Evil Labs from Mirabolis Studios
Evil Labs from Mirabolis Studios tosses ethics directly out the window. It makes sense, really. If you ran a pharmaceutical company that provided a cure, wouldn’t it just be fiscally efficient to also create the disease? I may be getting a little dark and unethical here, but that’s the entire purpose of Evil Labs.
Looking a little like Fallout Shelter but playing more like an Early Access Sim Tower, Evil Labs puts the player in charge of a company with two purposes: to create diseases and then sell the cures – at a profit. Once a disease is synthesized, the goal is to infect Australia with as much disease as possible. Alright, maybe it’s not actually Australia, but it’s a land mass sort of shaped like Australia.
Somehow I Manage
The gameplay is simple and fairly standard for this type of sim. Workers are hired, and then assigned jobs. As a touch of humanity, workers have certain stats that need to be minded. They will go to sleep once they run out of stamina. They also have meters for life, hunger and fun. If a worker runs out of points on either meter, they will go to a mess hall or lounge respectively, to recover. This can be done manually or automatically once a worker runs out of each meter.
While workers are the lifeblood of Evil Labs, they can’t do much of anything without facilities. Fully upgradeable through research, facilities are built for the day-to-day operation of Evil Labs. Power generators are needed as each facility draws a certain amount of power. Bedrooms are needed for workers to sleep in, factories are needed to create medicine, and research labs are needed to accumulate research points.
Grinding It Out
Not much can be done in Evil Labs without research points. The game halts to an abrupt standstill if no research labs are built. Research points are the only means of upgrading diseases, hiring more workers or upgrading and building new facilities. Considering workers spend a lot of time recovering lost stamina or other stats, accumulating research points can be a time-consuming grind. In fact, much of Evil Labs in its entirety can be considered a game where grinding is essential.
There is an option to speed up or pause gameplay, as in most simulation games of this capacity. The speeding up option helps a bit with the sense of grinding, but without actual day and night cycles, it sort of just seems like putting the game itself on overdrive. Much of this game is spent watching workers sleep and being diligent in assigning them a duty if they don’t walk over to one automatically.
Infect, ???, Profit
Another setback is how many research points are needed to upgrade anything compared to how long it takes to accumulate them. I focused the majority of my efforts into multiple research labs right off the bat. Regardless, it still took quite a while to progress and unlock necessary upgrades, while I also found my game coming to a complete halt because a large percentage of the content is not yet available in the beta version I was playing.
Being this unethical is an interesting concept; however, I didn’t particularly enjoy my time spent with Evil Labs. As a fan of JRPGs, I enjoy a good grind more than most, but with this one, it seemed like a lot of my time was spent simply idle. Updates are frequent, with the developer constantly addressing player issues, but the level of polish and completeness isn’t quite there yet.
(This game is in Early Access. Beta version reviewed.)
Evil Labs is available via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Evil Labs below: