Developed by Dark Realm Studios, Pandemic 2 is the sequel to the morbidly fun original Pandemic, a game in which your goal is to eradicate the human race with the perfect disease. While the original game didn't go on to become hugely popular, Pandemic 2 is more an improvement upon its predecessor than a sequel, with an improved interface and more features. Judging by the game's growing success, the developers offered gamers a better package this time around; a sort of real-time strategy/simulation game in which you get to play God (or the Devil?), concocting the ultimate virus, bacteria or parasite to kill every last person on the planet.
In Pandemic 2, you're given the choice to create one of the three aforementioned diseases, each having its own inherent strengths and weaknesses. For example, a virus can evolve the fastest, has a bonus to infectivity, but can be most negatively affected by its environment. A parasite, on the other hand, evolves the slowest, but is least affected by the environment and has the lowest visibility. These are the three main traits of your disease; lethality, infectivity and visibility. The higher the lethality, the easier and faster it will claim victims. Infectivity represents its contagiousness, dependent on factors like how it's transmitted (rodents, insects, airborne, waterborne) and also symptoms like sneezing, coughing and more. Lastly, your disease's visibility should be as low as possible to prevent people from taking notice (and then taking action to contain it). Ingeniously, many of the same symptoms that help spread your disease like sneezing and coughing will also increase its visibility, as will other symptoms like dementia, vomiting and depression. Too much visibility and you'll be met with closed borders, grounded airplanes and even vaccines being developed, all of which are the enemy of any respectable disease.
Your interface is simple and effective. A map of the world is laid out before you, with a mini-map in the upper-left corner for quick navigation. Below the mini-map is a news feed, keeping you up-to-date on breaking world news. The world map represents the two dozen or so major world countries and areas that Pandemic 2 recognizes, with various symbols within them representing hospitals, airports, shipyards and water plants. Below the map are menu functions to access the main menu, world info, disease info and adjustable game speed (which can also be paused). Controls rely solely on mouse clicks. Also below the map you'll see your "evolution points," the currency of the game used to upgrade your disease. Evolution points are earned by both infecting and killing people, a number which accurately corresponds to real-world global and national populations.