Pandemic II is a free flash game with a simple goal: Kill off humanity.
The gameplay consists of evolving a disease to be the deadliest while remaining at a low enough visibility to infect as much of the world as possible. The goal is to kill off humanity, or as much as possible. When news of the disease spreads, countries can enact countermeasures, such as supplying bottled water to the population if the virus can be waterborne, or closing off borders, airports and seaports from the rest of the world. If all done in succession, this can leave a country perfectly isolated and unable to be infected. An example being Madagascar, since they only have one important item (a seaport) and are relatively fast to shut it down, leading to the popular Internet meme "President Madagascar/Shut Down Everything".
Countries can also begin work on a vaccine, and eventually a cure. If the vaccine gets made, it will no longer be possible to infect more of the population, but the already infected can still die. However, if the disease is potent enough, players may disable such a large amount of the world at once that even with a vaccine in the works it would take too long to develop before the disease ran its' course. There have been noted cases of hospitals staying in working condition, even with zero population remaining (creating another meme of the "Robot Doctors").
The player's main actions, however, are developing the disease. In the Disease menu, players can use evolution points to upgrade the disease with different abilities, such as fevers, sweating, all the way up to more powerful symptoms such as kidney failure. Players can also upgrade the diseases resistance to certain environmental issues which are Heat, Cold, Moisture and Drugs (antibiotics, for instance). Methods of transmission (via Rodent, Insect, Waterborne or Airborne) are also purchasable. Players can also see what traits the disease has. The last thing in the Disease Menu are other statistics: Evolution Points, Average Infections/Average Deaths (per day), and the Lethality, Infectiousness and Visibility of the disease.
Infected countries will slowly change color as the population becomes more infected and suffers more deaths, turning from Green to Red. The game ends when the player either manage to kill the entire world population or kill off the maximum number possible with certain events (for instance, if the Vaccine goes into effect, players cannot infect more people, so the game will end when the last infected person dies).
Beginning a Game
When players begin they can either watch a tutorial or go straight into the main game. The first setup in the main game is to set it to either "Realistic", or "Relaxed" modes of play.
- Realistic mode boasts longer game play and more in-depth strategy along with all traits being available.
- Relaxed mode is shorter, less strategic and does not have all traits unlocked.
After players decide which mode, they can choose either a Virus, Bacteria or Parasite to be the weapon, with each having different stats.
- Viruses have the fastest evolution and have a bonus to how well they can infect a population, however they are most affected by the environment (extreme cold, heat, jungle, drugs, etc).
- Bacteria are the "middle ground", having medium evolution and medium resistance to the environment, while having a natural bonus to Drug resistance.
- Parasites have the slowest evolution, but boast high resistance to the environment; their bonus being low visibility (hard to notice by the population).
Once players have chosen, they get to name the disease.
The game consists of a world map, which players move around by dragging the "window box" in the upper-left on the mini-map. Also on the minimap are icons, the typical "water drop" indicates a water plant, a cross (or plus sign) indicates hospitals, airports have a plane icon on them and shipyards have an anchor icon. If the symbol is white, the area is still open and in-use, but if it's grayed-out, the area is closed. Below the mini-map is a list of the current major events happening, the first thing listed is where the disease has made its' home. Players can click on different countries to see their current statistics, such as whether in-country transit is on and if schools are open or closed, along with total population.
The bottom bar is the main control area. It has the Menu button, World button, Disease button, number of Evolution points listed, Time control and Current Time.
- The Menu button opens up a menu consisting of Tutorial, Instructions, Guide, "More games", Music and New Game options.
- The World button is used to open up world statistics, such as population alive, number of hospitals, days passed, regions infected, regions forsaken, etc.
- The Disease button lets players upgrade the disease. It lists evolution points, the lethality, infectiousness and visibility of the virus.
- The time control lets players pause, speed up by half, or triple the speed of time, or return it to normal. The date simply lists the date and time.