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Life Is A Game: Sim Cell

Ludic Biology

I didn't much care for Spore as a game or a simulation, but I always thought there was untapped potential in some of its (sadly disconnected) phases. The cell stage, especially, took us to a place where games rarely tread, largely because most of our heroes tend to be visible without the aid of microscopes. Sim Cell, then, interests me because its main celling point (ugh) is that you're itsy bitsy for the entire thing. Also, it's a game with educational elements, but not an edutainment product, strictly speaking. I desperately want to see games and education make beautiful, salt-and-pepper-bearded children together, so this is very good news. Watch it in action below.

Now, you don't actually play as a cell in Sim Cell. Rather, you explore the inside of one as a nanobot. Your goal? To thwart a virus invasion by exploring, scanning for information, and solving puzzles. So basically, you learn by doing:

"Scanned objects will explain how they work individually, but it is up to the player to fit these explanations into a common framework among all the objects of the cell, connecting the dots and constructing for themselves the very processes that cells use to function."

It looks rather handsome, and it heralds from the proven puzzlers over at Strange Loop, who previously turned the valves on the Adam-approved Vessel. He used words like "ingenious" and "beautiful," so I think that means he thought it was pretty OK.

Sim Cell doesn't have a release date as of yet, but it looks decently far along. I suppose it mitochondria come out this year, but I'm not betting on it. It's a fairly organelle concept, however, so I have high hopes.

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About the Author

Nathan Grayson


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