Superbugs: The mobile game
Destroy deadly bacteria and keep humanity's precious antibiotics working for as long as you can in this free, fast-paced, and addictive action game.
The story of this casual, real-time puzzle game comes straight from today's headlines: The rise of superbugs, resistant bacteria which can't be killed by the drugs we rely on to fight infection.
"The new Superbugs game looks great - and as well as being fun, it will help you find out about the huge problem of drug-resistant bacteria - a threat to all our health."
Why did we do a mobile game?
We know that our daily behaviour can lead to resistance, like not finishing antibiotic doses or sharing prescriptions. Therefore, awareness around proper antibiotic consumption is crucial to reducing resistance. Games have a huge uptake among young people, and can be especially effective to convey scientific content, sometimes even contributing to scientific research.
Superbugs is a game to play on your smartphone or tablet. For fun computer games about bacteria and antibiotics, we recommend playing Public Health England's e-Bug games.
Serious Play Awards 2016
Silver, Healthcare category
TIGA Awards 2016
Shortlist, Educational game
Superbugs: The real-life problem
The development of antibiotics has been vital to our survival: WHO estimates they add an average of 20 years to all of our lives. But in the 80 years since the discovery of penicillin, our overuse of antibiotics has put pressure on bacteria to evolve resistance, leading to the emergence of untreatable superbugs.
What is antibiotic resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) means parasites, viruses and fungi don't respond to the drugs we take to combat the infections they cause. Antibiotic resistance refers specifically to the resistance of bacteria against antibiotics.
Bacteria naturally evolve to resist some antibiotics, but the use and misuse of antibiotics speeds up the emergence of drug-resistant types, or strains, of certain bacteria. Poor control of infections, inadequate sanitation and inappropriate handling of food make this problem worse as they help to spread resistance.
Resistant bugs spread globally and threaten our ability to treat common diseases or infections that arise during common procedures, like surgeries and cancer treatment. Without effective drugs against infections, many standard medical treatments will fail or become very risky.
A conservative estimate of annual deaths attributable to AMR stands at 700,000. Analysis shows that this could rise to 10 million by 2050 if we don’t do anything.
What is the Longitude Prize?
We are joining global efforts to make our antibiotics last longer by inviting people from around the world to submit their best ideas for a test that can help rule out the use of antibiotics when they’re not needed.
The Longitude Prize is a £10 million competition to help stop antibiotic resistance. Launched in 2014, voted for by the public and backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, the Prize could be won at any point with a final chance to submit in September 2019. The winning test must be easy to use, rapid, affordable, and useful in different health settings around the world.
Having issues playing our game? Have a look at our technical support.