Molecular Jig Games want to get right down deep into someone’s body (yours, maybe?) in Immune Defense, giving you control of a medical microbot helping white blood cells defeat infections. It’s currently in the final hours of a Kickstarter campaign and doesn’t look like it’ll make it, but does have a browser-based demo so you can at least enjoy that.
Cool concept as this is, there have been games before that have drawn on similar ideas. Where they differ is that Immune Defense is also setting out to provide a little education on the subjects it uses as the basis of its gameplay.
The basic idea is that you spawn white blood cells and then equip them with different receptors. Different ‘move receptors’ pull toward certain proteins (which spawning near clusters of bacteria) whilst ‘job receptors’ are designed to capture dangerous organisms and draw them inside the blood cell, at which point they’re dissolved in acid. Delightful, eh?
At the same time as you’re governing your white blood cells, steering them toward infections by dropping proteins, you must keep an eye on both the inflammation rate and overall amount of inflammation. I can see monitoring and managing all this becoming a challenging balancing act.
Based on the demo I can see some issues, chiefly that you’re sometimes fighting against the rogue movement tendencies of your own defender cells as much as the multiplying bacterial infections. Still, this is the sort of thing that can be addressed over the course of subsequent development – and this sort of polish, along with porting the game to additional platforms, is why Molecular Jig are asking for the funding of crowds.
At the time of writing Immune Defense has been funded to the tune of $28,000 – a fair way short of its $50,000 goal. I’m intrigued enough at its unusual mechanical spin on the tower defence concept, not to mention its educational aspects, that I hope it makes it to its goal before Monday.