For anyone who grew up curious about the human immune system and discovered ancient classics such as the Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Innerspace (1987) – or, for those not into classic films, who could possibly forget, Osmosis Jones (2001) – will find the charming and biological video game Project Remedium an interesting find.
Developed by Atomic Jelly, Project Remedium thrusts the player into the role of a nanobot designed and deployed to save the life of a dying little girl in desperate need of medical attention. Her body is ravaged by disease, organs are failing and even her potential saviors—other medial nanobots—have gone haywire and are causing more issues than they were designed to repair.
The game is currently on Kickstarter with a meager-sounding funding goal of $7,474. The funding round has 38 days to go and is already almost 30 percent funded. It is also possible to find Project Remedium on Steam, where you can follow or wishlist it.
Developed with Unreal Engine 4, the trailer demonstrates some of the gooey, biological environments the player can expect from blood vessels to different organs and the space between them. Players will use grapple lines to swing between electrically charged, firing neurons and within the pleural cavity of the lungs (or at least that’s what the globs of balls seem to indicate).
The player will take control of Nano+, not the name of the character but the make and model of the nanobot, a tiny machine designed to enter the body and make repairs at the cellular level. Guiding the player through the story and educating on human anatomy and illnesses will be SuperVisette, a previous Nano+ generation nanobot who is one of the oldest survivors of the last wave injected to fight for the little girl’s life.
According to the developer, there are six organs to heal and a variety of upgradable “weapons,” used to deal damage to invaders (such as germs and broken nanobots) or to repair infected tissues. The environment itself will become part of the story, needing to be broken down or fixed in order to cure ailments.
Equally interesting, the circulatory system and all its blood vessels, will become the communication and transport system used to reach different parts of the body.
Project Remedium is entering into an interesting genre of science fiction and educational fiction. While components of the game will derive a certain amount of fantasy, by using metaphorical and visual cues to effect gameplay matters when resolving the illness, it also has a chance to train players in human anatomy, immune system response, illness pathologies and modern medicine.
Also importantly, the very environment that the player will explore will be a human being: the little girl. She isn’t listed as a character on the Kickstarter website, or even given a name, but certainly her plight could be an important factor in the direction and emotive force of the game. Mere survival of the Nano+ is not enough when someone’s life is on the line.
The initial Kickstarter goal, an apparent within-reach $7,000 appears to be to help the company get the game rolling and its presence already on Steam suggests the game is ready to go even without the extra funding. The expanded goals seem to be a lot more ambitious.
Exceeding $7,000 the company intends to release an enhanced version of the game, adding an improved diversity of particles and textures. For $14,000 the company hopes to bring an additional gameplay mechanic, a Medical Scanner, that sounds a lot like “detective vision” for seeking out ailments. At $33,000 additional ailments arrive and for $48,000 boss contagions appear in each organ to be defeated before a cure can be completed.
All the way up to $100,000 to help develop a console version.
The game is due to be released sometime in 2017, according to the company, the finishing touches are being put on right now. A demo will be available in a few weeks and the Kickstarter provides a way for people to get in on the game early.