February 1, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 3)

URL:
http://bit.ly/WAa936

Rating:
Strong Points: Introduces players to different pathogens/treatments
Weak Points: None

Platform:
iPad

Cost:
Free

Summary:

If you’re going to play games on your iPad, they might as well be educational, right? (Conversely, if you’re going to learn about pathogens, there might as well be a game for that, right?) Such is the premise of Germ Blaster, a space alien-type game in which the player loads his/her syringe with an appropriate weapon to defeat incoming pathogens. The player’s health status is (naturally) given as the percentage of “immunity” remaining. To be successful, players must recognize that antibiotics won’t defeat prions, nor will antifungals have any efficacy against viruses. There certainly isn’t that much educational content in the game, but hey—it introduces players to “helminths”, so that should count for something. As for the game play itself, I gotta admit—it’s pretty tough!