Game Analysis Worksheet: Plague inc.

image source: BBC News article: killer plague game tops charts amid coronavirus


I chose plague inc. because I enjoyed the game and because it is a viable study material that can help one learn geography.

Game Play Analysis

Formal ElementsNOTES
The BasicsNOTES
Name of the game:
Plague Inc.
The platform:
android, windows phone, IOS.(plague inc. evolved available on P.C.)
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes):
~4 hours
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why?
I wouldn’t change a thing as it’s practically perfect in every way.
How many players are supported?
1 (1-2 in plague inc. evolved)
Does it need to be an exact number?
How does this effect play?
in Plague inc. it is the maximum amount, but in the evolved version it is required to play multiplayer with two people.
In this case, the single-player version is more of a PvE with the player trying to destroy the world without getting cured, while the multi-player is a combination of Head-to-Head and PvE.
Head-to-head – 1 vs. 1
PvE – Player vs. Environment
What are the players trying to do?
Destroy the world in a global pandemic.
in this case, the goal is solely to destroy all life on earth (in single player) or to control all life on earth before your opponent does (in multiplayer).
Capture/Destroy – Eliminate all life on earth
Territorial Acquisition – Control the entire planet before your opponent does.
in Plague inc. the game goes as follows.
Setup – you get to name your disease, and if you unlocked any genes through playing previous games you add them here, and then you choose where to begin your plague.
Progression of Play – after you start your plague you then get to see as it infects the world, during this stage you evolve your disease to allow it to better infect the world, such as transition traits to allow it to better spread, symptoms to increase severity (for extra DNA points to spend) further increase infectivity, and to make it lethal, for when you start killing off everyone near the end of the game, and abilities, which include making it more suited to hot and cold climates, making it drug-resistant and harder to cure and use your diseases special traits.
Resolution – the game ends in one of three ways, either:
a. your disease kills too fast and there are still healthy people in the world after your infected have all died.
(you lose)
b. your disease is cured when the cure meter reaches 100%
(you lose)
c. everyone in the world is dead with no healthy or infected remaining and the cure meter isn’t at 100%
(you win)
What controls are used? mostly tapping or clicking icons to drive your plague and some keyboard shortcuts in the P.C. version.
Was there a clear introductory tutorial?
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller?
they are extremely easy to understand
Resources & Resource ManagementNOTES
What kinds of resources do players control?
DNA points
How are they maintained during play?
they are gained as the player spreads, pops red and orange DNA bubbles, and gains severity.
What is their role?
to allow for the player to mutate and drive their disease.
A resource is everything under the control of a single player. Could be the money in Monopoly or health in WoW. Other examples are:
Caps in the Fallout series (or another currency used to obtain items or stats)
Territory in RISK 
The number of questions remaining in 20 Questions 
Objects picked up during videogames (guns, health packs, etc.)
Time (game time, real-time, or both)
Known information (like suspects in Clue)
Game StateNOTES
How much information in the game state is visible to the player?
everything in the game, such as the cure progress people infected in the world or in a specific country, and access to graphs of data over time at any point in the game, including for specific countries.
A snapshot of the game at a single point is the game state. 
The resources you have, the un-owned properties in Monopoly, your opponent’s Archery skill all count towards the game state.
In this case, the game uses total information, because the player has access to all information in the current time in nearly every form.
Total Information – Nothing is hidden, like in Chess.
In what order do players take their actions?
there is no order, players can take their actions as much as their DNA point budget will allow.
How does play flow from one action to another?
In this case, the game uses a real-time basis for the play order.
Real-time – Actions happen as fast as players can make them.
Player Interaction
In this case, the game interactions are more similar to what I would call strategized conflict, where you have to apply some strategy and forethought to get anywhere in both single- and multiplayer modes.
Strategized Conflict – should I try to go here to find his base, or should I go here to infect a lot of people without him interfering?
Theme & NarrativeNOTES
Does it have an actual story structure?
Is it based on a historical event (or similar)?
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play?
Does it have emotional impacts?
Also, look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)?
The Elements in MotionNOTES
How do the different elements interact?
the game is a real-time plague simulator, so it realistically simulates your diseases spread on its own based on the game mode you chose.
What is the gameplay like?
complex and almost out of control, like trying to get to the other side of a skating rink with oiled shoes instead of skates.
Is it effective?
Are there any points where the design choices break down?
Design CritiqueNOTES
Why did the designer make these particular choices?
to make the scenario in which you are playing feel more realistic.
Why this set of resources?
to make it so that your evolution of the plague seemed fair and conceivably realistic.
What if they made different decisions?
the game would likely be less enjoyable.
Does the design break down at any point?
Graphics & SoundNOTES
Does the game art pair well with the mechanics?
Did you find any bugs or glitches?
What about sound?
spot on with the gameplay with certain sounds only appearing when the disease had certain evolved symptoms or abilities.
Can you spot any technical shortcuts?
Various Stages of the GameNOTES
To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them?
There were some events that forced the player to remember certain symptoms not to evolve lest they make their disease easier to cure, and some countries they have to make sure they infect.
Is the game fair?
yes, and when players lose they often find themselves laughably at fault.
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience?
What is the intended audience?
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun?
that is to evolve and watch the hilarious results, which allows for some great gameplay moments.

This analysis form was adapted from



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