Are you bored during the 21-day lockdown period and on the lookout for some entertainment?
You can now be a part of the fight against the coronavirus, from the comfort and safety of your home. Two XLRI students, Akram Khan and Anushree Warade were just as bored when they decided to develop an educational shooter game aiming to educate Indians about the novel coronavirus. The gameplay has been kept simple yet challenging, a player has to shoot vaccine on viruses that spawn on the screen and the game becomes progressively tougher as the score reaches higher. Once you miss the virus, the game ends and an educational message pops up on the screen.
“The objective of the game is to spread awareness about how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and flatten the curve,” the developers say. “The virus starts to become smarter as the score increases. Initially, it only moves horizontally and learns to move in different directions and at a faster speed”
Called “Bhag Corona”, the web browser game is currently available for free here and can be accessed on all devices (mobile, tablet and desktop). It has no in-app purchases or ads and is available in English. The developers are working on releasing it on iOS and Android app stores too.
“Defeat corona in this challenging and educational game and kill boredom during the lockdown. We are trying to encourage users to stay at home,” Anushree says of the game. The messages instruct the players to wash hands, stay at home, wear a mask, so on and so forth. "We inculcated the World Health Organization's guidelines for personal protective measures and hygiene to fight against COVID-19," adds Akram.
The developers say they were inspired by the flappy bird for the game's dynamics and the idea of making it challenging. They experimented with varying difficulty levels before settling for one. If the game becomes too tough, people lost interest while it being easy has the same effect.
Within a day of its release, the game has been played over five thousand times. The creators shared it within their own circles and asked friends and family to help spread the message.
"We realized people are bored and restless during the quarantine period and a game would be the most effective way to spread the message", they added. The duo plans to create more such games spreading awareness and a social message in the future.