Insane In The Membrane? Cell: emergence

This is in your tummy RIGHT NOW.

You may remember that a few months back we told you about Cell: emergence, the extremely peculiar-looking game from Deus Ex writer Sheldon Pacotti’s indie team, New Life Interactive. The fantastic voyage is a pixelly exploration of cellular defense, that looks equal parts fascinating and bemusing. Referencing classic games like Defender and Missile Command, and alluding to RTS themes, the experimental project asks you to protect a membrane via manipulation of the medicinal voxels. I’d suggest that watching the video below might explain things better, but I’m fairly sure I know less about the game having watched it. It’s something we need to play to get our heads around, and the good news is it’s out on the 9th Feb, via GamersGate, Impulse, Green Man Gaming, Playism and Desura. And there will be a demo on Tuesday.

Here’s Pacotti explaining how the game plays from a video last year.

It’ll cost $8.95 on PC, which will be a superior version to that released on Xbox Live, with better sound and “more frenetic gameplay” designed to work better with a mouse/trackpad than a controller.


  1. olemars says:

    I think the RPS skynet caught a bug after the downtime this morning. Suddenly I get “click to edit” and “request deletion” options on ALL comments, no matter who they belong to.

  2. DrGonzo says:

    I can’t believe any game is more responsive on a trackpad than a controller. Mouse obviously, but trackpad eurgh.

  3. Gap Gen says:

    If you went back in time 10 years and said “In 2012, all will be cubes!” they’d lock you up in a crazy house.

    • mrwout says:

      Cubes ? That’s so 2011 !

    • Syra says:

      Yep all this progress in anti aliasing has driven us to the opposite extreme it seems. VOXEL BLOCKS FOR EVERYONE!

    • slight says:

      So I had in mind a game in a cube of voxels where you interact with amorphous blobs that can move through the space. If I ever actually write it it’s now going to look like a complete rip off of this! Good thing I’ll probably never get round to it I guess…

      Anyway this looks interesting. Stressful though!

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Next someone needs to make an engine based on (non-texture mapped) vector models. Like Vectrex but 3D. The savings in computing power can be spent on realtime ray tracing and BAM we finally have a proper TRON-like 3D engine that back in the mid 80s we all thought games would look like in the future.

  4. apt says:

    The website says the demo will be available on 7th february, but clicking on the GamersGate link allows you to download it right now. Anyone tried it?

    • Saldek says:

      Well spotted, thanks! Downloading right now :)

      The demo worked, but it was very (!) short. Apparently, I was shooting prion gel at somebodies membranes. In a somewhat frantic fashion. Looked nice, though.

  5. Echo Black says:

    “it’s out on the 9th Feb, via GamersGate, Impulse, Green Man Gaming, Playism and Desura. And there will be a demo on Tuesday.”

    No Steam? Shame, it’s my digital delivery of choice. Not about to pick up another because of a single game I have only a passing interest in :/

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Desura is worth supporting just for scoring badly on the evil-o-meter.

    • John P says:

      They don’t all require a client though. With GamersGate you just download the files and install, no extra software install needed, and it’s probably the same for some others too.

    • I want to stab you to death and play around with your blood. says:

      It’s a shame you can’t pop Valve’s teet out of your mouth long enough to try something new.

  6. Lambchops says:


  7. Prime says:

    Newness? Real newness and not just iteration of the same-old, same-old? On my PC??


  8. Garmr says:

    Insane in the meme – brane, I´ll buy this meme thing

  9. Vandalbarg says:

    Sounds incredible. Something to tide me over until CK2 comes out at least. Downloading the demo from GG now. Preparing for mind melt down in 3… 2… 1…

    • Vandalbarg says:

      Ok, so you can download, but it won’t run yet;

      Following errors were detected during this operation.
      * [2/1/2012 10:44:18 AM] System.Deployment.Application.DeploymentDownloadException (Unknown subtype)
      – Downloading link to did not succeed.
      at System.Deployment.Application.ApplicationActivator.ActivateDeploymentWorker(Object state)
      — Inner Exception —
      – The remote server returned an error: (404) Not Found.

      You can have the files, but they won’t run yet it seems.

    • Saldek says:

      The demo worked fine here – very short, though. Looked nice, was frantic, and asked me to buy or die. (I died)

      Downloaded from GamersGate, btw.