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Health, Web / Download

Ouch by Thought Den

3-gameplay-7-ouch

Ouch is a simple yet effective micro game built by Thought Den for the Science Museum. Based on the Arcade classic Missile Command, it explores how patients can manage their pain using a variety of methods. An unwitting central character becomes the focal point for a succession of pain impulses that could easily tip them over the edge. Your job is to intercept the pain impulses before they reach the brain.

A positive mood can help make your task a little easier, represented by cute smiling faces that can be used to take the edge off, but you will still need some quick-click skills to place your placebos. When the stakes increase you can use painkillers, but an over-reliance on these will see them become less and less effective. More outlandish solutions include the impulse-blocking spider venom and the reliable smart bomb general anaesthetic.

Why we love it:

  • Simple and appealing art style
  • Classic arcade gameplay, with room for replays
  • Clearly conveys the learning messages

dys4ia by Anna Anthropy

dys4ia

Dys4ia is a gamified experience about hormone replacement therapy. The controls are very simple – just the arrow keys – and the starkness of the gameplay and the lo-fi aesthetic allow the content to shine through. The game’s creator is making headway in an otherwise unexplored and totally niche area of videogames. It’s like queer WarioWare and is at turns funny, frustrating, informative, and touching.

Why we love it:

  • Game based on real experiences and events.
  • Simple retro styling enhances the message.
  • Witty and moving in equal measure.

Play it online (free)

Nom Nation by Playerthree & Channel 4

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Nom Nation is a retro platformer in which you learn about nutrition. You play as Chef, whose mission is to defeat an evil fast food peddling clown, and return the Holy Book to the Noms. By eating different noms you get different powers, protein gives you super punches, sugar and caffeine give you speed, fat makes you, well, fat. But muncher beware, foods can have lethal long term effects too…

Why we love it:

  • It’s funny and irreverent.
  • Great chiptune soundtrack.
  • Teaches healthy eating without being worthy.

Play it online or on iOS (both free)

Code Fred: Survival Mode by Museum of Science + Industry Chicago & UNIT9

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Code Fred: Survival Mode is a suite of browser-based minigames in which the player learns to exploit their own human biology to stay alive. As Fred, you’re trying to escape from a marauding wolf, completing a series of tasks in order to survive; pumping adrenaline to run faster, fighting off bacteria and healing a wound (yes, the wolf bites!).

Why we love it:

  • Great combination of fun and learning.
  • Dark sense of humour to amuse teens and adults.
  • But it’s great for all ages!
  • Nicely paced action for enquiring minds.

Play it online (free)

EteRNA by Carnegie Mellon & Stanford University

eterna

EteRNA is a science based puzzle game in which players help to solve real life RNA molecule folding problems. Starting out with simple, yet addictive puzzles, the player is trained up until they have the skills to contribute to regularly changing RNA problems posed by the scientists behind the game. Top voted solutions are synthesised in a lab and ultimately improve RNA folding research at a much faster rate than traditional computer models.

Why we love it:

  • Easy to pick up puzzle mechanic.
  • Empowers the player to contribute to real life science issues.
  • Great example of crowd sourced science that is actually fun!

Play it online (free)