The wife got me an iPad for my birthday this year. I didn’t expect it as I hadn’t asked for one or even expressed a huge desire to have on in the first place. Nevertheless, I now love it. Perfect for casually browsing the net, checking tweets, etc. etc. But I’ve also discovered that there are actually some really decent games for it too. One that has me constantly coming back for me is Plague Inc., a pandemic simulator. Apparently there’s already a game of this type for PCs called Pandemic; I can’t comment on whether it’s any good or how much Plague Inc. might or might not have “borrowed” from it, as I haven’t played it. But Plague Inc. for the iPad is really good. It’s got just enough humour to stop it from becoming unbearably bleak; it’s a deep strategy game but also dead simple to get the hang of, even for a non-strategy gamer like me; and it’s just so darn addictive and fun (and educational too).

It might or might not have copied Pandemic but it’s definitely inspired by Steven Soderbergh’s movie “Contagion”. I saw this the other night for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. I like Soderbergh’s films in general anyway; love his Kubrik-esque compositions and his distanced, detached viewpoint and Contagion is his most Kubrick-y film yet (even more so than Solaris). It’s quite a low budget film but looks big budget in many ways too, as the action unfolds across the entire globe. There must be at least some matte paintings in there to fill in some gaps, and if there are then they’re really naturalistic. I recommend it. I recommend both: the game and the movie.

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