Parents' Guide to

Big Pharma

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Dense, hard simulation skewers the health care industry.

Game Mac , Windows 2015
Big Pharma Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

It's difficult to broadly recommend this simulation, especially for kids, since there's a lot to learn here, but it doesn't do a great job of explaining how to best deploy the equipment, ingredients, and staff members at your disposal. There's a tutorial, though it's lacking, so unless you're incredibly patient, you'll find the lengthy explanations both dense and still somehow coy. It will definitely take lots of tinkering hang of. Parents will need to pay $25 for a game that may take kids a long time just to understand.

That said, once you do start to get the hang of things, it becomes a nuanced balancing act of creating products that don't cure but rather treat. That also means that though you can get bogged down with the science of how different compounds can be combined, you should also pay attention to what other corporations are doing and how they're faring. Do they have any blind spots? How can you best them? There are a lot of logistics at play here -- figuring out what machines to buy and which to upgrade, what types of medicines you shouldn't bother with. There's even a series of missions that challenge you to meet certain criteria by a certain date, such as curing certain diseases or earning a certain amount of money. But until you get up on your feet, all that may seem woefully out of reach. As such, it's hard to recommend this game. It won't be for everyone.

Game Details

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