Software:Cell to Singularity

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Short description: 2018 mobile game

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Cell to Singularity
Cell to Singularity cover.jpg
Cell to Singularity's The Beyond
Developer(s)Computer Lunch
Publisher(s)Computer Lunch
Platform(s)Steam, Web Browser (outdated), Android, iOS
Release
  • Android (Early Access): December 2018
  • Android (Official): March 2020
  • iOS: July 2019
  • Steam (Early Access): December 2018
Genre(s)Incremental

Cell to Singularity is an incremental game developed and published by Computer Lunch. An exploration of evolution, naturalism, and civilization, the game uses idle mechanics to help players learn about science and history.[1] Cell to Singularity is an example of a game that uses the freemium model; while the game is free and can be played without spending money, players can buy special "boosts" or in-game currency that will help them to clear difficult levels.[2]

Gameplay

The game begins with a view of the Earth from space. Players must use their fingers or mouse to tap on the Hadean Earth; tapping generates Entropy Points. After tapping some points, the Tech Tree of Life is then unlocked. Entropies are used to unlock upgrades and generators. Generators are part of the tech tree that are used to automatically generate Entropy. Which are then used to unlock new developments in Earth’s history.[3][4] The player progresses further through different eras of Earth’s history as they unlock more of these upgrades. When the planet and its organisms evolve, visual changes occur in 3D modeled "gardens" where the player can view the creatures and developments that they’ve purchased.[5]

Evolving homo sapiens unlocks a new currency for the player called Idea Points.[3] Players gain currencies continuously, with the simulation continuing to earn points even while the game is offline.[6][7] Occasionally, "boosts" may become available, which allow the player to gain a small advantage in the game.[6] This premium currency, purple cubes of a fictional substance called "Darwinium" (named after Charles Darwin) can be obtained via in-app purchase or through in-game events or achievements.[8]

Players will eventually reach the point of creating a technological singularity in the civilization tree. This activates an upgrade that causes the game to “crash” and restart from the beginning. This is, in reality, a prestige mechanic: the players’ earned Entropy and Idea Points are converted into a new currency called MetaBits, which are used to upgrade the simulation and unlock new areas of study.[4]

Expansions

  • Mesozoic Valley – Branching off of the main tech tree is the Mesozoic Valley, a separate simulation featuring the evolution and eventual extinction of the dinosaurs. Released in December 2019, this expansion added 50 new levels to the game and introduced new gameplay, including Trait Cards which can be used to upgrade individual creatures.[9]
  • The Beyond – The second expansion of Cell to Singularity, the space-themed Beyond, was released on November 6, 2021. The launch of the expansion was marked by an in-game event where players tapped on a black hole icon. This milestone was reached after four days, and the simulation became available to play.[10]

History

Cell to Singularity began development in 2017, inspired by Computer Lunch co-founder Andrew Garrahan’s love of nature documentaries.[11] Wanting to create a game about science and history, Garrahan saw the emergent popularity of the incremental game genre as a good fit for the more relaxed pace of a documentary. Garrahan was also inspired by James Burke’s “Connections” series for the BBC.[11]

The game was initially released in early access on Android in 2018.[12] It was later also released in early access on iOS and Steam.[11][13] The game was officially released on iOS in August 2019,[14][15] and Android in April 2020.[16] Finally, it left Steam Early Access in November 2021.[10]

Exploration Events

Cell to Singularity is still in active development, with updates releasing regularly.[17] Beginning in late 2021, limited time events, called "Explorations," have been added to the game.[18][19][20] These feature miniature simulations about specific topics in science, technology, and the humanities. There are currently six planned Exploration events for the future.[21] Two of which are released, these includes:

  • Unfold The Universe – Explores the James Webb Space Telescope and the detailed history and mission of the telescope.This event coincided with the launch of the said telescope.[22]
  • Fungus Among Us – Explores the entangled world of Fungi, its properties and types.
  • The Big Questions – Explores philosophy and its questions.
  • Life After Apocalypse – Explores the extinction events, which occurred in Earth history and shows what would happen if all humans die.

Reception

Katherine Franklin of BigBossBattle.com called the game, "a commendable delve into a fun representation of evolution on (and off) Earth."[3]

Early reviews praised the game’s atmosphere, with one from BlueMoonGames.com declaring, "The visual presentation makes the game feel like an interactive animated educational tutorial through the [historical] periods described."[23]

Michael Zegar of GamePressure.com compared the game favorably to Spore, Cookie Clicker, and Plague Inc.[24]

The Beyond expansion, released in November 2021, also received positive reviews. Catherine Ng Dellosa of PocketGamer.com called it, "...a refreshing change of pace from the numerous mobile titles out in the market today."[1]

The game has a 4.4 rating on the Google Play Store,[25] a 4.8 rating on the iOS App Store,[26] and a positive review rating on Steam based on over 9,000 reviews.[27] It was picked as an "Editor's Choice" game on the Google Play Store in June 2020.[25]

While the majority of the reception to the game has been positive, it has been criticized by some for its simple low-poly graphics, lack of branching narrative options, and slow update schedule. Many negative reviews of the game stem from distaste for its use of incremental mechanics such as clicking.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Cell to Singularity: Beyond review - "Staring into space has never been this rewarding"" (in en). https://www.pocketgamer.com/cell-to-singularity-beyond/review/. 
  2. Mohandas, Mithun (2021-03-19). "Cell to Singularity – Evolution Never Ends | Digit" (in en). https://www.digit.in/features/gaming/cell-to-singularity-evolution-never-ends-58861.html. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "From Cell to Singularity and back again" (in en-GB). 2019-02-13. https://bigbossbattle.com/cell-to-singularity-ea-review/. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "'Cell To Singularity' Celebrates James Webb Telescope Launch With Two-Week-Long In-Game Event" (in en). http://worthplaying.com/article/2021/12/28/news/130066-cell-to-singularity-celebrates-james-webb-telescope-launch-with-two-week-long-in-game-event/. 
  5. "Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends — Patch 6_60: Beta Testing for Nanobots and Revamped Land Garden — Notícias do Steam" (in pt-br). 2020-09-12. https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/977400/view/2914348127396440257. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Offline earnings have become a joke for the main sim but remain solid in Dinosaur sim. :: Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends General Discussions" (in en). https://steamcommunity.com/app/977400/discussions/0/2794999575668044841/. 
  7. "Cell to Singularity: A Must-Have Game" (in en-GB). 2020-10-03. https://www.theedgesusu.co.uk/culture/2020/10/03/cell-to-singularity-a-must-have-game/. 
  8. "Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends - 7.19 Mammal Kingdom - Koala & Kangaroo, Photo mode, Skip Open Geode button - Steam News" (in en). 2020-11-25. https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/977400/view/2923362221807428424. 
  9. "Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends - Patch 6.01: We Hatched a Major Update - The Reptiles & Birds Expansion is Here! - Steam News" (in en). 2020-06-23. https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/977400/view/2487624370137479949. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sheehan, Gavin (2021-11-02). "Cell To Singularity: Beyond Will Officially Launch November 6th" (in en). https://bleedingcool.com/games/cell-to-singularity-beyond-will-officially-launch-november-6th/. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Click to Exist: A Chat with ComputerLunch about Cell to Singularity" (in en). https://techraptor.net/gaming/interview/click-to-exist-chat-with-computerlunch-about-cell-to-singularity. 
  12. "Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends gameplay details" (in en-US). https://www.joyfreak.com/threads/cell-to-singularity-evolution-never-ends-gameplay-details.11989/. 
  13. "Cell to Singularity Evolving from Early Access - Hardcore Gamer" (in en-US). 2021-11-02. https://hardcoregamer.com/news/cell-to-singularity-evolving-from-early-access/413679/. 
  14. "Cells to Singularity iOS Version Arrives August 29, Dinosaurs Coming Soon" (in en). https://techraptor.net/gaming/news/cells-to-singularity-ios-version-arrives-august-29-dinosaurs-coming-soon. 
  15. "Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends - Cell to Singularity Coming to iOS August 29th! - Steam News" (in en). 2019-08-23. https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/977400/view/5280989900262585260. 
  16. "Cell to Singularity: Evolution Never Ends (2018) release dates". https://www.mobygames.com/game/cell-to-singularity-evolution-never-ends/release-info. 
  17. "Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends - Steam News Hub" (in en). https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/977400?updates=true. 
  18. "Steam November 2021 top 20 new releases" (in en-US). 2021-12-22. https://venturebeat.com/2021/12/22/steam-november-2021-top-20-new-releases/. 
  19. "Steam Community :: Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends" (in en). https://steamcommunity.com/app/977400. 
  20. "The James Webb Telescope May Be Grounded But Cell To Singularity Is Already Counting On A Successful Launch" (in en-US). 2021-12-24. https://www.gamespace.com/all-articles/news/the-james-webb-telescope-may-be-grounded-but-cells-to-singularity-is-already-counting-on-a-successful-launch/. 
  21. "Cell to Singularity on Twitter" (in en). https://twitter.com/computerlunch/status/1524872080407384064. 
  22. Botadkar, Tanish. "Cell to Singularity is celebrating the launch of the James Webb Telescope with a new story-driven event" (in en). https://www.pocketgamer.com/cell-to-singularity-beyond/james-webb-telescope-launch-event/. 
  23. "Cell to Singularity | 2020 Review | Guides, Tips and Tricks" (in en-US). https://www.bluemoongame.com/game-guides/cell-to-singularity-review-tips-cheats/. 
  24. "Free Clicker That Lets You Play God Gains Popularity" (in en). https://www.gamepressure.com/newsroom/cell-to-singularity-free-clicker-gains-gopularity/zd3bfb. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Cell to Singularity: Evolution - Apps on Google Play" (in en). https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.computerlunch.evolution&hl=en_US&gl=US. 
  26. "‎Cell to Singularity: Evolution" (in en-AU). https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/cell-to-singularity-evolution/id1327555461. 
  27. "Cell to Singularity - Evolution Never Ends on Steam" (in en). https://store.steampowered.com/app/977400/Cell_to_Singularity__Evolution_Never_Ends/. 

External links