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Universe Pandemic

For: Android

Galactic infection

Product: Universe Pandemic | Developer: Polygon Attraction | Publisher: Polygon Attraction | Format: Android | Genre: Simulation, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Universe Pandemic Android, thumbnail 1
Unless you're one of those sappy/genuinely decent people who think a global apocalypse is a bad taste topic for a game, the chances are you know the real thrill of titles like Platinum Award-winner Plague Inc lies in watching the ticker count of infected folk steadily grow to the magic 7 billion goal.

Somehow, the creators of Universe Pandemic don't know this and have cloned pretty much all of the core elements of this virus-spreading strategy genre except the part where you actually get to wipe people out.

It does have a neat intergalactic twist, with other planets and species to exterminate (although the gameplay difference is negligible at best), but no matter how you tweak and mutate your deadly bug it's unlikely that you'll concoct anything a Lemsip and a lie down won't cure.

Budget bug

In truth, despite looking a lot like its Pandemic 2 web-game inspiration in screenshots, Polygon Attraction's title is little more than a cheap copycat that struggles to even run without painful lag on the quad-core Nexus 7.

The world map that's typically the main visual draw in this strategy sub-genre, letting you watch planes and boats zipping across the globe carrying your deadly cargo, doesn't even move - although a light periodically flashes across it like an alien mothership playing with its high beam headlamps.

Meanwhile, the game premise is nearly identical to the original Pandemic 2, with nary a whiff of imagination. You pick a disease type - from viruses to bacterial infections and, most interestingly, nanobots, each with different resistance buffs and weaknesses - and then a country to infect.

Immediately, a small amount of the population catch the condition and, theoretically, start spreading the sneezy love. As more people get sick, you earn Virus Points to spend on adding new symptoms that help it spread faster, survive in temperate climates or just kill them really quickly.

That's the theory. In practice, the traits have vague effects that aren't helped by descriptions that don't tell you how they'll make the disease spread, and the first tier (of three) have precious little effect anyway.

Easy cure

Even if you go straight for the Tier 2 upgrades, like the good old pulmonary embolism, you're still unlikely to watch the infected ticker do anything but slowly trickle back to zero.

Despite trying every tactic that worked in the harder levels of Plague Inc. a, only a couple of times did I even get my disease to actually start spreading.

Without the reward of a growing body count, Universe Pandemic proves a wholly unsatisfying experience that, despite the budget price, can't hold a plague-ridden candle to its more refined contemporaries.
Universe Pandemic
Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin | 12 February 2013
A poorly programmed Pandemic-alike that, like its doomed-to-fail diseases, will never catch on with apocalypse-addicted gamers
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Mar 2014
Post count:
Keith Jack | 22:51 - 3 March 2014
I came across this inaccurate review while looking for a game that plays like universe pandemic. Paul Devlin simply failed to figure this game out and because of that, he gives it an unfairly poor review. Let me set the record straight. I can beat any planet on this game in less than 10 minutes on hard, and I don't even have the full version which means Paul here has like 15 or 20 upgrades at his disposal that I'm completely locked out of. I'm talking complete wipe out. It is not hard. Even on hard playing the incomplete version it is not difficult to create a virus that will kill every last person on whatever planet you choose to play. The fun in this game comes from being able to pick it up and play it and beat a planet in the 10-15 mins you're waiting in the waiting room at the doc's office, or on the porcelain throne, or whatever, while racking up money earned for doing the Garg's dirty work ;) The real fun begins when you start purchasing upgrades like random death rays beamed at the planet and you start wiping them out even faster. All in all, planet to planet the game play/strategy doesn't change very much. its all in how you juggle your time/money. You just have to consider your options, find that perfect balance between money generation and population destruction. I'd get the full version if there were more upgrades and such to unlock and also more planets. The game really is about as deep as a kiddy pool but still a lot more fun than this review lets on.
Feb 2013
Post count:
Olly Dixon | 23:50 - 29 April 2013
Game has been greatly updated since your review. Consider looking again!