- Publisher: Positech Games
- Release Date: Aug 27, 2015
- Also On: PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One
- Summary: What if you had it in your power to rid the world of disease, to improve the lives of millions, to ease suffering and cure the sick… and earn a tidy profit? As the head of your own Pharmaceutical Conglomerate you have this power resting in your hands. Will you use it for good?
- Developer: Twice Circled
- Genre(s): Strategy, Management, Business / Tycoon
- # of players: No Online Multiplayer
- Cheats: On GameFAQs
- More Details and Credits »
Positive: 4 out of 9
Mixed: 5 out of 9
Negative: 0 out of 9
Sep 5, 2015Big Pharma is a solid game that manages to criticize the pharmaceutical industry but never forgets that, deep inside, is still a video game.
Sep 11, 2015Complicated, complex and sometimes very difficult and at the same time original and satisfying. Big Pharma is an interesting game for people who like puzzle and strategy games. Building your own company and creating medicine can be really engrossing. It's not without flaws but fans of the genre should be very happy with it.
LEVEL (Czech Republic)Jun 20, 2016Big Pharma revives the tycoon concept with logic beyond the given frame and this makes it not only fresh and interesting, but also entertaining. [Issue#264]
PC Gamer UKNov 15, 2015Its various components are limited, but this is a clever puzzler/simulation whose flaws aren't too bitter a pill to swallow. [December 2015, p.84]
Apr 23, 2016I did enjoy my time playing it – there’s a pleasant satisfaction to building up your factory and slowly perfecting your latest wonder-drug (before giving it a deliberately silly name) but I was always faintly aware there wasn’t too much else to look forward to in the game.
CD-ActionNov 14, 2015Do not expect depth similar to Capitalism 2, you will not have to care for share prices or company’s reputation, but if you enjoy tycoon games, Big Pharma is a well-designed one. [11/2015, p.55]
Sep 22, 2015If you want a brilliantly designed logistical puzzler then so many other games offer so much more.
Positive: 5 out of 8
Mixed: 2 out of 8
Negative: 1 out of 8
Aug 30, 2015Big Pharma is easily one of the best tycoon games I've played in years. The tutorials help you get started quickly, but there is plenty ofBig Pharma is easily one of the best tycoon games I've played in years. The tutorials help you get started quickly, but there is plenty of complexity to spend dozens of hours in this game. All my favorite business sim problems are present: from thinking about cashflow to figuring out the optimal placement of machines. Even just looking at the game is a joy because of the beautifully animated machines.
Congratulations to the developer, Tim Wicksteed, for an amazing job.… Expand
Oct 16, 2015Solid game play, in depth strategy combined with tactical considerations like space and use of import/export sockets, excellent replayabilitySolid game play, in depth strategy combined with tactical considerations like space and use of import/export sockets, excellent replayability with custom level builder and sandbox mode. Awesome graphics, animations and perfectly suited music. Watching your factory and drugs in motion is mesmerizing! Smoothest beta process I've ever been part of, very few bugs (personally never encountered any) and quick release. No 'missing' features that gamers are forced to pay again for in the form of DLC or add-ons. The game is complete on release.
Umm maybe a bit difficult for new players to grasp? It's honestly not a difficult game but it's definitely a step up from the mindless clicking that most casual games ask for these days.
As I was typing this I realized that expecting a game dev to put out a polished, feature complete game at release has become somewhat of a high expectation in the industry :( Big Pharma definitely meets it and then some! I do hope there may be some sort of expansion/sequel in the future but this is certainly not a game that is lacking content. Like the good old tycoon/city builder games of the 90s, Big Pharma doesn't hold your hand. Understanding the mechanics takes all of an hour or so but mastering the game is not so easy!
I'd recommend this game to tycoon fans, puzzle fans and those that like to relax with their games.… Expand
Aug 13, 2017Big Pharma is one of those games that is difficult to describe, tricky to understand, and an absolute gem when you give it a proper chance.Big Pharma is one of those games that is difficult to describe, tricky to understand, and an absolute gem when you give it a proper chance. This is one of those games that seems to garner bad reviews largely because people failed to read the description and understand what the game was setting out to do. "It's a business sim!" "It's a factory game!" "It's _______!" where the blank is just about anything that it seems at first glance it might be. And then people get mad because they didn't get their assumption.
Okay, great, so what *is* it? Well, Big Pharma is a mid-detail business sim welded to a very clever process puzzle game. These aren't puzzles in the sense of someone set up a mess for you to untangle, not at all. If there's a mess, it's pretty much your fault, and therein lies the fun.
Your job is to produce medications to cure diseases and illnesses. From things like cold symptoms and acne to true calamities like Alzheimer's and cancer, you have the opportunity to cure - or at a minimum successfully treat - all of them. All medications start off as ingredients. Each ingredient has a set of attributes: cures, side effects, and boosters. You then run these ingredients through processing machinery to alter concentration, transform an ingredient to cure a different disease, eliminate side effects, and optimize effectiveness. The tricky bit, though, is that while you can change the orientation of machines, their input and output ports won't always be convenient for what you're doing at that time (the machines don't change, but your situation will), meaning you're going to need to be both creative and smart in how you run conveyor belts and fit your machines together. In this game, efficiency of space and distance are your goals, and man...is it a good teacher.
This probably sounds complex and dry, which isn't fair. Yes, the game is complex - very, at times - but it's not dry or dull. If you're the sort of gamer who wants or needs to be told what the objectives are, there's a lengthy list of missions for you to sink your teeth into. For the freestylers (like me), there's a full sandbox mode. You might not expect it, but it really is satisfying to figure out how to make a production line fit into as small a space as possible, or build a fully efficient line that wastes no time.
There are parts of the game that are very complicated, and not all machines lend themselves to easy understanding. Documentation in game is pretty thin, although there is a pretty robust, re-runnable tutorial. For a manual, though, you'll be turning to the wiki to learn how to make those machines dance, and that can be a bit of a pain. As a bonus, though, the developer remains very active on Steam's forums and the forum itself sees good traffic, so if you loft a question, it's sure to be answered pretty quickly.
So, yes, bit of a learning curve. You can and will master the mechanics of running a successful factory, along with the fun (and pain) of managing the business side: patenting your new drugs, marketing them...maybe engaging in a little subterfuge to snag more market share. Hey, all's fair in love and pharmaceuticals. Not being a business sim (I still can't believe one critic compared it to CapII), it doesn't offer full depth of business models and massive market dynamics, but what it does have is more than adequate to the game's purpose.
So, in short, ignore the complaining "professional" critics. "It's not Theme Hospital?" No, games.cz, it isn't; the title you're looking for is Theme Hospital. Big Pharma is its own creature, and when you go into it knowing what the game is about, you'll find that it delivers handsomely on its promise.… Expand
Aug 30, 2015+++ Deserves Title "Pharma Tycoon"
++ Complex Tech- and Product-Tree at the beginning ++ Good combo of Puzzle-Sim and Economcis-Sim +++++ Deserves Title "Pharma Tycoon"
++ Complex Tech- and Product-Tree at the beginning
++ Good combo of Puzzle-Sim and Economcis-Sim
++ Neat Gfx and Animations
+ Good Tutorial with Screenshots
- Once you found all information to produce, its simple Clone+Cash
- - Switching between Play & Pause just to find production information needed is annoying and exhausting.
+/- Start playing in the evening and realise that its getting sunny outside because you played all night!… Expand
Feb 27, 2016Quite confusing at the beginning but there are tutorials. It's a puzzle game but I feel it is not worth the full price. Although a good game,Quite confusing at the beginning but there are tutorials. It's a puzzle game but I feel it is not worth the full price. Although a good game, wait for sale before buying.… Expand
May 23, 2017A game that reminds of the great Theme Hospital but sadly is not one - although it is not a bad game in itself.
Big Pharma is a game aboutA game that reminds of the great Theme Hospital but sadly is not one - although it is not a bad game in itself.
Big Pharma is a game about drug production by setting up processing lines that change different ingredients into a drug that can be sold with profit. You get a number of machines that can change the drug intensity, upgrade it or remove side affects that come along. Each steps of course comes with a price and it's up to you judge if you want a better drug or make more money on it - sometimes both means the same but not always.
The visual aspect and general user interface are really great. A bit old school but well designed and look.
The processing line design is pretty fun - I must admit. In general it's a puzzle - place more cheaper machines that takes less space or more costly ones that do the job for three but at higher cost. Either way you have to judge space requirement over probable income loss. Depending on the drug complexity the processing lines can be quite long and interesting and putting them up together is the meat of the game. You need to watch for side effects, adjust proper concentration, mix them together to combine certain effects in order to upgrade them. The whole marketing model is quite complex and opponents do put up a fight.
Apart from that you get scientists you can hire in order to discover more complex machines and other enhancements. You also get to hire people to discover other ingredients curing different diseases. They're costly so you need to manage this as well.
There are some issues though - ones that really spoil a lot of the fun. First of while the theme is interesting it causes the names to be hard to remember. This goes especially for ingredient names and diseases treated - I could not remember them whatsoever and had to constantly check by hovering over or visiting cures screen. Fact that processed drugs at each stage look almost the same - apart from the small distinction in colour does not help at all. The machine names are easier to remember but just a little. Also the fact that once you research Creamer there is no point in shipping pills is also off putting.
But the worst offence was a combination of trying to optimize the output combined with competition. The game gives you a packaging machine. This enables storing multiple drugs in a single package, thus the packages contain more but are less frequently occupying the conveyor belt. This lets you output multiple drugs into a single slot. The number of slot is limited and you can use them both for input and output - thus makes sense to have 4 inputs and single output - and is doable. However if your opponent gets a patent on one of the drugs you're producing you are screwed. The forbidden drug will stop the export and halt all four lines to a point in which you have to manually delete and replace the conveyor belt in order to get your other lines working. Really annoying and proves that optimizing this area is pointless.
Overall apart from the problems noted the game is pretty good. Has it's flaws but did enjoy it. Though probably will not get back to it again.… Expand
Sep 30, 2015Not much of a game, just a puzzle-sim. Mostly it's just a political stand. Nice if you're trying to make a statement, but awful for games.Not much of a game, just a puzzle-sim. Mostly it's just a political stand. Nice if you're trying to make a statement, but awful for games. While there is some gameplay there, it's unbalanced and not very realistic or even educational. The graphics are medeocre and the music.. well that needs help. Somehow it reminds me of cookie clicker mixed with maker.… Expand