No Lives Left

Sadly, 'Covid Simulator' could be this year’s horror game to beat

Build a workplace and attempt to manage your employees safely and without the spread of a deadly virus? Sounds terrifying.

There are a lot of great and creative horror games out there right now, but one of the scariest upcoming releases (aside from that Dead Space remake) looks like it’s really just an adaptation of real life. Covid Simulator is a new title courtesy of the indie developers at Cold Rice and it, well, does pretty much exactly what the name implies: players are tasked with designing their own workplace, then maintaining it throughout the pandemic’s many terrifying and infuriating complexities. As Kotaku nicely sums it up, “There are no concrete goals, only sadistic experimentation.”

There are an impressive number of customizable factors to adjust as you see fit, including employee vaccine rates, masking, scheduling, and workers’ opinions on vaccines in general. Apparently, you can even opt for some NPCs to choose ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine over, y’know, scientifically proven and effective treatments. How fun. Watch the game announcement trailer below:

Painful attention to detail — One of the most impressive aspects of Covid Simulator is its reliance on actual, existing statistics. “The random ages, genders, health, and ethnicity is based on percentages reported in the U.S. Census data for people in the work place,” explains the developer, adding that the team is currently in search of expert virologists and statisticians to help fine-tune the game’s relative accuracy to real-world events.

Education through any medium possible — “My personal goal with this game is to convince at least one person to get vaccinated, and/or improve their daily precautions against Covid-19,” explains the creator of Covid Simulator on the game’s official site.

In all likelihood, it’s hard to envision whoever is still holding out in favor of whatever Joe Rogan says next would be swayed by a video game. That said, it could easily remind the more rational among us to continue masking up and washing our hands to the tune of “Happy Birthday” once again. C’mon. When was the last time you did that?