Bio Inc: Redemption by DryGin Studios is one of the strangest, most interesting, somewhat disturbing games I’ve ever played. It is a medical simulation game where you choose a side, Life or Death. If you choose Life, your goal is to heal the very ill person on the table. If you choose Death, you make the very healthy person on the table sick and do your very best to…well, kill them. There is also a sandbox mode where you can make custom scenarios to play, and a multiplayer mode where you can play with friends who own the game, or strangers online. I played both the Life and the Death modes, and even though some things were frustrating, I really enjoyed both.
On the left side of the screen, you have your status Panel. At the top of the status-panel is the patient’s overall health. Under that is the status of each individual body system, digestive, neurological, muscular, etc. In the center, you have your patient. On the patient blood cells and proteins will grow, which you collect to earn Bio Points. On the right, you have the Diagnostic Tests panel where ongoing treatments, procedures, and their progress are shown. At the bottom is your UI where you access the Bio Map, speed up time, and level up your resources. These panels are very well done. They are easy to read and simple to understand.
In Life Mode, you must earn Bio Points to purchase diagnostic tests to diagnose your patient, as well as to purchase treatments to cure them. To do this, a body system on the status list will light up. You click that system and then click and hold each cell or protein on the body to collect it. This can be frustrating because the cell or protein doesn’t stay on the screen long. Many times they would disappear before I could get to that body system and collect them. I spent much of the time I was collecting Bio Points feeling like I was chasing my tail.
When you have gathered enough Bio Points you then go to the Bio Map. The Bio map is laid out like a skill tree and has a list of symptoms on the left. Choosing a symptom will cause every condition and disease that manifests that symptom to light up on the tree. Under each system on the tree is the health percentage for that system. It’s a nice little clue that helps you better choose which system most likely is causing which symptom.
At the top are the Lifestyle and Intensive Care tabs. In the lifestyle tab, you can use Bio Points to purchase lifestyle changes for the patient that positively affects your patient’s health and recovery like dietary changes and aerobic exercise. In the Intensive Care tab, you can use Bio Points to purchase upgraded treatments like Heart Transplants.
Each diagnostic test and treatment costs a certain amount of Bio Points and takes a certain amount of time to complete. Some of them seemed to take a ridiculously long time to finish, while your patient continues to deteriorate. This makes me kind of frantic sometimes.
As each condition is diagnosed and treated, symptoms disappear from the list and your patient steadily recovers. When all of the symptoms are gone, you win. Winning earns you XP which you can use to purchase perks at the start of the next scenario to help you along.
In Death Mode, the object is to kill your patient. You do this by causing body systems to deteriorate until you destroy them. As you destroy body systems the patient’s overall health declines until, finally, they are dead.
Death mode plays much the same as Life Mode. You collect viruses and bacteria to earn Bio Points. As with the blood cells and proteins in Life Mode, these viruses and bacteria disappear quickly, and collecting them is sometimes frustrating. You spend the Bio Points you’ve collected to evolve diseases and conditions; this, in turn, gives the patient symptoms as well as causing that particular body system to deteriorate.
It’s not as easy as it sounds though. As you infect the patient with diseases and the patient begins to develop symptoms, the patient fights back by going to the doctor. The doctor begins diagnosing and treating the patient, which causes that particular body system to improve, and the patient starts to recover. You have to inflict illnesses faster than the doctor can treat them. This takes some strategy, but there are resources and upgrades to help you. The odds can be bent in your favor by purchasing Risk Factors for the patient such as Overweight or Over 60 from the Risk factors tab at the top of the Bio Map. You can also go to the Recovery tab on the Bio Map and purchase pitfalls for your patient such as Bad Doctors or Nosocomephobia (a fear of doctors and/or hospitals) to speed the demise of your patient.
This is not the type of game where pretty graphics are a must, but the graphics are really nice. The body systems look fairly realistic and the text on the panels are easy to read. It should be noted here that there is some blood that spurts out of the body periodically, but you can turn that off in the settings. While there is a good mix of full-screen resolutions available, the only windowed resolution was too small for me to play comfortably.
Both the Life and Death modes have a tutorial that does a good job of acquainting you with the basics without giving everything away. The tutorials made it easy for me to jump into the game right away. Both Modes also have hidden patients including Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Santa, The Grinch, and more.
Despite the frustrations with the speed and collection of Bio Points, Bio Inc: Redemption was a lot of fun. I felt like a hero when I saved a patient in Life Mode. I snickered manically when I killed a patient in Death Mode. It includes over 600 actual diseases, symptoms, diagnostic tests, treatments, and other medical conditions. With 4 skill levels, 18 challenging cases, hidden patients, multiplayer, sandbox mode, and more being added all the time, there is a ton of replay value in the game. I thoroughly enjoyed it and urge everyone to give it a spin.
A PC copy of Bio Inc: Redemption was provided by DryGin Studios for the purpose of this review.
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