I love the game and wouldn't change it. I'm just getting my nerd on and pointing out that "hyper-realistic" is a bit of an over-statement. The merging and omission of countries is understandable from the start but some things have to be learned and recognised as a deliberate game mechanic instead of a feature of a realistic model.
* Syncronised Evolution: If it's so realistic, why do these evolved/mutated strains effect every infected person at once? Surely the mutated strain would have to spread independantly. Even if there was some sort of fast-spreading catalyst how does it reach isolated countries too? (But it's just a game and I like it like this. Getting the stupid nerd rants out the way.) If I was a pedantic nerd - and I am - I would suggest that Plague Inc. is about a specially developed weaponisable pathogen who's DNA responds to some kind of global broadcast.
* Air/Water filters: I don't understand how this works, if it's a "hyper-realistic" world. How can enhanced air filters prevent infected PEOPLE (not the pathogen) from travelling to another country if the world doesn't even know it exists yet? The person should still reach the destination and infect it. Air filters, if anything, should only stop the passenger infecting the other passengers in transit. Know what I mean? Come to think of it, surely an air filter should nullify just the air bonus of infectivity while the infected person is on a plane and nothing else, right? He/she would still pass on pathogen via other "vectors". If an infected person wants to go to another country then some air filtering tech on planes won't stop them boarding, and it can't magically cure them when they do. I definitely don't see how water filter technology would have an effect on boat passengers themselves just because boats go in water... Yeh, this is just nerdy ranting but I think the air/water filter events in the game are kinda arbitrary and surplus and don't add anything anyway.
BUGBEARS / SUGGESTIONS:
* Bubbles appearing under the settings icon: If I could get back all the DNA that I've lost because the bubble appeared under the settings icon in the top-left corner, it would probably be in the hundreds. Not a HUGE deal but a little sloppy and frustrating when it happens. Every DNA point counts in this game.
* Obscured disease name: I've seen this game on a few handheld devices and every one of them had the disease name input box obscured by the onscreen keyboard. How hard is it to move it up a bit so you can see what you're typing?! Also I have a USB keyboard and this is the only game that doesn't let you type with it so you can't win..
* Small progress bars: The rounded-ness of the progress bar carat and the bars' tininess often make it difficult to preview the effects an evolution would have.
* Major statistic unavailable at a glace: Highlighting a country shows the exact number of infected and dead people. It would be very helpful to see at-a-glance the number of healthy people too.
* Comedy news items: I've got a sense of humour but noticing a comedy news headline really reduces the intensity and kills the dark mood. Not saying ditch them, but could they be optional?
* Random sound events: This is my biggest frustration with this game - and right now it's still my favourite game so I WISH they'd fix this... You know those random sound events like the kids singing or police sirens or police radio chatter or women crying... Making this optional would change the game from a 7 to a 10. I play this game all the time while watching things or whatever, but when the kids start singing I have to pause whatever I'm doing/watching until it shuts up. I could mute the game but then I wouldn't be able to take my eyes off the screen because I'd miss bubbles.
* Notifications: Playing casually means not keeping your full attention on the screen all the time. Sounds are important. We get noises to tell us a bubble has appeared. I just wish notifications would make a sound. There's been times I've been looking away waiting for something with that automatic bubble collecting powerup only to look back and realise I've been wasting my time because a notification window paused the game ages ago. Agh.
* Small Pox - Are you kidding? : The small pox scenario is kind of ridiculous. I don't think it's at all possible to get three gold "stars". I don't think I've got three of any star. Once discovered the cure usually reaches 100 in about 40 seconds. I wouldn't even mind so much if DNA wasn't so hair-pullingly scarce. There isn't really a viable approach where you can get full marks. It's hard enough just to win at all. Something needs adjusting, really. I think I managed one gold and two silver and that was hard enough. Tried all kinds to do better and I just can't. Those vaccines might help slow the cure but they cost way too much to be a real option.
There. My nerdy side has vented. But it's safe to say I'm not the only player with a nerdy side. I think the game is inspired and brilliant and I'll keep playing it whatever but there's room for tune-ups. I know the world doesn't revolve around me and if I could access the code I'd fix these things myself, but I can't. All I can do is beg the allmighty dev.
Oh, and there are a few mistakes in the "how to play" text. :P
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the upcoming update.