one person. There are also a couple of humorous Easter eggs that you can find if you have the right combination of symptoms.

The Mirror Lied

This little oddity (or "experimental pretention", as the game's creator likes to call it) was created by Freebird Games--the same lovely folks who made the masterpiece To the Moon. It's what I would call a post-modern fairy tale, in that nothing is as it seems and anything you take away from it will be your own to decide. It's created, again, with the RPGMaker engine, thus it is a top-down view, and shares stylistic similarities with To the Moon. Nothing is directly told to you, and the interpretation is up to you.

You play as a young girl named Leah. One day, a bird flies over the roof of your house. The game begins from there.

You can interact with just about anything in the game and collect items as you explore. The game only takes place in the house, and it would seem that time passes every time you execute an action that's integral to the plot. Keep an eye on the various pictures throughout the game.

I won't go on much further about the game itself. It's very short, lasting no more than forty-five minutes if you really stretch it out. It features beautiful, catchy music that seems to sum up the game as a whole: a childlike music box theme with a dark undertone. It's a bit confusing on the surface, but the game will give you everything you need to succeed. Take a half hour and a cup of tea and give it a play to see what I mean.

Before I go, I'd like to give a little shout out to Daniel Albu, the creator of Square Madness. He has a new game out for Androids called MemAudio. Unfortunately I only have an iPhone, and the same goes for B13, so neither of us are able to play it. If you can, though, you definitely should, and please let me know how it is!

I've been playing through Ni No Kuni in my spare time lately, so I haven't been playing as many indie games as I'd like, hence I'm reviewing an iOS game and a short one this week. If you have any other little games you'd like me to try out in the next few weeks, as usual, send me a comment or a message. I'd love to play them!


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