And then there was Madagascar…


When I first started law school, I found that the crippling boredom of Civil Procedure and Contracts could be somewhat abated if I played video games on my laptop.  Nothing too intense; I attempted to play Spore and The Sims a few times but it was too difficult to start up and run resource heavy games in class, plus it was time consuming and stupid to attempt to tab between the games I wanted to play and the notes I needed to take.  But I did notice people were playing a lot of crap.  Mostly Farmville; this was before Zynga was very well known and got the terrible, spam-heavy reputation today it so rightfully enjoys.  But I stumbled upon something quite a bit more entertaining in my opinion.  I found addictinggames.com.  And one of the games in particular caught my attention.  Pandemic 2.

I never played the first one.  I’m not certain a Pandemic 1 even exists.  Regardless, I found this game to be pretty fun.  A very simple layout and an even simpler concept, it was your job to mutate and evolve a disease  in order to infect, and ultimately kill, the entire world.  Well, I can’t argue with that, so I started playing it constantly.  You had to lay low at first so the disease would spread without people taking precautions, such as shutting down borders, airports, and schools.  You didn’t want to have uber-lethal and yet visible symptoms at first, because countries would shut everything down and vaccinate before you could get anything done.  The game was balanced perfectly and allowed for complex decisions to be made; every step you took has a benefit and a drawback.

The frustrating part of this game is that in order to win, everyone had to die.  Which sounds simple enough until one realizes that Madagascar is paranoid.  Paranoid as fuck.  Someone sneezes in Canada?  Better shutdown the seaports.  Someone farts in China?  Quarantine the island.   That shitty little island was as germaphobic as Howie Mandel, and I couldn’t for the life of me get my disease to spread to there.  That is, until by some amazing stroke of luck, my virus originated in Madagascar one day.  “Finally got that mother fucker!” I recall shouting out in class.  My professor, busy telling us about Bernie Madoff’s conviction, grinned and nodded approvingly at my enthusiasm.  I knew he was proud of me getting Madagascar.  But by the end of class, every country was infected except Iceland.  I was devastated.  The semester ended and I sulked away, finally accepting defeat.

“I’m proud of you”

That is until a few days ago when, once again bored, I found Pandemic 2 in the app store.  Wait, not just Pandemic 2.  It was Pandemic 2.5.  You heard right.  They updated the game.  Hesitant to call it a third installment (they’re waiting for Madagascar 3 fever to die down, I imagine), they still put out a great update.  More countries/regions, more vectors, more options.  It’s fantastic.  I once again set to work infecting the world, and finally, years later, was able to get Madagascar legitimately.  And as we sat there waiting, my eyes keenly focused on Iceland, a smile came across my face.  I upgraded to the “vomiting” trait and just like that, Iceland turned red.  Got you now.

Wonderfully, those developers made three difficulty levels.  Easy, Normal, and Madagascar.  I’ve beaten the first two.  I’ve not beaten the third.  I don’t want to give too much away, but guess which country I was unable to infect?  That’s right.  Iraq.  Madagascar was the second to fall.  And now my iPad is broken.

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6 Comments to “And then there was Madagascar…”

  1. Great Stuff. addictinggames is great Try out “the space game” on Kongregate or “the space game missions” Any ways really fun stuff. Mini internet games are great for class.

  2. Awesome… having played Pandemic 2, I too decided that should there ever be an inkling of an epidemic, I would be on my way to the local travel agent and booking the first flight/boat to Madagascar. I even once managed to get Madagascar early, only for Greenland to be a lil bitch about things.

  3. By the way you can play the very first Pandemic on Kongregate too, not to mention Pandemic: American Swine 😀

  4. You’ve inspired me to play this game again. I never could infect Madagascar and probably still can’t.

  5. Great post. I played this game a while back, never did manage to infect Madagascar though. Might have a look at Pandemic 2.5

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