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Cell to Singularity

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Cell to Singularity
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Developer(s)Computer Lunch
Publisher(s)Computer Lunch
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Platform(s)Steam, Web Browser, Android, iOS
Release
  • Android (Early Access): December 2018
  • Android (Official): March 2020
  • iOS: July 2019
  • Steam (Early Access): December 2018
Genre(s)Incremental
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Cell to Singularity is an incremental game developed and published by Computer Lunch. An exploration of evolution, naturalism, and civilization, the game uses idle mechanics to help players learn about science and history. Cell to Singularity is an example of a game that uses the freemium model; while the game is free and can be played without spending money, players can buy special “boosts” or in-game currency that will help them to clear difficult levels.

Gameplay[edit]

The player begins in space, and must tap on the Hadean Earth to begin earning Entropy Points. These points are then used to unlock new developments in Earth’s history, such as the creation of the Moon. As more of these developments become unlocked, the player is able to progress through the different eras of Earth’s history. As Earth and its organisms evolve, visual changes occur to the planet, as well as in additional “gardens” where the player can view the organisms that they’ve purchased.

Once the player is able to evolve humans, they gain the ability to generate Idea Points with the tapping mechanic. This new currency is used to advance humans in technology and civilization up to the present day and beyond.[1]

Occasionally, “boosts” may become available, which allow the player to gain a small advantage in the game such as doubling their offline income, increasing the speed of their simulation, or increasing the payout of each tap. These boosts are activated by watching an ad or using the app’s premium currency, cubes of the fictional substance Darwinium.

Branching off of the main tech tree is the Mesozoic Valley[2], a separate simulation featuring the evolution and eventual extinction of the dinosaurs. Released in December 2019, this expansion added 50 new levels to the game and introduced new gameplay, including Trait Cards which can be used to upgrade individual creatures.

When the player reaches the point of creating a technological singularity in the civilization tree, activating this upgrade causes the game to “crash” and restart from the beginning. This is, in reality, a prestige mechanic, and the players’ earned Entropy and Idea Points are converted into a new currency called MetaBits, which are used to upgrade the simulation and unlock new areas of study.[3]

History[edit]

Cell to Singularity began development in 2017, inspired by Computer Lunch co-founder Andrew Garrahan’s love of nature documentaries.[4] Wanting to create a game about science and history, Garrahan saw the emergent popularity of the incremental game genre as a good fit for the more relaxed pace of a documentary. Garrahan was also inspired by James Burke’s “Connections” series for the BBC.

The game was developed using the Unity engine, and was initially released in early access on Android in mid-2018. It was later also released in early access on iOS and Steam. After a long period of beta testing, the game was officially released on iOS in summer 2019 and Android in spring 2020.[5] While still in Early Access, the game received more than 5 million downloads on Android. [6]

The game is still in active development, with updates releasing regularly.[7]

Reception[edit]

Katherine Franklin of BigBossBattle.com called the game, “a commendable delve into a fun representation of evolution on (and off) Earth.”[8] BlueMoonGames praised the game’s atmosphere, saying, “The visual presentation makes the game feel like an interactive animated educational tutorial through the [historical] periods described.”[9] Currently, the game has a 4.4 rating on the Google Play Store[10], a 4.8 on the iOS App Store[11], and a “Very Positive” review rating on Steam.[12] It was picked as an “Editor’s Choice” game on the Google Play Store in June of 2020.[13] It has been featured in Let’s Play videos by YouTubers such as Blitz[14] and LazeeLlama[15]. While the majority of the reception to the game has been positive, it has been criticized by some for its simple low-poly graphics, lack of branching narrative options, and slow update schedule. Many negative reviews of the game stem from distaste for its use of incremental mechanics such as clicking.

The game has an active Discord community, and due to its origins in early access utilizes many of its fans and casual players in beta testing.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


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Category:2018 video games Category:Browser games Category:Mobile games Category:Free online games Category:Incremental games Category:Android (operating system) games Category:IOS (operating system) games Category:Single-player video games Category:Video games developed in the United States

Article revised to include more reliable secondary sources and references[edit]

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