What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pandemic 2.5 is a simulation game that lets players attempt to kill off the world's population by creating a virus that is spread from country to country, killing people in its wake. The game approaches this with a scientific take -- and shows no blood or gore (nor does it allude to it in the gameplay area) -- but the theme could still be a bit uncomfortable for some kids and parents.
What kids can learn
- life cycle
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- developing novel solutions
- making new creations
What Kids Can Learn
Kids can learn how the global economy allows disease to spread, through the use of airliners, cargo ships, and other modern conveniences in Pandemic 2.5. They can also learn how mutation and adaptation make disease resistant to medical breakthroughs, as well as how disease spreads among populations. Teens will pick up some biology and social studies concepts as they work toward the very negative goal of Pandemic 2.5.
What's it about?
Players will attempt to formulate a disease that goes undetected by healthcare officials before it has spread worldwide and decimates the human population. They do this by slowly strengthening the virus, bacteria, or parasite, adding symptoms and giving it defenses against cold, water, and the like. Users can also opt to make the disease airborne or spread by vermin. Once doctors become aware of the problem, they'll begin working on a vaccine, at which point it becomes a race to kill the human race before they can discover a cure.
Is it any good?
Pandemic 2.5 is based on a fairly old but addictive web-based Flash game. Unfortunately, the appeal of that workday distraction doesn't carry over well to the iOS system, since it's ultimately a very passive game. Planning and building the disease can be interesting, but waiting for it to grow quietly is hardly thrilling, even when the game is in a fast-forward mode.
Worse, the lack of a decent tutorial makes the game confusing to first time players. While players who are curious can read a word-heavy instruction sheet, this isn't a "pick up and play" game. If you can get past that admittedly large barrier, though -- and aren't looking for an adrenaline rush -- this could be a concept that captures your imagination.
Families can talk about...
Help teens find information on historical events in which disease played a significant role, such as the plague.
Ask teens to think about the scenarios in Pandemic 2.5. Do they think something like that could happen in real life? If so, how could it be prevented?