App Review: CDC’s 'Solve the Outbreak'

The CDC's new iPad app turns taxpayers into digital epidemiologists who solve cases involving mysterious illnesses.

by / June 17, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s free app, Solve the Outbreak, may help public health officials educate Americans about massive sickness and treatment.

The app is an interactive, question-and-answer game that educates players about how medical professionals identify mysterious illnesses that strike large populations. Though Solve the Outbreak doesn’t have much replay value, it’s still an informative experience.

People play as disease detectives in three missions and investigate clues to discover what’s happened to make people sick in scenario. Each clue offers information about the outbreak and asks players what to do next.

In one case, for example, a mysterious stomach bug strikes a bunch of college students, and the player must choose one of three options that will lead them to discover what the illness is. Do they question each victim to find out what they have in common, do they quarantine the students, or do they simply tell them to rest and stop partying so hard?  

By answering questions and diving deeper into cases, players gain insight into how the government handles mysterious illnesses. With only three static missions that don’t change after playing, however, Solve the Outbreak lacks the features necessary to keep people coming back play multiple times. 

Check out Government Technology’s detailed review of Solve the Outbreak in the video above.

Hilton Collins

Hilton Collins is a former staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.

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