Wonderful game. When it works, it's nearly flawless gameplay. Building a cell from a defenselessness to a biological tank is thrilling in a unique way! And learning about how every step in making your cell capable of surviving is intriguing as well.
One tiny problem with the gameplay is with the Peroxisomes. In several levels you start with only a few, which isn't a problem, except that a lot of times I don't think to produce more immediately, or I forget to check the Auto-Build Peroxisomes button. After a while I'd go back and look through my cell only to find that many of my organelles were in various states of disrepair, and even my Nucleus was almost destroyed. I suggest you set the game so that by default, you start with a minimum of two Peroxisomes, and have the Auto-Build button checked off by default. That would save a lot of frustration on the player's part.
Another problem when the game is in working shape is the lack of hints. On the level (I can't remember exactly what number offhand) where Jeeves sends the large barrage of viruses against you, it took me many tries to find the proper combination of organelles to effectively fend them off. It felt like at that point I hadn't really learned enough about the cell's structure to mount an effective defense.
I have to say though, the glitches are a severe hamper on the enjoyment. It seems like after you've gotten a certain amount of resources stockpiled, your organelles stop taking orders. I'm on level eight right now, and it seems like every time I think I'm ready to produce toxins, I find I'm unable. Worse, I'm unable to produce Lysosomes, Peroxisomes, DNA Repairs, or even Defensins. Interestingly, I can still buy and sell membrane at will, as well as buy and sell Slicers.
As a side note, while I was typing out this review, I left the game running, after having suffered the glitches, and given about ten minutes, I found that everything was working fine once again.
So, I'll bring this to a conclusion.
Overall, I loved this game! I can promise I'll be coming back, as well as going to your site to see more about it. 4/5, 8/10. Keep up the GREAT work!
Thanks for all of the kind words and the detailed review! The glitches are indeed a problem - perhaps next time we'll do a larger alpha test to try to catch more of them before the release, but on the plus side I think most of them have been fixed.
For the Peroxisomes, I think I'd counter that finding yourself low on them and forgetting to think about them is a way to help reinforce why they're important. My guess is that you've forgotten what ribosomes or centrosomes do since they were much more set-and-forget in the game (and were hard to set up otherwise). By making you build Peroxisomes occasionally it helped make sure you were thinking about them and what they do. But I can see how it was annoying the first time the free radicals started to eat your cell. :)
Balancing hints with strategic thinking on the player is tough. We don't want to give too much away, but we also don't want to leave you hanging. I'm sorry that Level 6 was tough, but hopefully it was more of a "I wonder how I can beat this" than a "Man, this sucks, I have no idea what to do". In any case, I'm glad you got through it!
The game was good, except a bug
First of all, the game itself is great, a bit long explanations in the beginning, but that's ok, after all it's educational. Some great gameplay after that.
I could play it until the last level. The last level I couldn't finish, due to something I think is a bug? I had more than enough of all resources. But when the toxins were at 58%, it just ignored further presses on the "Toxin" button. It didn't give any message or anything, just didn't make any toxins anymore, and didn't subtract the resources. And then a bit later this started happening to the green things that should pick up radicals too! So I couldn't continue playing there unfortunately :(
not to mention, it would have come in handy for my biology quiz a few weeks ago.
fun game, appropriate graphics (which helps us understand the functions of the cell etc. very clearly) and very nice, calming background music :)
Although I'd have to say that Jeeves simply made it a 10.
Lovely game, however...
I got stuck at some point. Not because I couldn't manage to beat the level, but because I just couldn't.
When I died in the Gator's stomach (membrane burst), I hit retry. Now, I'm stuck with no membrane (even though the rest is there), and 0 of every ressources. trying "restart" doesn't work. Hitting "Quit" goes to a black screen with the game over popup of the membrane bursting.