We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Big Pharma is a colourful tycoon game that explores an ugly industry

Big Pharma

If you’ve ever looked at the horrible amounts of money big pharmacetical companies make out of human suffering and thought, “Gosh, I’d like to be part of that,” but you still want to keep your soul, then I have good news for you. There’s a game for you: Big Pharma.

Big Pharma is a strategy management game inspired by the likes of Transport and RollerCoaster Tycoon. You run your own company, developing new drugs through research and production lines with an aim to sell them all for a nasty profit. But some uncomfortable truths about the business of healing underpins it all. 

Potential customers in the west might be suffering from the sniffles and will happily throw money at you to ensure that they don’t feel a bit bunged up. But the common cold isn’t all that important. Not compared to serious illnesses that might be sweeping through developing countries.

So obviously you’ll want to develop medicine to help those that are, you know, dying. Right? Wrong, you disgusting communist. That’s just bad business, when it’s the westerners with deep pockets who’ll probably end up filling your coffers.

Expect interesting dilemmas, then.

At its heart, says developer Tim Wicksteed, Big Pharma is a puzzle game about managing production lines, but the nature of the ugly business introduces a lot of complications and opportunities to explore.

If you’re going to be at EGX in London, Wicksteed will be showing it off, so take a gander. He also announced that he’s teaming up with Cliff Harris’ Positech Games, which will publish Big Pharma.