Microba (Resource Facilities) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Resource Facilities
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in The Micro User 3.09

Biological journey has internal perils

Microba is a biology adventure game from Resource Facilities. It is introduced by variously-coloured text which explains that the player can wander through the human blood, repiratory, urinary and digestive systems.

The aim is to search for questions and attempt to answer them correctly. For each correct answer the adventurer is awarded five points and a warning states that three of the questions must be correctly answered or the game ceases.

To get into the high-score table, players must have found at least 30 questions and scored at least 20 points.

The journey begins in the mouth, where the adventurer decides whether to be swallowed or inhaled.

Swallowing leads to a route through the oesophagus to the stomach, where it is possible to either carry on or be absorbed.

If the player carries on travelling in the gut. he or she moves through the duodenum, where questions on the pancreas are also asked.

Next is the ileum with its villi, the appendix and its associated bacteria and the caecum where a question on symbiosis is posed. Finally the colon, rectum and anus complete this-routeway.

By choosing to be "absorbed" from the gut into the bloodstream, the journey leads through the hepatic portal vein to the liver and from there either through the hepatic vein lo the heart or in the bile from the gall-bladder to the duodenum and the rest of the gut.

The second major route through the body is via inhalation from the mouth through the trachea, a bronchus, bronchioles and then alveoli where the player can pass into the bloodstream to the heart or be exhaled.

The third route is to be exhaled, but since this scores no marks successful players need to choose the first two routes.

All correct answers invoke a "very good" response, but unfortunately since there is only one correct answer an incorrect input from the player can crash the program.

It is possible for users to alter the acceptable answers, but perhaps by providing a printed list, in random order, of correct answers, mis-spellings might be prevented.

Microba might be of most interest to teachers and students of CSE and "O" Level biology and human biology courses. However, because it is not "crash proof" some supervision will be essential.

Peter Hillman

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