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Play to Cure: Genes In Space

By Cancer Research UK

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***Thank you for all your feedback and support for Play to Cure: Genes in Space. We’ve just released a new version where we’ve tried to address some of the issues you’ve faced. If you spot anything else, drop us a line at as we are still working on some fixes. Thanks for your support in helping us to beat cancer sooner and happy gaming!***

Beating cancer through a space game never seemed possible. Until now.

*** NOTE: This application is designed for iPhone 4S and higher, along with iPad 2 and higher. You can play on older devices but your gaming experience may not be the same***

Every day, scientists across the globe are painstakingly analysing the genetic faults in thousands of cancer samples. They are looking for clues that will help develop new cancer treatments. This game let’s you help.

Play to Cure™: Genes in Space is a pioneering way of helping these scientists in their mission to beat cancer sooner and all via this world first mobile game.

Instead of one lone scientist analysing a cancer data set by eye for hours, a group of gamers can get through that data simply by playing this space themed game and collecting a valuable and tradable substance dubbed, Element Alpha.

Having more eyes on the data means we could generate more accurate results. And crucially it means moving us closer to the day when all cancers are cured.

***This game can be used offline but will upload and download level data using your 3G or wireless connection when available. Each level we download is about 250kb – the size of a low res image***


A mysterious substance is discovered in the voids of deep space. Dubbed Element Alpha, the substance is refined for use in medicine, engineering and construction and soon the Element Alpha industry explodes galaxy wide.

As an employee of Bifrost Industries, one of the biggest traders of the substance, your job is to collect as much Element Alpha as you can and trade it for upgrades to your spacecraft to help you manoeuvre the asteroid filled space course.

Game features:

•Arcade/action space gameplay
•Rise through the ranks at Bifrost Industries from Recruit to Galactic Legend
•Upgrade and customise your ship with unique items, weapons and colours
•Plan your route to maximise your Element Alpha haul
•Maximise your profits by trading your Element Alpha when the market is high or sell immediately for a guaranteed return


Element Alpha represents genetic cancer data that scientists across the world analyse on a daily basis. Genes in Space has successfully translated this data into an interactive, asteroid-strewn intergalactic assault course.

By collecting Element Alpha and navigating your spaceship through the cosmos you’re finding the significant genetic changes which help scientists to discover cancer causing genes and develop new life saving treatments.

So gamers take note. The Genes in Space story may not be real, but the impact of what you’re doing is far from science-fiction.

Play to Cure™. Beat cancer sooner.

What's New in Version 1.2

Thank you for all your feedback and support for your support. We hope this version addresses some of the issues you’ve faced.


• Players losing progress in certain circumstances.
• Accidentally logging player in as guest when
registration fails.
• Game occasionally crashes when user receives a
text message.
• Leaderboards showing wrong position on table
• Number of samples analysed incorrect on thank
you dialog.
• Flurry implemented properly.
• Mute Music and Mute Sound Effects options will.
remain on/off after closing and re-opening app.


• Rate this App dialog implemented.


iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 3
iPhone Screenshot 4
iPhone Screenshot 5
iPad Screenshot 1
iPad Screenshot 2
iPad Screenshot 3
iPad Screenshot 4
iPad Screenshot 5

Customer Reviews

Addictive grinding

I can't say this isn't addictive as I have just spent three hours wanting to see what that second ship would be like. This is a grinding game for sure but it is a great proof of concept that this approach will work. I think it would be a bit more interesting if there was a social leaderboard of some sort but the primary problem is the lack of challenging game play. A lot of the time this game could adequately be played whilst doing something else. It's greatest strength is to show that if segments of more relaxing gameplay in more challenging games was built in this way we could use player brain power without them even knowing. As a basis for an entire game it needs a bit more thought, but well done to the inventors of this anyway.

I agree, does need more work

I like the idea, where we help do the research for Cancer Research. It can be quite monotonous to play, but I suppose that's the way it would be done in a lab, they've just tried to make it more funner. I got it not long after it first came out, but since upgrading from the iPhone 4S to the 5S it doesn't work as well and I'm always getting hit by asteroids, which is really frustrating. The idea is there, but the gameplay isn't there. That and the size is about a quarter of 1GB the only reason I keep it is to hope new things are done and cancer research is done, but I might have to remove it just to do an iOS update, as it's that big

Fun game, great cause

It's a fun little game to play on the train to work, an to know you're helping groundbreaking research makes it feel so much less pointless.
It would be nice to see some more facilities to allow "civilian researchers" the chance to do more, such as integrating the ability to focus on known oncogenes, and identifying the specific mutations, although I'm not sure how easy this would be to integrate...
Anyway, a must recommend for people of all ages, if you've got some time to play.

Play to Cure: Genes In Space
View In iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • Category: Games
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.2
  • Size: 98.1 MB
  • Language: English
  • Developer:
Rated 9+ for the following:
  • Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPod touch (6th generation).

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
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