Review by MrLipid
Less Is More
I am a big fan of casual games. It takes a special type of genius
to come up with an easy-to-learn game that rewards hours of play.
Given how much fun I've had playing D.N.A., I would have
to say that the folks at 5th Cell Media are geniuses of that special
type. Here's how they describe what they've done: "D.N.A.
is about joining different colors together to cause chain reactions.
Your goal is to make chains of 10 or larger that cause cells to
burst. It's that simple!"
Sounds like another match-three game, right? Not quite. The different
colored proteins are blue, yellow, and red. Rather than matching
all of the red, yellow, or blue fragments, one must join blue and
yellow to produce green cells, blue and red to produce purple cells,
and red and yellow to produce orange cells. Nor is it one-to-one
matching. A single blue protein can link with 10 (or more) yellow
proteins to produce 10 (or more) green cells, at which point the
cell bursts, sending its contents to the green container at the
bottom of the screen. The goal is to burst enough green, purple,
and orange cells to fill the containers. While this variation on
match-three play mechanics may seem modest, the effect on play is
substantial, making D.N.A. a welcome addition to the roster
of casual games that have earned permanent status on my hard drive.
Our Story So Far ...
The story, such as it is, is as simple as the play mechanic: "Help
biologist Dr. Rose Thompson [who sports a strong anime look] with
her experiments in the creation and preservation of new species
of flowers! Combine different combinations of free-floating proteins
and cells to cause chain reactions, which will help grow all kinds
of amazing flowers. Make sure she fills her daily quota before time
Or skip the Story mode for Eternal mode, wherein one produces cells
with no time pressure. Very relaxing. Or try Puzzle mode. Puzzle
mode poses 24 challenges that can only be overcome by becoming very
familiar with precisely how the game works. If, for example, I combine
the yellow and the blue on one end of a string of fragments, will
I be able to clear the screen by linking the newly formed green
cell to other fragments? Tougher than it sounds. Both Puzzle and
Eternal mode encourage contemplation. Sit quietly long enough in
Eternal mode (or simply wander off for a while to run errands),
and the screen will eventually fill with blue, yellow, and red fragments.
The length of chains that can be produced once the screen is full
The game features an engaging soundtrack and an encouraging British
narrator who rewards the formation of lengthy chains with enthusiastic
exclamations of "Nice!" "Excellent!" "Great!"
or "Fantastic!" The same narrator offers comments like
"Purple (or Green or Orange) Needed," though such advice
can apparently be ignored without any ill effects.
New Around Here?
As one plays, different types of cells appear spontaneously, each
producing a unique effect. Some cells will clear the screen of DNA
fragments of a particular DNA color, while others slow down the
game action to allow additional chains to be formed to produce larger
cells. Some cells can change colors at the request of the player
to help form chains, and some cells will explode, adding fragments
of all colors to the screen to simplify forming chains.
The overall presentation of D.N.A. is very clean and inviting.
Jump in, play, jump out, come back later. I'm giving it a strong
Thumb Up! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some more work to do
in the lab.
Cell Media LLC
Release Date: October 2006
Four Fat Chicks Links
700 MHz Intel Pentium III or equivalent processor (1.8 GHz Intel
Pentium 4 or equivalent recommended)
128 MB system RAM (256 MB recommended)
16 MB DirectX 7.0 compatible video card (ATI Radeon or GeForce 2,
32 MB RAM or higher recommended)
4x CD-ROM drive
20 MB free hard disk space (50 MB recommended)
DirectX 7.0 compatible sound card (DirectX 8.1 compatible recommended)
Where to Find It
Links provided for informational purposes only.
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by any party(ies).