Devour Bacteria & Consume Science In Immune Defense

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.

8 Comments

  1. edwardh says:

  2. Viroso says:

    The two people in this video are so adorably awkward.

  3. Simplisto says:

    They only made fifty $10 spaces available and they’ve all gone. A very costly mistake.

  4. MelanieAnnS says:

    Thanks for the story!

    The best link for our demo is this:
    link to MolecularJig.com

    You really understand our mission and our game design goals. We do indeed plan to give the player upgrades that let them wrangle cells with greater control. This way as the levels progress, the strategy that the player needs to focus on shifts to which cells to activate. The game will keep shifting its focus like this, with new upgrades and new biological problems give the player new concerns.

  5. Lars Westergren says:

    Failed, but they have a strategic partner now so it will still be made with minimal goals. And there is a IndieGoGo campaign now instead to help it get bigger and better.

    link to indiegogo.com

  6. Shadowcat says:

    Tangentially, for anyone who would like to learn about our immune systems (and it’s a genuinely fascinating subject), I highly recommend the book “Why Aren’t We Dead Yet?” by Idan Ben-Barak, which is both highly informative and highly entertaining!

  7. faelnor says:

    This is actually pretty great. Certainly the most scientifically accurate “cellular” game available, and rather fun to boot. I wish I had known about it earlier.

  8. MelanieAnnS says:

    We are on Indiegogo now.

    Working link to Demo.

    We want to get vaccination and viruses into the game. Vaccination is actually “crafting” new cells, and everyone likes crafting in games, right? Vaccination lets the player craft powerful weapons that are targeted to specific enemies. They are like bombs that only go off only when the right virus touches them.