Pathogen-based strategy games are an interesting beast. They can look bland and are constantly threatening to teach you things, but there is still something oddly compelling about slowly conquering the world from the micro level. Enter CURE, a not so cleverly named deviation from the other pathogen RTS, Plague, where instead of trying to destroy the world you are a scientist tasked with saving it.
CURE takes place under the lens of a microscope while you control and genetically engineer the ultimate microbe. For an additional level of excitement the developers, Cryogenic Entertainment, are planning an extensive multiplayer aspect which will pit players against each other in a struggle to complete different scenarios in one of CURE’s 5 micro environment types. Once you get over the fact that the base bacteria looks like a swimming tampon, there is some depth to CURE’s gameplay. Though I wonder if it will be enough to keep a content player-base beyond release.
As players progress they will unlock additional genetic codes which can be used to permanently modify units so they grow stronger for the next battle. Units will develop a dynamic appearance based on these upgrades, leading to the potential for unique battle bacteria customized for different objectives.
If this sounds a little nerdy, well it is. Not only are the concepts based in actual science, but the GameKicker page goes into great detail about all the different ways pathogens can be manipulated and changed throughout the course of the game. It’s a bit much to take in all at once, but the available demo probably does a better job of integrating the information. Which could actually make this one of those fancy tangential learning games that schools buy under the pretext of sneaking education into young minds. Based on the teaser video, I’d say they’d get way more out of CURE than I ever did from Oregon Trail. CURE needs $75,000 by April 8th to be funded and the beta is projected for a summer 2016 release.