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App description: ***Thank you for all your feedback and support for Play to Cure: Genes in Space. Weve just released a new version where weve tried to address some of the issues youve faced. If you spot anything else, drop us a line at citizenscience@cancer.org.uk as we are still working on some fixes. Thanks for your support in helping us to beat cancer sooner and happy gaming!***

Beating cancer through a space game never seemed possible. Until now.

*** NOTE: This application is designed for iPhone 4S and higher, along with iPad 2 and higher. You can play on older devices but your gaming experience may not be the same***

Every day, scientists across the globe are painstakingly analysing the genetic faults in thousands of cancer samples. They are looking for clues that will help develop new cancer treatments. This game lets you help.

Play to Cure: Genes in Space is a pioneering way of helping these scientists in their mission to beat cancer sooner and all via this world first mobile game.

Instead of one lone scientist analysing a cancer data set by eye for hours, a group of gamers can get through that data simply by playing this space themed game and collecting a valuable and tradable substance dubbed, Element Alpha.

Having more eyes on the data means we could generate more accurate results. And crucially it means moving us closer to the day when all cancers are cured.

***This game can be used offline but will upload and download level data using your 3G or wireless connection when available. Each level we download is about 250kb the size of a low res image***


A mysterious substance is discovered in the voids of deep space. Dubbed Element Alpha, the substance is refined for use in medicine, engineering and construction and soon the Element Alpha industry explodes galaxy wide.

As an employee of Bifrost Industries, one of the biggest traders of the substance, your job is to collect as much Element Alpha as you can and trade it for upgrades to your spacecraft to help you manoeuvre the asteroid filled space course.

Game features:

Arcade/action space gameplay
Rise through the ranks at Bifrost Industries from Recruit to Galactic Legend
Upgrade and customise your ship with unique items, weapons and colours
Plan your route to maximise your Element Alpha haul
Maximise your profits by trading your Element Alpha when the market is high or sell immediately for a guaranteed return


Element Alpha represents genetic cancer data that scientists across the world analyse on a daily basis. Genes in Space has successfully translated this data into an interactive, asteroid-strewn intergalactic assault course.

By collecting Element Alpha and navigating your spaceship through the cosmos youre finding the significant genetic changes which help scientists to discover cancer causing genes and develop new life saving treatments.

So gamers take note. The Genes in Space story may not be real, but the impact of what youre doing is far from science-fiction.

Play to Cure. Beat cancer sooner.
02-10-2014, 03:03 PM
Just downloaded this, as at least a small portion of my free time could probably help kick cancer's butt.
02-10-2014, 03:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,866
Popular Science did a brief article on this today. It references this video, which explains how the game was developed.

02-10-2014, 04:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: The last time zone for iOS game releases :(
Posts: 2,273
Will d/l when I get to Wi-Fi, a unique way to battle against cancer. I'm up for it!
02-12-2014, 06:41 PM
Joined: May 2013
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Posts: 1,644
This is great! I loved the idea. I wish Eli could post about this game, but I guess he is busy writing one more post about Flappy Bird.