4 min read

CRISPR CRUNCH: Play Curious launches a new game to learn how gene-editing works!

Find out how gene editing works in new title.
[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Game Developer and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press]

CRISPR Crunch Press Release

Subtitle: Sick of viruses? Now’s your chance to get even

PERPIGNAN, April 26th 2022 - Bacteria may be much smaller than humans, but we share the same enemy- viruses! Starting on April 28th, 2022, you can finally get your revenge.

In CRISPR Crunch, a new game for mobile and desktop, players defend a bacterial cell against hordes of attacking viruses, by using the cell’s natural defense system. Players search for the DNA sequence of the attacking virus on a hexagonal grid of colored tiles. If the sequence matches, the player destroys the virus. Otherwise, the virus will start reproducing, eventually bursting out of the cell. Game over!

From here, players embark on a journey through 30 levels and 3 unique worlds, immersed in the bizarre shapes and distinct colors of the strange but beautiful world of the small. If they run into trouble, players can use bonuses to swap tiles in the grid or heal from infections. A variety of gameplay modes keep the game exciting and challenging.

Along the way, players unlock short, punchy videos by an expert in biology who gives insights into how DNA works. Through the game, players discover CRISPR - a gene-editing technology that has the potential to alter life itself. They will learn how CRISPR works, how it evolved, and where its limits lie.

“Bio is the new tech, the growth industry that will change human lives the most in this century. CRISPR is the new transistor, a deceptively simple tool with almost unlimited applications. Let this game carry the spark of wonder that turns young people into scientists. Let it inspire curious people of all kinds to help us use the new biotechnologies effectively and responsibly." said Jake Wintermute, synthetic biologist and science communicator.

CRISPR Crunch is the latest game by the French indie studio Play Curious, who specializes in making games about science and technology. Their previous project was Blockchain Battle - a game to discover how the blockchain works by hacking a mysterious new cryptocurrency.

Its CEO, Jesse Himmelstein, previously worked at the Center for Interdisciplinarity (CRI) in Paris where he built games for researchers and teachers to communicate complex subjects. The goal of Play Curious is to offer a whole catalog of games around subjects as varied as renewable energy, space exploration, and quantum physics to the curious public.

“CRISPR is one of those subjects that comes up often in the news, but most people don’t know how it works or what it means. There are some great podcasts and YouTube videos out there that explain it, but we believe that games are the ideal medium for learning. We hope that people have a blast playing this game, and learn how CRISPR works in the process.” declared Jesse Himmelstein, CEO of Play Curious.

About CRISPR Crunch:


  • Fight off viruses by matching their DNA as quickly as you can
  • Travel across 30 levels in 3 microscopic worlds
  • Earn bonuses to protect from infection or slow the viral assault
  • Along your journey, unlock TikTok-style videos created by our very own biology expert, Jake Wintermute
  • Immerse yourself in the unique scientific setting, through our original soundtrack and unique visuals inspired by microscope imagery
  • Play on phone, tablet, or desktop

CRISPR Crunch won the Big Indie Pitch Award at the Pocket Gamer Connects event in 2021. An earlier version was showcased at Games Made in France (JMF) on the popular Twitch channel MisterMV.

About Play Curious
At Play Curious, we make games to discover fascinating subjects in science and technology. Like a science podcast or YouTube channel, except you can play!

We believe that games are the very best way to learn. In a game, the player discovers a subject by exploring how it works, motivated to overcome failure, and learning from their mistakes.

Play Curious has a unique concept to bring learning games to the general audience. We follow a casual format, adapted for mobile, with engaging graphics and interactions.

For this project, we are collaborating with Jake Wintermute, a research biologist formerly at the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity in Paris (CRI) to communicate how CRISPR functions in nature and in genetic engineering.

Our previous project was Blockchain Battle - a game to discover how the blockchain works by hacking a mysterious new cryptocurrency. It was accepted at the StunFest game festival and shown at the Paris Games Week.

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