Warning: Big Pharma May Be A Highly Addictive And Ethically Challenging Indie Game

How would you like to manage your own pharmaceutical company and go from “knocking out cheap generic treatments for minor ailments” to producing cutting-edge medicine that reaps billions of dollars in profits? With Big Pharma, a new game from British developer Twice Circled, you can.

And hopefully you’ll feel very bad about it.

As you manage your staff’s production, improve the engineering of your machinery, tweak your formulas and build up your pharmaceutical empire, the only thing that seems to matter is profit. Every business starts at the production line, after all. And then you learn that “some remedies are more profitable than others and illness is good for business.” Cha-ching!

First featured on Kill Screen, Big Pharma is “part business sim, part logistics puzzle.” It follows the trend of games like Sweatshop, where you “run” an unethical manufacturing operation, and Papers, Please, the indie hit about immigrations processing, which presents you with horrible bureaucratic choices.

“Side effects may vary: 1 in 10 players may become empathically challenged,” warns the game’s user manual. “1 in 100 may see disease and suffering solely as a business opportunity. 1 in 1000 players may become megalomaniacal. 1 in 10,000 may become seriously addicted. (So few? Don’t believe everything you read on the label).”

Sounds addictive. See the game at EGX in London September 25th through 28th, and look for it to be distributed more widely in the summer of 2015.MG