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About the Story
It is the end of January 2020. You are a network scientist who is asked to advise on possible responses to Covid-19, a new infectious disease that is just emerging. At this early stage much is till uncertain, but know what needs to be done. Can you get your numbers straight and will others listen to your advice at all?
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Number of Reviews: 2
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This game from the CYS website is a difficult, branching game about Coronavirus. I found it surprisingly informative and I learned some things I didn't know before.
You play as a professor recruited by the government in the early months of Covid to help them understand the spread of the disease and to make recommendations about it. If you do well, you have the chance of moving up and influencing public policy.
Part of 'doing well' includes doing well on difficult math questions about things like exponential growth and infection transmission.
This kind of math test hasn't always done well in IF before, with games like #vanlife and A Final Grind inserting frustrating calculations in the middle of otherwise normal stories. But in this game, the choices are fair, and undo is available at any time. It uses math to teach instead of punish.
That being said, it's pretty hard, and the questions involve policy as well. In my best run, when I thought I was very successful, I only ended up with 14/50 points!
+Polish: The game is generally well-polished.
+Interactivity: I'm not usually interested in 'only one right path' games, but it's fair and gives you a chance to try again.
-Emotional impact: The topic and mechanical approach left me feeling distant from the story, making the whole thing a thought exercise (though a welcome on).
+Descriptiveness: Especially good at putting difficult concepts into understandable language. I swear a lot of people should try playing this to understand coronavirus better.
-Would I play again? It was interesting, but it more made me interested in looking up what it said to understand it better rather than replaying.
Yes, this is a quiz. But as soon as you add in covid, you're asking for political positions. I'm not trying to take a position here in this review, but you have to take one as it relates to covid, whether you want to or not.
Depending on your political views on the virus, this might be a nice story, or it might be propaganda. I'm not sure there's any middle ground. That said, if you go into it without many expectations, it is quite well written and has a nice story to go with the quiz. It is really just a quiz, but one of the best written quizzes I've seen on the site. It has a little story around the questions, which makes it interesting and fun. If you want a little jaunt and escape, head on over and have a read.