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?
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (30 reviews) - 70% of the 30 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (610 reviews) - 78% of the 610 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 27, 2015

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Recent updates View all (14)

June 20

v1.07.00 Patch

Big Pharma v1.07.00 brings with it improved AI, balance improvements and all-round goody goodness.

Note: In this update I have added borderless window mode to the Windows version. If you are curently using the "-popupwindow" launch command, you should remove it and switch to borderless window mode via the options panel in-game.

Here are the specifics:
  • Added Polish language support for the DLC.
  • AI can use the multimixer and shaker more efficiently now. This means that they follow you up the tech tree more effectively. Expect the AI to be hot at your heels for the entire game now.
  • Improved AI pricing algorithms in Marketing and Malpractice DLC.
  • AIs don't patent things quite as often.
  • AIs now have staggered start times so they don't all flood the market at the same time in the early game.
  • Reduced the extent to which ingredient prices increase in base game in reaction to oversaturation. It was squeezing low level cures too intensely.
  • Increased value of all level 1 and some level 2 cures in base game.
  • In the base game, there are now only 2 AIs in Advanced, Quick Start and Room to Maneuver scenarios. This is balanced by the improved AI algorithms mentioned above.
  • Fixed bug where hover for "Average Saturation" was shown on the wrong column on the company tab.
  • Fixed some typos in event text.
  • Machine process times can never go below 1 (was possible before using mods).

To summarise, I've tried to decrease the difficulty in the early game which was caused by all the AIs rushing the market and filling it with level 1 and 2 cures.

This is balanced by a more difficult mid and end game because the AI is much more proficient at keeping up with the player as they build higher level cures.

These changes affect both the base game and the Marketing and Malpractice DLC.

Give it a go and let me know what you think, I think it makes the game a lot more interesting!

Tim

9 comments Read more

May 18

v1.06.12 Patch

Quick patch fixing a bug I introduced in the last patch while improving the custom game generation algorithms.

4 comments Read more

Reviews

“Like all good management sims, Big Pharma has quietly turned me into a monster.”
Kotaku

“It's superb, absolutely superb.”
Nerd Cubed

“It’s f****** great.. This is a really good game”
Sips

About This Game

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? Being totally altruistic may not be the best business plan. The uncomfortable truth (is there an ointment for that?) is that some remedies are more profitable than others and illness is good for business.

Welcome to the world of Big Pharma!

From humble beginnings


with a few rusty reconditioned machines, you can progress from knocking out cheap generic treatments for minor ailments, to discovering new active ingredients and hi-tech machines to help refine the next generation of world-changing drugs.

But watch out,


you’re not alone out there. Rival corporations that want to put you out of business have their own set of competing cures and treatments.

Then there’s the dynamically shifting marketplace which means that your fancy cold and flu medicine from last winter might not sell so well now it’s the height of summer. Where did I put my anti-wrinkle sun cream?

Big Pharma


is part business sim, part logistics puzzle. It’s one thing to work away in the lab perfecting new formulas, but converting the ‘sciency stuff’ into cold hard cash means bringing an engineering and business mind to the problem.

Factory space is expensive, and those fancy new agglomerators and centrifuges don’t always slot nicely together.

Features:

  • 35 business-busting challenges spread out across 7 unique scenarios
  • Custom game mode
  • Freebuild mode
  • Modding support

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, 7, 8, 10
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 600 series or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: any
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, 7, 8, 10
    • Processor: 2GHz Quad Core
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 700 series or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: any
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6.8, 32/64-bit
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 600 series or better
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: any
    Recommended:
    • OS: Latest Mac OS X
    • Processor: 2GHz Quad Core
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 700 series or better
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: any
    Minimum:
    • OS: E.g. Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 600 series or better
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • Additional Notes: Requires the following packages to be installed: libc6:i386, libasound2:i386, libasound2-data:i386, libasound2-plugins:i386 and dependencies.
    Recommended:
    • OS: E.g. Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17
    • Processor: 2GHz Quad Core
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 700 series or better
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • Additional Notes: Requires the following packages to be installed: libc6:i386, libasound2:i386, libasound2-data:i386, libasound2-plugins:i386 and dependencies.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mostly Positive (30 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (610 reviews)
Recently Posted
Slickest
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
Many hours put into this game outside of steam.
Fantastic game, gradual complexity as you play through the different challenges, or just do a completely custom game mode of your choosing.
If you like Factorio, you'll love this game. Easy to play, hard to master.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
T-Bone Biggins
( 36.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Surprisingly good game. Put way more hours into this than I thought I ever would and I keep on playing. It keeps you engaged, when you work a problem out like compacting a production line into the smallest space possible in a cramped factory you legit feel good about it. Then your heart sinks when the market for that product falls out. Luckily you can save money, look for another ingredient that needs to be processed in a similar manner and with minimal effort crank out another drug. Or instead of selling the machinery at a loss you could re-use machinery different configurations or manufacturing lines to make a completely new process for another ingredient. Another thing, ingredients are randomized. This means you cannot make the same thing the same way. Ever. Each time you load a new level you have to think on the fly, formulate what conentrations you want, and if it's worth processing an ingredient enough to remove side effects. Sometimes side effects disappear with almost no effort, other times it's too cost prohibitive to even try unelss you want to make a drug at a profit-loss.

What furthers the gameplay is competition. There are AI that can do exactly what you do in the game. All the dirty tricks and good recipes. They might not be as good as a human right out of the gate, you are typically the first to release a product, but each personality of AI can specialize in certain things. The CEO fellow goes around putting patents on easily made drugs like a prick, the nerdy looking old man makes very high-level drugs typically quicker than I would, sometimes an AI will make enough of a product that it drops market demand so you won't be on top in that market. This helps keep the game very fresh at all times, you don't know which AI you are facing and they can give you a run for your money at times.

I can keep raving on for hours. I like this game a lot. It's not expensive, it's very cheap for what you get. It can run on Linux just fine, I play it on LinuxMint17 and the mouse isn't as responsive as windows but this isn't an FPS, you can pause this game any time you want. The expansion is an honest expansion and worth the $6 full price, adds so much more to Big Pharma. Very good game, it genuinely surprised me how much fun it is.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Guy LeDouche
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
ส์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์ส์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์ส์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์็์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั์ํ์่์ํ์ั์ํ์๋์ํ์ั
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kerplunk
( 65.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Definitely one of my favourite games I've played this year, I was put off by the mixed reviews when it came out, but it's a really interesting mix of tycoon and logic puzzle games. I haven't found it getting tedious that much at all. You always have different ingredients and the various challenges are very well balanced and make replayability worthwhile to try and get the expert ranks once you gitgud.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Trebort
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
I hate this so much. I played for almost 6 hours and I didn't have a single minute of fun.

I didn't see the point of trying to make decent drugs, you can make just as much money with crappy mass produced drugs.

I wish I could refund this, £18 down the crapper.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DREXEL
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
its fun but it doest go good for things with not much space and cant run so if i would say anything is that i wish there was i could get better profomence
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cashfiesta0001
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
I'll be honest, I torrented this game first, but it was a really fun time-sink so I came by and bought it. 8.5/10

It's challenging but not brutal, levels are similar enough to make it feel accessible and familiar but not so much that they're boring, and you can expect to spend hours upon hours of fun crushing your competition and convincing the sickly public into just accepting that curing their cancer will require your drug that causes anal warts.

You'll spend a lot of time figuring out how to use the ingredients available to you and how to organize your assembly lines for maximum profit - if that sounds like something you'd enjoy, ignore the frame-rate drops you'll experience with enormously complex late-game facilities and buy this game now!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Slore
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Big Pharma is a simulation of building conveyor belts to make drugs. Side effects be damned, just give me drugs. The missions are all based off of income goals. Supposedly consumers care about side effects, but creating a drug that is almost max strength with no side effects just isn't as enjoyable as having diarrhea and anal leakage.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
coolsexguy420boner
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
♥♥♥♥ game, not fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
53 of 65 people (82%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
When Big Pharma first came out, they made a big deal of how it was going to be this big moral quandery. Would you go the path of greed, sideeffects be damned, or try to alleviate the world's ills for afordable prices. This was the reason I became interested in this game. Now, seemingly, they've fulfilled those promises (but most likely not), in the form of a PAID expansion.

What you do get from the base game is a boring puzzle game, where you start from zero at every level, having to do the same things over and over again. There are zero moral quanderies. There is no reason to care about the 1s and 0s on your charts. You aren't presented with any consequenses even if you release the aids virus in pill form (other than a drop in profits). It's ONLY about making profits, nothing else matters gameplay wise.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
I love puzzle games, but I'm not afraid to admit when they get to be too much for me. SpaceChem is a perennial favorite of mine that I burned out on way before the end, for example. Big Pharma shares certain similarities with SpaceChem, but with a layer of corporate management on top of the mind-bending puzzles. It's an interesting combination, and also a very exhausting one.

You get to be the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, which turns out to be a lot more interior design and number-crunching than the vlogging and buying Wu-Tang albums that I expected. Starting with a small empty room, you import ingredients through hatches in the walls, run them through a gauntlet of machines, and funnel the resulting pills, creams, and tinctures back out for a profit. Each ingredient has positive and negative effects that are activated at different concentrations, so your machines can raise, lower, and rescramble concentrations to make effective medicines.

Cramming all the necessary machines and connecting converyor belts into the space you have is your primary concern. You can research and unlock more efficient machines but you're trading space efficiency for higher running costs, which must be weighed against the profit of the drug. These values in turn fluctuate with the cost of ingredients, the market demand for that cure, and any competitor companies in that market. This is the management layer I spoke of and while you can do well enough ignoring price fluctuations, more difficult scenarios and the Master-level goals require you to retool your operation based on the market, especially once patents come into play and companies start locking each other out of producing specific cures.

This additional layer of complexity may be unwelcome to those just trying to wrap their brains about their assembly lines. Cures can be upgraded to more valuable remedies by hitting specific concentrations with specific machines. This sometimes requires catalysts mixed in with special machines, which might also require re-arranging your chemical's traits with yet another machine. All of these processes must then be crammed into limited space, and layout mistakes can be costly to undo. An efficient, profitable line is incredibly gratifying to put together, but it can be a difficult road to get there.

You'll have over three dozen scenarios to choose from, with goals ranging from make X dollars over Y years to deliver Z quantity of a specific drug. Regardless of your goals, the means will be similar, building assembly lines for simple drugs while you research the ingredients and tools to make more complex ones, and refactoring everything when you start to run out of space. New machines, upgrades, and rules may come into play in later scenarios, but never to particularly dramatic effect. It's one of those games where you really have to love the core gameplay loop because it's not going to deviate much from scenario to scenario.

The presentation is perfect for a puzzle game, with clear, colorful, cartoony shapes and pleasing animations for all your machines. I want to give special recognition to the sound effects, which reach Blizzard-levels of polish for how perfect and gratifying they are to hear. Machines make delightful buzzes and clanks, belts whirr along happily, and even the buttons have rich bleeps and bloops to them. It's an excellent concept assembled and presented as well as anyone could expect, so the only question is how long you'll care to stick with it. There's not a lot of variety to building lines or running your company, but if you want to build Rube Goldbergian coveyors and tax your brain in turning a profit, you'll find no end of content to keep you happy.
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
Fans of Factorio, FortressCraft Evolved, Rimworld, any type of resource management simulator.... please read below:

This game is not for you.

It feels immersive when you start but is very shallow in reality. All the extra stuff going on other than automating medicine and making money is pretty much cosmetic, the competition does not mean a thing, you can pretty much ignore what they do. World events are spam. Worst of all, it becomes repetative after the first level.

It looks nice, it seems to deliver a lot only to feel empty. The missions/goals for each level are there but each level, you are doing the same thing, automating meds. The machines manipulating the medicine are simple and limited. They do not change appearance when upgraded. The workers working the machines just stand there the whole time operating the machine, no needs.

This game is for a console or an iPad, thats about it.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Big Pharma is a simulation of building conveyor belts to make drugs. Side effects be damned, just give me drugs. The missions are all based off of income goals. Supposedly consumers care about side effects, but creating a drug that is almost max strength with no side effects just isn't as enjoyable as having diarrhea and anal leakage.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
36.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Surprisingly good game. Put way more hours into this than I thought I ever would and I keep on playing. It keeps you engaged, when you work a problem out like compacting a production line into the smallest space possible in a cramped factory you legit feel good about it. Then your heart sinks when the market for that product falls out. Luckily you can save money, look for another ingredient that needs to be processed in a similar manner and with minimal effort crank out another drug. Or instead of selling the machinery at a loss you could re-use machinery different configurations or manufacturing lines to make a completely new process for another ingredient. Another thing, ingredients are randomized. This means you cannot make the same thing the same way. Ever. Each time you load a new level you have to think on the fly, formulate what conentrations you want, and if it's worth processing an ingredient enough to remove side effects. Sometimes side effects disappear with almost no effort, other times it's too cost prohibitive to even try unelss you want to make a drug at a profit-loss.

What furthers the gameplay is competition. There are AI that can do exactly what you do in the game. All the dirty tricks and good recipes. They might not be as good as a human right out of the gate, you are typically the first to release a product, but each personality of AI can specialize in certain things. The CEO fellow goes around putting patents on easily made drugs like a prick, the nerdy looking old man makes very high-level drugs typically quicker than I would, sometimes an AI will make enough of a product that it drops market demand so you won't be on top in that market. This helps keep the game very fresh at all times, you don't know which AI you are facing and they can give you a run for your money at times.

I can keep raving on for hours. I like this game a lot. It's not expensive, it's very cheap for what you get. It can run on Linux just fine, I play it on LinuxMint17 and the mouse isn't as responsive as windows but this isn't an FPS, you can pause this game any time you want. The expansion is an honest expansion and worth the $6 full price, adds so much more to Big Pharma. Very good game, it genuinely surprised me how much fun it is.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
I tried to play this a few times, but just ended up walking away bored. The concept is very appealing, but the gameplay is not. Laying out conveyor belts endlessly just isn't that much fun.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
This is a delightful combination between a simulation game and a puzzle game. The UI is elegant and flows well, especially with recent updates which puts more information at your fingertips. This is one of my favorite sim games, with market considerations, timing releases, and strategizing about when and if to patent a drug. On the flip side, you have to puzzle out your factory layout to ensure you use space efficiently while also keeping costs as low as possible. It will often present interesting pro/cons considerations when building a layout between space efficient vs cost efficient machines.

Definitely get this if you don't mind mixing your building/sim games with your puzzle games. Also - don't expect a pure sandbox mode. Befitting a puzzle game environment, you play a series of scenarios with defined endpoints. This is good, as unlike something like Prison Architect, this is a lot about building to that endpoint efficiently as opposed to building a factory and then maintaining it going forward.

I love it, you should get it!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
419 of 455 people (92%) found this review helpful
286 people found this review funny
Recommended
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2015
Came within 5% of the top-most goal for a level, and failed for lack of time. Went back several saves and looked at everything. Was my choice of drug wrong? Were my production lines a square or two inefficient, preventing me from utilizing another delivery portal? Was I spending too much on Bolivian Tree Frog Saliva? Did I not get the researchers working on new machines fast enough?

And then it hit me: my best-selling drug, for erectile dysfunction, beautifully crafted to avoid side effects and have an A cure rating... was devastating the market... for itself. I simply couldn't pull enough profit out of the economy if I cured people.

Tried again. Made sure to give the sufferers a side-effect free drug which worked... some of the time... enough to get their hopes up... but not enough to stop buying next month's installment.

10/10 would abandon business ethics again.
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219 of 261 people (84%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2015
I am a big fan of logistic-puzzle games and thought that this might take the gameplay of Spacechem or Factorio in exciting new directions. Unfortunately, the logistics puzzles and business simulation don't really play off of each other well, and the game quickly becomes tedious.

The two halves of the game don't play well together. The logistics lines are a little bland and mostly come down to twiddling the concentration of a drug up, then down, then up again to evolve its attributes and get them to the right concentration. This might be more fun if you could go whole-hog laying out a complicated production line, but the business side of things ensure that's generally unprofitable. Everything operates at just a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio, so there's no thrill of big, powerful throughput like you get with a massive Factorio setup or a speedy Spacechem reaction.

The business level isn't that interesting, either. Your profit is dependent on the efficiency and margin of your manufacturing lines. Sometimes competitors will interfere by saturating your drug's market, which reduces your profits. Often, a competitor will beeline patent technology just to force you to replace your best drug every other year. That's just annoying. It's also your chief source of waiting, as you twiddle your thumbs waiting for the next ingredient or technology to unlock.

The GUI is also a bit of a chore. You'll frequently be flipping back and forth between the "Ingredients" and "Cures" tabs to try to figure out what steps you need to evolve your drugs, which ingredients provide the desired attributes, and finally what concentration you'll sell it at, and whether competitors are saturating the market.

There are some clever things. Sometimes you will sell a drug with a bad side-effect profile just because it's not profitable to sell a more refined form of the drug. Or maybe your drug will be too effective and demand will go down, or maybe your one drug's side effects will drive sales for another drug. These are all twiddly little fringe cases, and they're not cause enough to keep me playing.
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135 of 151 people (89%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2015
This game was a little bit of a surprise.. I don't usually get much into tycoon type games, though I have fond memories of Theme Hospital from a few years back, and I guess Rollercoaster Tycoon, so my experience isn't great to compare this to others in the genre. That being said, I find this game a great deal of fun.

There are two core elements to the game; a Logistical puzzle, and, a decent strategic/business simulator. I'll cover these separately.

The first part is what you mostly see in the pretty screenshots - you need to construct assembly lines that transform raw biological substances (insect parts, plants, etc) into finished pharmaceuticals. There are a good number of different medicines you can manufacture and each one has vastly different requirements. You need to purchase a variety of machines to transform the product as it moves along the belt from the 'in window' to the exit. Some machines strengthen effects and some dilute them. Other machines are used to combine two ingredients, to analyze a finished drug, to modify or rearrange effects, and to package the final product. All of these machines have different 'in' and 'out' slots that will need to be matched up via conveyor belts in the correct order. At first this can be a little daunting and frustrating, especially when you attempt to 'upgrade' a drug to a more powerful version, and some trial and error is required. That said, it's great fun once you learn the basics, and quite rewarding when you smooth everything out.

The second part of the game is the business sim. This is probably standard fare for these types of games, but again I'm not experienced enough to provide a good comparison. In order to succeed you'll need to carefully manage your expenses - buildings and expansions, machines, drug ingredients, research, and exploration all require money, and while you can take out loans, this will quickly sink you if you don't have steady cashflow coming in. There are competitors who are trying to make a profit as well, and deciding which drugs will provide the best returns can be a challenge. You must invest time and money into research in order to unlock better machines and make your existing ones more efficient. You also must send explorers out to discover new substances that can be transformed or combined into new types of drugs. Random events can have impact on supply and demand as well, so it pays to keep an eye on news popups.

There is a good tutorial, which introduces you to game concepts as you play so you don't get overwhelmed. After that, a series of 'missions' of advancing difficulties keeps the game fresh. I can't speak to the replayability of the game as I'm nowhere near completing the core missions yet, but I believe there Is a sandbox mode once you've mastered all the basics. The missions themselves can take from 15 minutes to a couple hours, depending on the difficulty and how focused you are.

Big Pharma's art style can be described as cartoony and colorful. It really reminded me of a less silly version of theme hospital, but aside from the graphics (and upbeat music) there aren't may other similarities between these two games. One nice feature is the ability to 'paint' your factory - with various primary hues and patterns. This could be useful to customize different product lines or processes on each line, or just pretty things up to your own tastes.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys casual business sims and puzzles. Big Pharma succeeds well at both, and I found it well worth the price of 24.99, though I was fortunate enough to get it on sale.

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