Puzzle 1: Microbes
In the first chapter of Caduceus, after learning of a plague that is spreading through Alterica, the hero, a healer apprentice, is sent to do research in Alfonso Tidewater's lab. Maester Tidewater sets the young apprentice to work, examining saliva samples of plague victims to find potential causes of the disease. Before kids play the game, the story reveals that the inspection of thousands of samples has brought no results. A late-night accident in the lab inspires the hero to check blood samples, and the game begins!
As children play the 1st Caduceus game, they search for a disease marker in blood cells.
The game screen shows a microscope view of a slide teeming with dozens of colorful, amoeba-like microbes that move randomly.
Each single-cell microbe can be identified by four attributes:
- The shape of its nucleus
- The color of its nucleus
- The pattern of its cytoplasm
- The color of its cell membrane
The player's challenge is to click on matching pairs of microbes. Each click marks the microbe with a special dye. When two matching microbes are marked, they disappear from the slide.
When all matching pairs in a level have been eliminated, the player is left with a set of unique microbes. These are added to the pool of possible disease candidates (and will appear in the final level of play).
If a player runs out of dye before finding all of the matching microbes, the level ends, and no points are awarded. A player can try the level again as many times as needed to complete the task.
After successfully completing four game levels, the player is left with the one microbe - the cause of the illness spreading through Alterica!
Levels have no time limit, but the faster a player completes each task, the higher the score will be. Players can replay levels to earn more points and improve their high score.
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