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  1. What if you had it in your power to rid the world of disease, to improve the lives of millions, to ease suffering and cure the sick… and earn a tidy profit? As the head of your own Pharmaceutical Conglomerate you have this power resting in your hands. Will you use it for good? Being totally altruistic may not be the best business plan. The uncomfortable truth (is there an ointment for that?) is that some remedies are more profitable than others and illness is good for business. Welcome to the world of Big Pharma! From humble beginnings With a few rusty reconditioned machines, you can progress from knocking out cheap generic treatments for minor ailments, to discovering new active ingredients and hi-tech machines to help refine the next generation of world-changing drugs. But watch out, you’re not alone out there. Rival corporations that want to put you out of business have their own set of competing cures and treatments. Then there’s the dynamically shifting marketplace which means that your fancy cold and flu medicine from last winter might not sell so well now it’s the height of summer. Where did I put my anti-wrinkle sun cream? Big Pharma is part business sim, part logistics puzzle. It’s one thing to work away in the lab perfecting new formulas, but converting the ‘sciency stuff’ into cold hard cash means bringing an engineering and business mind to the problem. Factory space is expensive, and those fancy new agglomerators and centrifuges don’t always slot nicely together. - from the home page of Big Pharma Created by Tim Wicksteed ----------------------------------------------------------- My verdict The game is satire, which the creator has taken pains to make obvious. By being suitably (accurately) profit-driven, it is good satire. As someone whose time is occupied with dealing with the aftermath of the real thing I don't have time for games. I've generally found the politics of the real world more intriguing. However there was a brief time a simulation game had me in its grasp: Ceasar III, a game whereby you build a successful Roman city. I found, most uncomfortably, that by keeping the poor down and out of sight, the city would flourish in the areas it needed to. Gamers are not likely to be particularly interested in brain zaps, tardive dyskinesia or suicidality. But in the same way Caesar III gave me pause and insight, I think good satire is a good thing. At the very least and most explicit, future survivors may find they have the support of some ex-gamers.
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