Despite its simple nature and poverty of features,has been five years in the making. This bite-sized puzzle title is the brainchild of Fully Bugged – an assemblage of video game designers that devoted a smattering of hours in their free time to bring a rudimentary concept into fruition.
From a top-down perspective, the player looks upon the magnified contents of a petri dish teeming with one-eyed cells pigmented in three primary colours (red, yellow and blue). Using the mouse cursor, you can propel cells of the same colour into each other to cleanse the experiment and make them vanish, as you ultimately endeavour to rid the agar of all foreign pathogens.
Cells don’t always emerge in pairs, though, so you’ll have to generate some of your own to complete each level – cells that collide with cells of a different colour emit a single cell of the remaining colour, meaning a red cell colliding with a blue cell spawns a yellow variant.
Working counter to your efforts, launching cells into too many other different coloured cells changes their pigment to grey and loses you a few micro (µ) points – these correspond to the light intensity, with the experiment ending if it gets too dark.
Furthermore, cells that are left idle for too long turn into Dark Viruses, which steadily diminish your micro points and can contaminate other cells. Only White Cells – which are delivered as rewards for amassing points over multiple playthroughs – are capable of vanquishing these insidious mutants.
Meanwhile, Golgi Bodies (large masses that drift across the screen) are the bothersome school bullies, callously booting your cells out of reach like a football in a schoolyard. This invariably scuppers your best-laid plans, triggering the cells to collide erratically and conjure up a sea of immutable grey.
Little Cells’s lack of nuance discourages repeat visits: Golgi Bodies serve to frustrate rather than impart an added element of strategy, while the core idea isn’t engaging enough to capture the imagination beyond a five-minute stint. Although the execution can’t be faulted (Little Cells is a tautly designed game), this experiment fails to serve up any surprises.
Little Cells is available to purchase onfor £2.50.