29
Aug
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After 20 minutes of playing Bio Inc., I feel like a horrible, horrible person. Poor John Smith was already overweight, a chronic fast food eater, and a compulsive smoker, and I went out of my way to target his respiratory system. I gave him lung cancer. I gave him bronchitis. And when his doctors realized something was wrong, I went after his ticker and gave him angina, then a full-on heart attack. But that's kind of the point of Bio Inc.: you are everything medically wrong with the world, and it's you're job to kill the patient by any means necessary.

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To achieve this you collect "bio points," which the game labels as viruses and bacteria, but which are really just randomly spawning collectibles. Accumulate a few and you can give your patient some rather typical ailments, like chronic stress or a particularly bad flu. Get a few more and you can inflict some major illness, lowering the effectiveness of a particular body system. You can unlock more powerful diseases and conditions with more bio points, or sabotage your patient with risk factors like overeating, hereditary weaknesses, or just plain bad luck. You have to keep up you attack on a variety of fronts - even with total nervous system failure or a heart attack, those pesky doctors and nurses can keep a patient alive.

Bio Inc. goes out of its way to present the player with real diseases and risk factors, or at least as "real" as they get in gaming terms - I recognized pretty much everything in there from my EMT training. The screenshots might remind you of Plague Inc., but that's not really a fair comparison - in this game you're going after a single person, and the surprisingly personal attack makes it oddly disturbing. After all, everyone likes to play the world-conquering villain on occasion, but killing a single (simulated) human being with real disease is... creepy. I think the worst part is the little painful grunts and wheezes the patient responds with on occasion.

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Bio Inc. - Biomedical Plague is a free download, and a single $1 in-app purchase removes advertising. There are no energy schemes or in-app currencies, just a series of increasingly difficult "levels" ranging from gadget blogger overweight layabout to Artem Russakovskii immortal superman.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • John Smith

    I tried to work out... but the chips and beer were too compelling to give up

  • Tyler

    The developer rated his own app five stars, twice. Nice.

    • rolo143

      That's just a stupid as liking your own status on Facebook. Lol.

      • Aaron

        Or up voting your own replies on Disqus.

        • rolo143

          I know right? That's pretty stupid.

          • rolo143

            ^ (Notice that I upvoted my own reply, just to show you how stupid it looks) XD

          • HellG
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    • Paul-André Belle-Isle

      Of course i'll like my own game! this isn't stupid. It's because google need some 5 stars votes and comments for the search engine to get higher rank. Right now if you search for bio inc in google play, you wont even find us in the first, and in my book, THIS is stupid ;)

      • doofesohr

        Will it get compatible with the Nexus 5? Play Store tells me it's not :(

        • Paul-André Belle-Isle

          working on it right now.. should be on in 2-3 hours

          • George Barff

            can you please make it so that if you make your guy obese...the silhouette becomes fat too....i was expecting that as i clicked the option, but then the body is the same.

          • Paul-André Belle-Isle

            You are not the first to ask for this!! We will try in a next update ;)

  • Movi

    So it's just a Plague Inc. clone?

    • j

      Reading. Try it.

      • http://www.scottcolbert.com/ ScottColbert

        I've read it, and played it a bit, it IS very much like Plague, Inc in terms of gameplay, if not goal.

    • Android Developer

      it is similar, but I like it nevertheless.
      I think the gameplay is much faster. you will probably not spend more than half an hour per level...
      But it is quite hard too.

    • Ikny

      No, it's a Pandemic clone. Just like Plague Inc

  • Jinghuang Lim

    A free game with the only in-app purchase existing solely to remove the advertisement is always welcomed onto my phone

    • Android Developer

      I thought I was the only one that does this:
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lb.app_manager

      • Android Developer

        Hey I removed the comment I wrote and it became a guest comment.
        Anyway, ignore this post

    • Android Developer

      not only removal of ads, but also ability to fast forward.

      • Jinghuang Lim

        Yea I played it and the speed is still acceptable without fast-forwarding. Way harder than plague inc IMO

        • Android Developer

          True.

    • Chase Mooneyham

      For now. :-

  • Big Tony

    This game looks pretty awesome. Plague Inc is one of my favorites so this game will definitely be welcomed to my collection. If I like it I'll throw the dev a buck. Cheap for good entertainment.

  • Android Developer

    The symbol is of curing disease, but the game is the opposite...
    It's as if it was a war game with the symbol of peace...

    • Toboe

      Actually the usage of that staff (Caduceus) originates in the US-Armed forces[1], the "traditional" one (Asclepius) wouldn't be winged and have only one snake.[2]

      The Caduceus (2 snakes + wings) is actually associated with Hermes, who was patron of commerce and traders as well as thieves, liars, and gamblers.

      Also it seems (according to [1]) that in the USA scientific-medically minded organisations are more likely to use the Asclepius (wingless, 1 snake) where as more economically minded organisations are more likely to use the Caduceus (2 snakes + wings).

      So, a disease as bio-weapon, the sign of US-Armed forces medical corps...

      And yeah, i totally had to google "snake staff medicine" to find out what those are called.

      [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus_as_a_symbol_of_medicine
      [2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_of_Asclepius

      • Android Developer

        Actually, the first one (that I know of) was from the bible and called "Nehushtan" . In Hebrew, it's "נחש הנחושת" , which means a "bronze snake".
        The story is that is healed anyone (from snake bites) who just looked at it.
        When searching for it, I also see a snake with wings around a poll.
        So, it's about healing...
        It's a very known global symbol of healing. You can even search for images of "healing symbol", and see it amongst other stuff (of far cultures, perhaps) ...

        But it's good to know that too, so thanks.

        • Paul-André Belle-Isle

          A lot of people mistake the Caduceus and the Staff of Asclepius ;) We searched a lot on the subject when we created the logo! We didnt use the Asclepius as it's the official medecine symbol and used the Caduceus as it got a more darker history. :)

  • GameRadio

    Good game. Played it on ipad. Glad to see it on android.

  • Đức Thành

    Playing. It's actually a pretty good way to alarm people of how much of a slob they are being how that affects their health and scare people into doing something to prevent things like this from happening to them. Well I doubt that was the original intention of the developer, but pretty fun game nevertheless.

  • Paul

    Name the patient Adolf Hitler and it'll help, also makes you that much more determined to "win". Just search for histories worst killers and name your patients after them.

    • Avalos

      Yeah... I named my first few "victims" after friends and it felt *really* weird...

      • Big Tony

        Try naming them after ex-girlfriends, it kind of liberating...

  • James F

    Awww I was hoping we could tie it in by turning him into a sex addict!

  • Android Developer

    Can anyone tell me what does the "unlucky" upgrade do in the game?
    All it says is "A person who is unlucky is subjected to or marked by misfortune".
    What does it really do?

    • Jdban

      Randomly something will happen like "John got hypertension" and you'll get a free disease. I assume the unluckiness will help with that.

      If you upgrade placebo and poison, instead of stuff like "John took vitamins" it will say "John took a placebo" and "John took expired vitamins.

      I didn't notice a difference with placebo/poison, but maybe there is one.

      • Android Developer

        I also assumed it, but I didn't notice it really happening...

        About the placebo/poison, I also didn't notice the difference. The increment rate of the treatment seems the same to me for all of those upgrades.
        I even thought that poison makes it go backwards or make a random system of the body to worsen in its conditions, as, well, poison is bad for your health...

  • sweenish

    Latest update kept the app, and thus my tablet, awake all night. Killed my battery.

    Interesting concept, but I don't need to deal with this kind of brokenness.

  • hocestquisumus

    So it's Plague Inc., only a little different?

  • Robb Nunya

    This is very much a more personal Plague Inc. Decent game so far.