Bio Inc. Review (iOS)
Videogame developers these days are rather crafty. They often lure you into their game by giving you an idea of the story and gameplay. Sometimes the game may have a twist or even a dark side which then would draw you in even further. Well, Bio Inc.’s developers are that crafty that their twist immediately repulsed me and created that car crash moment where I could do nothing but rush straight into the game. Developed by DryGin Studios, Bio Inc. is a bio-medical strategy game that hopes to appeal to gamers who liked Plague Inc. The objective in Bio Inc. however, is to kill off one person rather than the entire world. The twist that immediately grabs you is that it is implied that you might be playing the role of an evil doctor who is actively infecting his patient to kill him!
Bio Inc.’s gameplay / story is very clinical (see what I did there?). Players are presented with a patient and given a synopsis of his health. You can also toggle between various views of the patient that highlight various parts of his body. Among these, the renal view shows the kidneys and other organs, circulatory the heart, veins and arteries and the nervous system shows just that. Viral infections then start to appear and the player must then switch between the views to find and collect them by tapping on the wee nasties. Collecting these infections generates bio points which are then used to “buy” infections and conditions that will affect your patient. Infections need to be built up before you can get to any of the biggies and your patient needs to be at some sort of risk. For example, if your patient is overweight and eats junk food, you can go for the heart. But before you dive into giving them a heart attack you need to start with hypertension and then move onto angina and a few other conditions before reaching the big H.A. After a certain time doctors will start to treat the patient and the object of the game becomes to kill off the patient before he becomes fully recovered (represented by a percentage scale). To help you in your morbid quest, bio points can also be spent on things other than infections. It is possible to give the patient a fear of doctors, have strikes that slow treatment down and even have the hospital misdiagnose conditions. This also forms part of the strategy element of Bio Inc. as you need to keep your attacks varied to avoid a quick recovery. It’s all very well that you shut down the patients kidney function but that can be easily treated; combining this with giving them severe anxiety and going after the heart will confuse doctors and ultimately end one way – a visit from the boney dude who carries a scythe.
Bio Inc. is a very macabre affair. Where games like Plague Inc. have the idea that whilst you are playing as the virus, the response from the world follows WHO (World Health Organisation) policy and is kind of educational in highlighting why we have certain controls and how easily certain viruses can spread. Bio Inc. has no such good intentions. It is a pure strategy game – destroy the thing in front of you with your arsenal before the A.I. stops you – it just so happen that the “thing” you’re trying to destroy is a human and your arsenal includes things like cancer, strokes and dementia. Adding to the macabre nature of the game is the thought that all this may be the doing of an evil doctor whom you are controlling. I have been wrestling with the idea of whether all the things you do in Bio Inc. could be carried out by an evil genius doctor and the answer is scarily, yes. You would imagine that he would have preyed on his patient and planned everything for a while before he started. The theme of the game even runs through to the stages where instead of being labelled numerically or by difficulty, they describe the patient instead. With the stages being labelled things like Unhealthy, Hypochondriac and Unstable I’m surprised they didn’t change the “Choose Stage” screen to read “Choose your Victim”.
While the content of the Bio Inc. is very Hammer House of Horror like the game is built on solid foundations. It looks crisp and clean; the views of the patient look realistic and the disease selection sections are reminiscent of the excellent menu screens from Plague Inc. The mechanic of scouring the body to collect infections also works well and adds a test of speed to the game (infections are not worth as many bio points if not collected straight away and disappear altogether after a while), whilst the progression and costs of the diseases and conditions allow for well-planned strategies. So whilst giving someone a stroke or lung cancer will not be for everyone, those with a taste for the macabre and love of strategy games should check out Bio Inc. If you dare muwuhahahahahahahaha!
3.5 evil genius doctors out of 5Bio Inc. Review (iOS),