This is a medical-themed fancy version of whack-a-mole combined with clicking the best tactical options to win the race to recovery or death, depending on which side you choose.
Genre: Medical, Simulation, Strategy
Developer: DryGin Studios
Publisher: DryGin Studios
Release Date: 18 May, 2017
Don’t be fooled by the title, this is not a Resident Evil style, zombie-infested FPS game! The basis of the game is that you have a human body in front of you, with eight different views: Circulatory; Respiratory; Digestive; Skeletal; Nervous; Renal; Immune; Muscular. Every few seconds one of these lights up, you click it to select the view and then click/hold on objects that randomly appear in order to collect ‘bio points’. Once you amass a certain number of points you spend them via the ‘Biomap’. This shows a map of the various body systems, each with a network of symptoms/diseases which either need to be cured or infected, depending on which side you’re playing. After you’ve spent your points you go back to the body view to collect more points and so on.
Gameplay Video + Commentary
Instead of spending your point on diseases/cures, you can spend them on Risk Factors. These increase the strength of your power to hurt/cure each body system, and it’s a good way to target specific systems to power them up/down. Recovery is the 3rd place you can spend your points. This places good/bad effects on the doctors and nurses working on the patient, and I’ve found that this can be a good place to target your resources during the end-game, when the patient goes into Emergency mode and the beepers are going crazy.
The game has several different modes and objectives, but you’re always racing against either time (real minutes or in-game days), the AI playing the same side or the AI playing the other side, in various different modes. Once a ‘match’ is over, you receive points if you won and then you rinse and repeat, choosing from many options, booster items and game modes to vary the gameplay as you please.
I have to say, this game would be great for multiplayer. I don’t know if this is planned.
There are two main ways you can play. With a name like mine, obviously I’ve spent most of my time so far playing Death. I’ve gone from rank 2,000+ to rank #3 and have my eyes on the top spot. The first joy of the game is naming your victim. Enter the name of someone you don’t like, and then you can gleefully watch them suffering from all kinds of painful, disgusting and amusing ailments. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing ***** is suffering from explosive diarrhoea. After the first few games this novelty wears off though, and the default John Smith will be the poor sap permanently in hospital.
The Death option is more brute-force and piling on the pressure. Life is slightly more complicated. You have to first diagnose the symptoms by performing (and paying for) many tests, most of which fail. Eventually you get a ‘hit’ and can treat the symptoms, permanently healing the organ in question. After playing Death it feels like a big waste of points but I’ve had the same amount of success so I don’t think it’s actually more difficult, just different. You have to be clever with your selections, using tests which cover multiple symptoms to give you a better chance at a hit.
On a side note, I recently watched Trainspotting 2, and if you haven’t seen it you really should, Ewan McGregor’s ‘Choose Life’ dialog in this one is epic!
Sound & Vision
The graphics have a beautiful glowing theme, with bright colours and easily-recognisable icons. The various body system views will blow your socks off, really awesome. The Risk Factors add extra eye candy, with HD burgers, smoke and suchlike, and each has a little animation with sound, some of them pretty funny. It’s a more ‘static’ game than most, so the amount of graphical content is not huge in comparison, but what is provided is up there with the best.
Background music is a gentle repetitive melody, nothing to write home about but not annoying, which is the main thing. In the end-game when the patient is in emergency care you are forced to listen to the loud beep beep beep of the emergency monitor for an extended length of time. I can see the reason for this, but is it really necessary to that extent? It’s rather unpleasant.
There is a wide range of challenge. For a start, each time you start a game you can select Mild, Moderate, Severe or Lethal. You also choose a few ‘booster’ items which help you with certain aspects of the match. The higher the difficulty you choose, the more skulls/hearts you are awarded. As you amass skulls/hearts, more challenging modes are unlocked and all these different modes and options increase the difficulty on and on, from very easy to near-impossible, and you can choose whatever you like depending on whether you feel like a nice easy match or a hard one to push the envelope.
Very good achievements, which provide yet another target to aim for, again with a very wide range of difficulty. No trading cards yet. Steam Cloud but no Linux for it to be of use to me (how about it, devs?)
I’m happy to recommend this at full price. It’s a slick, beautiful game with endless replay value and barely a hint of its Early Access status.
The graphics are stunning, every aspect of the game is expertly crafted and it constantly pushes you to improve and take on harder challenges, with leaderboards to drive you on. There are one or two very minor glitches but it feels like a complete, finished game.
The only negative thing I would say is that, despite the huge number of modes and options, the underlying game is essentially the same, to be repeated in ever-increasing intensity. After a while I found myself choosing the same boosters, remembering where the cheapest or most efficient options are located and gradually falling into one particular game plan.