Play to Cure: Genes In Space



    Play to Cure: Genes In Space's review

    Published: 2014-02-06, by .

    Groove through deep space and help cure cancer for real

    • Playing helps cure cancer. What other pros do you need?
    • Decent 3D graphics
    • Entertaining and even educational, if you find out more about the project
    • Map actual genes to chart your course
    • Upgrade your ship
    • None

    "Fight a real enemy: cancer"

    You've gotten hours of fun out of playing games on your gadget - time to give something back. Cancer Research UK brings you Play to Cure: Genes In Space, the first app that actually helps towards researching the cure for cancer as you play.

    In order to earn the most points, you've gotta fly your ship through the densest areas of a gene map. Chart your course beforehand on a realio trulio graph of a gene, then control your ship such that you pick up as much of the "Element Alpha" as you can whilst blasting asteroids out of the way. Points over time equal upgrades to your ship.

    The game itself is decent, with well-designed graphics/audio/controls. The really amazing part, tbough, is that your work "charting a course" is information that actually gets sent back to teams of scientists working on a cure for cancer. It's an otherwise menial task turned into a spaceship game for everyone to play - and thus, collaborate. Knowing this makes it feel worthwhile to spend your time grooving 'round space picking up "Element Alpha" in a way I've never previously experienced in a game.

    I'd like to see way, way more of this kind of thing in gaming; I'm reminded of SETI@Home from years prior (... am I old? I might be old). Let's get innovative about thinking of ways to make giving back obvious, fun, even addictive. Major kudos to the team at Cancer Research UK for Play to Cure: Genes In Space.

    Janel Appszoom logo

    by Janel , Appszoom

    Feb 06, 2014


    Genes in Space is complete!

    Thank you to everyone who played Genes in Space – we’ve now analysed all the data in the game.

    Our scientists are hard at work comparing your results with both those generated by researchers to understand how you fare against current analysis methods – and where you might potentially be better.

    Genes In Space is still free to play, although it will no longer be helping with analysis. If you want to continue fighting cancer, search for Reverse The Odds and play our latest mobile game. Download Reverse The Odds now.

    Cancer Research UK


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

    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 let’s 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 you’re 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 you’re doing is far from science-fiction.

    Play to Cure. Beat cancer sooner.

    Users review

    from 9.675 reviews