Any government official in a war-torn place can tell you how stressful it is to deal with insurrection and restore some semblance of peace and order to the people, and now, thanks to the makers of Plague Inc., you can experience one very particular area of that stress for yourself.
Using the same formula as the hit strategy sim game, the new entry puts you in charge of an operation to squash a rebel insurgency and put things right in your region. Whether you want to accomplish that as a level-headed leader, a people-pleasing friend to your constituents, or an iron-fisted dictator is all up to how you play.
There are a number of government officials and regions to choose from, along with three difficulty levels. All of this is unlocked from the beginning in the paid version, whereas free players will have to clear the easiest game mode to build up from it. Each region comes with its own quirks, and the three difficulty levels change how easy it is to garner citizen support and how much backing and starting presence the rebel faction has.
Those who download this looking for another Plague Inc. are pretty much right on the money. While there's seemingly nothing to mimic the boost-changing mutation system, everything else will seem pretty familiar to Plague Inc. veterans. You go into a special menu and use money earned by operations on the map to greenlight new initiatives.
Like Plague Inc., you have a ticking time bomb on your hands; rather than Cure, you're dealing with Reputation. You can engage your citizens to make it drop more slowly, but the rebel faction runs deep, and there's no way to stop them from inevitably winning your citizens over unless you fully stabilize the region, enabling you to crush the uprising.
As you play, random events based on factors like current initiatives, reputation and more can change the course of your playthrough. Another freak factor is inflation; concentrate spending into one area of initiative, and you'll create high inflation. Every action will cost more until the inflation period subsides. At the end of it all, only one faction will be left standing. Your people will either back you until the bitter end of the conflict, or pounce on you in your moment of weakness and destroy you.
The original Plague Inc. was extremely influential on the mobile gaming scene, but this is a spiritual successor. The gameplay and content have gone through extensive changes, but it's the same core formula, handled and monetized in much the same way as before. In short, don't expect to see this game breaking down any walls.
All the same, it's not like it won't do well; Plague Inc. was a big hit, and this angle on the tried and true formula that made that game so great is bound to resonate with even more fans. That being as it is, we may see a slight resurgence in the popularity of strategy and simulation games in general on the Play Store, but only time will tell if that brief renaissance, if it even happens, will yield another gem.