Laboratory of Life is a fun and very cute implementation of the famous rules of artificial life developed by mathematician J.H. Conway in the 1970's. In case you have never heard of it, the basics of Life are as follows: the game is played on a grid where each square on the grid is called a cell. A cell has eight neighboring cells all around it. On each generation, each cell is examined to determine its neighbors and the number of neighbors determines whether the cell will be alive or dead in the next generation. All cells of the grid are processed this way for each generation. The exact rules are as follows: |
- If a cell has exactly two living neighbors, then it will remain the same, dead or alive.
- If a cell has exactly three living neighbors, then it will become alive regardless of its previous state.
- In all other combinations of living neighbors, the cell dies and becomes empty.
In Laboratory of Life, your goal is to "paint" the board with cells in a configuration that will make them multiply to as many cells as possible in 200 (on Easy) or up to 1,000 generations (on Hard) to obtain a high score. The game allows you to change the rules of Life by varying the numbers that satisfy the first two rules. In addition, the game features new concepts of live and dead blocks, "blind spots", and lightning strikes (a cell that is randomly selected each generation to be turned on or made alive. It keeps the process dynamic.) You can even change the behavior of the boundaries of the grid (e.g. whether to make them "warp-able" or not).
With excellent graphics (including dozens of graphics sets you can choose to represent the cells and the board, from "Dice" to "Smiloids" to "Floramorphic" and more), a pleasant soundtrack, and top-notch gameplay that brings the concept of Life to a new level that is both interesting to newcomers and challenging to experts, Laboratory of Life is simply a must have for every student of life simulation. Highly recommended!
Reviewed by: Underdogs