G-Netix allows to participate in growing of a human embryo. By affecting environmental conditions (oxygen, pH, hydrogen levels) and changing the gene structure itself it's possible to observe the growth of a single cell into a complex organism. Each action evokes a response from an embryo, ranging from death to unusual mutations (i.e. a simple change in chromosome chain may develop insect-like eyes).
The player is a scientist who is circling the earth in a space laboratory. During the journey, a deadly virus hits earth and wipes out the entire human population in a few days. With no one left, it is the scientist's job to recreate life and control the conditions to let new embryos grow and evolve.
The game is bundled with an extensive summary on genetics including such subjects as DNA Replication, Mutation, Cell Division and Cell Cycle, etc.
The only simulation of its kind released outside medical circles, G-Netix is an excellent and extremely comprehensive simulation of genetic engineering. The program is more of a simulated lab/software toy than a game: you are given the tools to experiment with the human embryo in an artificial womb, modifying its DNA and observing the result. With a staggering array of options, you can examine and modify DNA sequences to your heart's content; you can even copy and paste DNA sequences from several animals such as insects into the embryo and see what happens. G-Netix is a great way to experiment with genetic engineering in ways that would be illegal, not to mention morally objectionable, in a real-life lab.
The learning curve is steep, especially since the on-line Windows help file is more of an introduction to genetic engineering, not the game itself (if you have the manual to this, please let us know!) This means the program is best suited for medical students who are already familiar with the basic concepts. However, the program can also appeal to anyone who is interested in genetic engineering, and who has the patience to learn the interface and read the well-written Windows help file. Although its narrow appeal and technical nature means it is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, G-Netix is an outstanding program that succeeds in what it sets out to do: offer a realistic, extensive virtual genetic engineering lab. Highly recommended.
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