So for a long time this game was SP only, when they patched in multiplayer I was interested to see how it went, so my brother and I faced off a few times.
It's a much more challenging game against an opponent. There's two win conditions, be the first disease to infect everyone in the world, or be the last disease on the planet.
If you've played the single player you know the common strategy of having a very infectious, but symptomless and non lethal disease which spreads. In multiplayer, that can still be effective, but your opponent can counter it, by evolving traits that make their disease more infectious to people infected by yours, and more lethal. You can evolve a bunch of traits that make it easier for the world to cure your opponents disease. You can evolve traits to make people infected by your disease harder to infect and kill. You can also spend DNA points on temporary traits which increase lethality in a region, or allow you to charter flights from one region to another (which is crucial when a country shuts all it borders, you can still infect them) or a temporary disease hiding, slower work on the cure for your disease but speeding up the opponents.
You get a bonus DNA production in your home country until it's discovered by the opponent, so there's good motivation to spread fast. Quite a few games weren't won so much as lost. If you make your disease too lethal at the wrong time, you kill off your infected population, or you just stay small but spend your DNA points on making sure the enemy disease gets cured first.
Each game probably takes about 15 to 20 minutes on average. As you play more you can unlock various starting genes which help or hinder your spread in certain types of countries.
If you enjoyed the single player version, give multiplayer a shot. It's good fun with someone you know.
This might not be chess, but choose your next move carefully.
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