Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Mama, just killed a man. Pinched a vein inside his head. Pressed "OK" and now he's dead.
Bio Inc is a "biomedical simulator" from DryGin studios. While there are dozens of medical/surgical simulators available on PC, mobile platforms, and consoles, Bio Inc is a little different. Other medical-based games ask players to save patients in peril (even if said players may wind up removing the patient's brain during a routine appendectomy, either accidentally or on purpose). Bio Inc, on the other hand, requires players to drag the Hippocratic Oath behind the hospital and shoot it.
Put simply, the player's job is to kill previously-healthy patients - preferably as fast as possible. Each victim begins with all their systems functioning at 100%. The player collects viruses from the victim by tapping on them, which accumulates "bio points."
Once there are enough bio points in the queue, the magic can happen. Players are asked to inflict a variety of awful health problems on their charge, including (but certainly not limited to) arrhythmia, kidney failure, bronchitis, osteoporosis, and even swine flu. There's something lovely for every part of the body. The more ailments the victim has, the more quickly all their bodily systems shut down. Once all functions are at zero, the player - uh, "wins."
It's not that easy, though. When things start to get hairy health-wise, the patient will see a doctor and begin treatment for their issues. Once this happens, the player is in a race to combat the doctor's healing attempts while continuing to drag the patient down.
Bio Inc takes a lot of inspiration from Plague Inc (including its name), but playing the latter is much more disturbing than tinkering with the former - an interesting observation, given Plague Inc is about orchestrating the end of the world, whereas Bio Inc revolves around destroying one person.
That's the thing, though. Ruining a single person's life by weakening their heart, hollowing out their bones, tying up their intestines and turning their lungs into mucus-bags is personal. And it kind of hits home for anyone whose loved ones suffer from chronic ailments, or are fighting ailments themselves.
Bio Inc also includes a disturbingly realistic stable of sound effects that really drive each sickness home. If there's a game out there with a more vivid puke-spattering sound than what Bio Inc offers with its stomach flu ailment, it should step forward and take a bow.
Bio Inc is disturbing, nasty, and kind of cruel. It's also fascinating and addictive. It helps confirm that, once again, that video games are complex and weird.