Multiplayer collaborative tower defense game to protect the body from infection
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Kidney: The Last Stand is a multiplayer collaborative tower defense game created at SF Science Hack Day 2015 by Jacques Deguine, Mario Gumina, Meena Shah, and Maggie Fero. This repository contains all the materials needed to play the game yourself at home with your family. It is a cooperative game designed to educate the players on the immune system while they work together to defend the kidney against infection.

Recommended for 2-6 players. Ages 7+.

Game Rules

Work with your teammates to defend the kidney against the infection. The game ends when you kill ten infection cards’ worth of Bacteria or a Bacterium makes it to the bottom end of the board infecting the bloodstream. If a Bacterium makes it from the top to the bottom end of the board, Bacteria win. If you kill all Bacteria, the immune system wins!

Setup: Choose a difficulty level. If you would like to play the easiest version of the game, use the blue infection cards. For most games, use the green cards. For an added challenge, you can try using the red cards. If you feel like you’re in-between levels, you can mix together cards of multiple colors, but be sure not to pick more than ten! Shuffle the Infection cards of your chosen color. Shuffle the Immune Cell cards. Deal 3 cards to each player. Your cards are your own and cannot be given or traded to other players, but you don’t need to hide them, because you’re all on the same team. Beginning with the youngest player and moving to their left, take turns until either the Bacteria are all dead or one makes it to the end of the board.

Game play: At the beginning of each turn, move all Bacteria currently on the board down one square toward the bloodstream. If infection cards remain, flip over the top card and add bacteria to the top row as shown on the card. The player places one Immune Cell card anywhere on the board that does not have any immune cell cards. Immune Cells attack! Remove any Bacteria that are eaten or attacked by the Immune Cells currently on the board. Draw a new Immune Cell card.

Frequently Asked Questions: What if a Bacterium lands on my B-cell? B-cells can’t attack Bacteria on or past their square. Can I make a drinking game? We do not recommend this. However, if you must, please remove all medium (green) and hard (red) cards. What if I can’t play any cards? You can skip playing a card for the turn or you can discard all of your cards and exchange for new ones instead of placing an Immune Cell. Bacteria still attack. What if I kill all of the bacteria before we flip ten infection cards? You keep playing! Good job staying on top of disease, though! What if a Macrophage is next to two T-cells? Do the effects stack? Nope! The Macrophage can only eat a maximum of two Bacteria per turn, even with helpful T-cells’ assistance. What if two Macrophages are next to one T-cell? Can each Macrophage eat two Bacteria per turn? Yes! Each Macrophage benefits from the T-cell.

Mutations: Instead of using Bacteria pieces, use candy. If your Immune Cell eats a Bacterium, you get to eat the candy! If you want to make the game harder without moving to a harder card color, try removing a few Neutrophil cards or playing without placing any cards in the first row. Try with different numbers of infection cards. Removing infection cards makes the game shorter, and adding some can add more germ-busting fun!