Big Pharma is available now on Steam and is priced at £18.99.
In Big Pharma you are tasked with running a drug company. You have to create the pills, balance the books and basically make sure you turn a profit from selling your drugs. Which sounds like it'd be fairly simple, but watch the side effects of your drugs - too many and it isn't going to sell. Similarly if your drug is too perfect, you're gonna kill the market. It's a tough balancing act.
I am a massive fan of Theme Hospital and every year or so I replay it and start looking for a game that comes close to its greatness. If, like me, you came to Big Pharma hoping for that I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed.
That's not to say Big Pharma is a bad game. It isn't, it's actually alright. But for me it just isn't in depth enough where it matters. You do have to put a lot of thought into creating the right drugs and working out which machines you need in order to do so yes, but the act of doing this is what cheapens the game. You end up with rooms full of winding conveyor belts that change your pill from one colour to another (increasing its abilities/side effects) before it reaches the end of the line. But it's just not very satisfying.
The magic of Theme Hospital was in the humour and Big Pharma sorely lacks in that department. It wants to take itself seriously but the game play is just too gimmicky in places for that to happen. I wanted FULL management, building, placing of rooms etc. not just pills and profit. The business management side of the game is quite good and will see you making some pretty questionable decisions ethics-wise, but for the most part the game just feels pretty lacking.
The game works beautifully, I haven't yet encountered a bug. Controls are great and the interface is intuitive. At first it feels really complicated - the tutorials feel never-ending and aren't worded very well in my opinion, but it quickly becomes quite simple and repetitive. And in this price range I just don't think that's acceptable. Wait for a sale guys.
5/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.