You may not think it, but drugs make the world go around. Even the coffee you’re drinking whilst reading this review has a drug contained within it. Big Pharma is a game based on the pharmaceutical industry where your main goal is to produce drugs and make them as profitable as possible. Another ported game from PC to Xbox, it’s always nice to see these kind of titles make their way across to console.
If you’re pinning your hopes on this game being like Theme Park or Two Point Hospital, then this isn’t the game for you. So, the game has a simple premise which is to create medicines and generate profit, just like in real life if you think about it. The game starts off with quite a well structured tutorial but you will be scratching your head at the clunky controls, as its clear that it hasn’t been designed very well for the controller. You have a plethora of chemicals at your disposal to help find new cures. Some of these fixes could be painkillers and you can even pump together a tablet that can cure cancer, if only this could convert to the real world.
The positives of these drugs often come with a couple of side effects, much like the warning labels on real life products. Headaches, nausea, an explosion from your backside, warts along with many other issues; some which I may not have even uncovered as yet. When you create your product however, it requires some adjustments to the concentration and these numbers need to be pushed up and down to reach the desired target area. Much like when creating a player on FIFA, you have to adjust sliders in specific fields to make them better at a certain skillset. With this method you have to tinker with the product to create good sales and people will only want to purchase the product if it works for them.
You need machinery and equipment to produce the products and eventually, as you expand the business, you will need lots of them. But as with any of these types of games, you start off with very basic kit. Some of the machinery is very different and you have to keep your eyes on the production as some of them have different uses which will allow you to generate stronger and more effective medicines to make more money
The machines have to be connected together and linked with belt fed lines and this is the portion of the game that really takes some getting used to and can become frustrating. Each item needs to be able to click and connect with the last item you placed and there is no automatic function for this, So you will require patience for this part and just to add confusion, the rooms you are provided with aren’t always a symmetrical square so you need to use the space provided to your convenience. This can provide additional frustration, but some may also like the challenge of this.
Whilst constructing and building you have to keep your eye on your money management as failure to do so may mean your belts coming to a grinding halt. You’ll also need to conserve some of your cash to pump into research upgrades. So my warning is on your first outing play it cautiously, so as not to lose interest quickly. If you choose the free play mode you can have infinite money and start with all the machines, this is a great way to get a feel for how things work whilst getting to grips with the ins and outs of the game.
Graphically, the game is very basic and whilst it is colourful, the music and sounds don’t really fill the game with excitement. With everything Big Pharma has to offer it can keep you busy and entertained, but if you do run out of money you are left waiting for periods of time whilst more cash builds and these wait times can be quite lengthy and there is nothing to do in these time gaps to fill the time. It doesn’t help that the game itself is already slow in terms of gameplay and the steep learning curve to its attention to detail and the facts its simple to make mistake but even harder to put it right. This sets the game up to make your time pumped into the game feel like its not worth the effort as there is not much replay value in this. Which is a real shame as this game type is suited to me and many others but for a £24.99 plunge, it’s a big price to pay for a game of this calibre. Put it this way I won’t need any sleeping tablets to get me to sleep after playing this game.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Big Pharma Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 4.5/10
Sound - 4.5/10
Replay Value - 5/10
User Review( votes)
Big Pharma has a pretty hefty price tag on its head for an indie title. However after sinking plenty of time into this it appears to be a fairly lazy PC to Console port which whilst fun for some time can become quite stale quite quickly.
Plenty of Content
Steep Learning Curve
Clunky controls for console
Easy to make mistakes but hard to fix them