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"Cell: emergence" Launching Today

Posted by Dave Seaman on Thursday, 9 February 2012

Action surgery game 'Cell: emergence' ( is launching today on Xbox LIVE Indie Games, Green Man Gaming, GamersGate, GameStop PC Downloads, and Desura plans to release the title Friday, and Playism will release the title at a later date.

A free demo is available at the following mirrors: 

     Atomic Gamer: ( 
     File Planet: 

In the game players fight a nanoscale war against disease inside the body of a sick child. The fast, deep simulation of tissues, antibodies, germs, nanomachinery, and other elements is achieved with a "dynamic voxel" gameworld, within which every visual detail has meaning, reacts to the player, and interacts with its neighbors. 

      Tutorial and Developer Diary on "Massively Reactive" Gameplay: 

Inspired by tense '80s arcade games like Defender, Centipede, and Missile Command, Cell offers 17 punishing levels that require players to decipher a level's "cellular automata" simulation and then battle living processes with speed and dexterity. 

The game's story, written by Deus Ex writer Sheldon Pacotti, is a first glimpse at a near-future fictional world where war is fought in code and chemistry and the inner workings of Nature. 


Instead of visual detail, the Cell engine focuses on dynamic behavior.  The engine is "update bound" rather than "render bound," meaning that its accomplishment is in efficiently calculating numerous interactions.  With nearly a million cells, over 10 cellular automata rules, and at least 6 neighbors for each cell, the engine runs a simulation at arcade speed that, unoptimized, would require 60,000,000 operations per timestep.


The demo presents a short cut-scene plus a level that takes place in the lungs. Players defend a microscopic pathway against a "seedpod" that tears apart the surrounding membranes with tendrils of Growth. 

This segment of the game shows how the player's main weapon can be used both to shoot immediate threats and to construct defenses over time. The battle to save the membrane unfolds as a combination of sudden sprite-based events and microscopic cell-cell interactions. 


The Xbox version of the game, selling for 400 MS Points ($5), offers a world of almost half a million cells, and the "Cell HD" version on PC, selling for $8.95 USD, offers a world of nearly a million. The HD version on the PC also provides higher fidelity sound and more frenetic gameplay tuned exclusively to the mouse/trackball/trackpad. 

The Xbox version will be available in English and in English subtitled for Japanese, German, and Spanish. The PC version will be available in the preceding languages plus Italian, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Korean. 


New Life Interactive, LLC is an independent game studio based in Austin, TX specializing in massively reactive gameplay.


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