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Cellcraft Review

Review; Jan. 25, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Liam Reid

Occasionally from the hordes of generic and cliched games, a truly original game comes along -- a game which is not a sequel or a knock-off. In addition to its originality, this game has hit on one of the holy grails of gaming: being educational without being annoying. I remember sitting in my primary school computer class being forced to play so-called educational games. The monotony and drudgery was terrible, and these travesties had the cheek to call themselves games? Not so here. Cellcraft truly deserves to proudly bear the educational title.

Cellcraft is a flash-based game whose main character is an Amoeba Protues. The plot centers around a planet inhabited entirely by platypus, but news has just broken that a giant meteor will strike the planet and destroy all life, so a team of cellular biologists hatch a genius plan to use an amoeba they have been cultivating to carry their DNA to a new planet and save the species. You play as this amoeba as they put it through its paces and prepare it for its long journey. Grow and develop your cell, defend yourself against massive virus attacks and save the platypus species! While basic, the cinematics are original and, at times, hilarious.

How could you not save this little guy?

The game is all about strategy and the management and use of resources. You gather resources, including glucose, amino acids and nucleic acids, which you then process using the various cellular organelles and mechanisms into building blocks and adenosine triphosphate, which is the energy carrier for the cell. Using these, you build new and increasing complex organelles and cellular components, such as lysosome, slicer enzymes, mitochondrion, and chloroplasts.

While the story line of the game is fun and imaginative, the science behind it all is impeccable. The functions and processes you learn while playing are exactly as they are in real life, so in addition to being amazingly entertaining, the game is also highly educational. In fact, the reason this game was partly developed for this specific purpose -- to teach through fun -- there are even plans to provide resources for students and educators to use alongside it as a form of teaching.

To sum up, the game is fun AND educational. However, the game's one flaw is its lack of longevity -- the levels are satisfactorily long, but there are not enough of them. Yet, once you complete it, you might as well go back through it with a different strategy in mind. Now that I've played this highly educational, yet highly fun, game, I would ask they create more games like this.

He has your best interests at heart -- if he had a heart.


Review Score

Not Rated by ESRB

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