Our review system will function on a scale of 1-10. Scores will be considered on the basis of five main categories. Design, Execution, Functionality, Enjoyment, and Value. Failures in these areas will affect the score of a game based on the severity of the failure.
Big Pharma is a delicious mix of simulation, economics, and logistics puzzles. It’s just the kind of game I enjoy when it comes to simulators. The game us being developed by Twice Circled. It also helps that the game is published by Positech games, the makers of such wonderful games as GTB, and Democracy 3. Simulations which I still enjoy immensely.
Big Pharma is a game all about running your own pharmaceuticals business. And surprisingly, it’s packed with elegant social commentary, complex but easy-to-use mechanics, and a bit of ethical quandary. Will you cure the world but ruin your business? Will you focus entirely on profit motive and laugh at all the sickly peasants? Big Pharma will definitely try to answer that question for you.
The game includes a variety scenarios with increasing difficulty that do a spectacular job of taking the player through the vast array of features on offer. Also included is a free build mode that grants the freedom to start from scratch without any particular restrictions and take your company to the top of the drug ladder.
Starting out, with a few simple ingredients and basic machinery, the player must plan their production chain within their factory with one goal in mind; efficiency. Solving logistical problems like how many of a specific refinement tech to buy and place into production will become commonplace. Luckily, despite the appearance of difficulty, these kinds of solutions follow a logical pattern that any dedicated player can turn into second nature.
For most players, there will likely be some trial and error when it comes to figuring out what courses of action work best. Luckily, the game is fairly forgiving to mistakes, at least the ones that can be easily corrected by the player. Choosing the wrong combination of catalyst or ingredient at the wrong time (Such as putting out a worse version of an existing competing product) won’t be the end of your company as long as you catch it in time. The game’s pause function that stops your competition from getting ahead while you make decisions or analyze finances is something players should make liberal use of.
The game also includes various other mechanics to further complicate the mountain of tasks you have to deal with. Researching new machinery, ingredients, and catalysts will be a fixture of success in the world of Big Pharma. Players can also engage in a bit of legal maneuvering with patents to secure temporary dominance in a market before their competitors. And if the company ends up in dire straits, loans can be secured from various lenders to keep the company afloat.