As I recall from my 7th grade Health class, our bodies are pretty darn amazing. With all the germs, viruses, and nasty stuff we're exposed to on a daily basis, most of us have a great internal system to keep us functioning well enough to idly play our casual games without much thought. Inside us though, a microscopic battle is going on. Fanatical white blood cells show up en-masse to crush evil germs before they can infect helpless red blood cells. Meanwhile, a wave of antibiotics levels the battlefield, leaving only a few resistant strains of germs in their wake. Sound epic enough? Manuel Fallmann of MINDistortion thought so way back in 2005 with his drag and drop game infect.evolve.repeat. Now six years later, Manuel has decided to revisit his infection game and update it in infect.evolve.repeat.2.
Like the original, infect.evolve.repeat.2 has you controlling a nasty green germ with the goal of infecting red blood cells while evolving your germ's abilities. Use your mouse to click and drag on the germ to move it around. Release the button over a red blood cell to infect it, making it turn green before disappearing. Between stages, you can spend "evolution points" to beef up your germs. Microscopic meddling includes altering your germ's latency (spawn time), reproduction rate, damage to white blood cells, immunity to antibiotics, and automatic infection rate. Of course, your host body doesn't like your germy handiwork, and begins to send white blood cells and clouds of antibiotics to stop the fun. As your germs get stronger, they can pack more of a punch against the immune system and eventually develop an immunity to antibiotics, just like in real life.
While keeping a similar structure, infect.evolve.repeat.2 has quite a few improvements over its predecessor. Aside from its more modern-looking visuals and larger "characters," there is now a nice set of tutorial levels that help you learn the ropes. Levels also have various goals beyond just infecting cells - you may need to replicate a certain number of your germs, destroy a number of white blood cells, or just survive in your host undetected for a time. There are also amusing achievements earned during gameplay, and a hall of fame for your efforts.
infect.evolve.repeat.2 can be a fun experience, but it can also be a challenging exercise in mouse dexterity and even sheer luck. The game's drag-and-drop mechanic can quickly get frantic with dozens of floating germs that you have to keep track of. Accurate selections and drags are a must, meaning that laptop owners may need to plug in a mouse to properly enjoy this title. As you play more, you'll also notice that the game features random patterns of white blood cells and antibiotics. Sometimes a level may unexpectedly end if one of these enemies passes over your first infected red blood cell, instantly destroying your offspring and making you try again.
If you can get past these issues, however, and don't mind the somewhat repetitive gameplay, infect.evolve.repeat.2 is a unique casual game with personality that's worth checking out. Just be sure to cover your mouth, wash your hands, and get plenty of rest beforehand.