Cell Strike

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Cell Strike App Poster Image
Explore and eliminate infections on biology-based missions.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to use resources, called "units," to seal wounds and fight bacteria and infections in the body. They learn that different bacteria can be more difficult to destroy, and that some strains of bacteria are resistant to the immune system's defenses. While completing missions, kids are exposed to science words like leukocytes, platelets, natural killer cells, and more. 

Ease of Play

Controls are easy to use, but it's not always clear what to do and how to do it.

Violence

Very mild cartoon violence: kids use "fight and kill" strategies, but only in order to protect the human body from infections. 

Sex
Consumerism

Players are hooked into the game with a bit of free play. A subscription is required for full access, which includes only five missions.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cell Strike – Touch Press Games is a game that immerses kids into the world of wounds, bacteria, and the immune system. The first mission begins deep within the foot of a human body where there's an open wound. Kids use different strategies to fight bacteria and seal up wounds to protect the body. Unfortunately, there are only five available missions at the subscription level of $4.99/month, which is likely to disappoint parents and kids. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

There are five immune system missions for kids to explore inside the human body in CELL STRIKE - TOUCH PRESS GAMES. Mission one begins with a visual tutorial that guides kids through some of the steps for completing the mission: gathering engineering units to heal wounds and killer units to destroy bacteria. There are also scouts, which gather antigens, and specialists to clear up the more difficult infections. Kids encounter three strengths of bacteria, learning how to strategize as they combat different strains. As kids complete tasks within a mission, they earn points by exploring the area, gathering antigens, and collecting hot spots where infections are likely to occur.

Is it any good?

This biology-based game is intriguing and has potential to teach kids a lot about the immune system, but it falls short in a few key areas. Although there are prompts at the top of the screen and a help button that explains some of the functions in Cell Strike - Touch Press Games, completing even the first mission can be a bit perplexing. Kids are prompted to look around the area inside the body to find all of the bacteria and wounds. This can be difficult if kids do not know what to look for and how many wounds and bacteria sites they must find. It would be great to see four features added to the game: hints if kids sit idle for more than about 30 seconds, an explanation of how close they are to completing a mission, a breakdown of what they have accomplished, and a science glossary. Thankfully, kids can try it for free before parents have to pay.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Cell Strike - Touch Press Games is similar to the real immune system. Encourage kids to compare the units in the game to what they represent in the human body. For example, engineer units that heal wounds represent platelets that are involved in blood clotting.

  • Choose two other systems, such as the circulatory system and the endocrine system. Do some research to find out how the immune system works with these other human body systems for overall health.

  • Talk about the subscription levels and what's allowed to buy. If your kid likes the free trial and other Touch Press Games, it might be worth it to buy the all-access pass.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Science: biology
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, asking questions, strategy
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try, Paid (Free to download; $7.99 unlocks the full game. Access all TouchPress games for $4.99 per month.)
  • Release date: September 5, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 140.00 MB
  • Publisher: Touch Press
  • Version: 1.2.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later

For kids who love science and biology

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