Cell Lab: Evolution Sandbox

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52.8K reviews
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About this game

WARNING: Cell Lab is a very challenging game that requires lots of thinking and experimenting. Reading the instructions will be necessary. If you enjoy difficult simulation puzzles then this is for you.

Cell Lab simulates few-celled organisms. It contains 45 challenges where the player is presented with an environment and has to design an organism that will survive in it. Solving challenges unlocks additional genes that can give cells new properties.

The encoding of the cells behaviour has been made as intuitive as possible without losing generality but it nevertheless takes a bit of effort to understand. Going through the provided tutorials carefully is recommended.

Cell Lab also contains an experimental mode where the user can set the parameters of the environment and put designed organisms in it to see how they multiply (or die). It is also possible to seed this environment with random genomes and once a viable genome has been seeded one can see how it slowly evolves through tiny mutations to an organism well adapted to the environment it is in.

It is then possible to change the environment to see how they re-adapt, fast forward the simulation, and finally to save and share it.

This simulation is not biologically realistic, all cells in Cell Lab only has one function, to swim, to eat, to collect sunlight, to float, etc . This is not how cells work in nature where one cell can do many things at once. This accuracy has been traded off to be able to make an interesting game. The cells have also been made to multiply very fast, this also for the enjoyment of the user.

What is realistic is the evolution taking place in this game. How species adapt to their environment and compete with each other to sometimes attain an equilibrium and sometimes extinction.

• 4 tutorials
• 45 challenges
• 16 types of cells with different functions
• 20 cell-modes per genome to program
• 22+ parameters in each cell mode
• Environment editor with 27 parameters
• Simulates and renders up to 1000 cells at decent frame rates
• Arbitrary number of cells and petri dish size in advanced mode
• Beautifully animated vector graphics that lets you zoom to atomic scales
• Save, load and share both environments and genomes
• Simulation fast-forward and slow-motion
• No advertisements or in-game payments

An online forum where Cell Lab can be discussed is available at:

This app needs three permissions:
• Internet access. This is required to send bug reports and other anonymous usage data.
• Network state. This is required to make sure bug reports and usage data are only sent over wifi to avoid using mobile data.
• External Storage. This app needs to be able to read and write external storage so that the user can send and receive samples as email attachments.
Updated on
Aug 25, 2018

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52.8K reviews
A Google user
June 17, 2019
Best Mobile game ever! Seriously, I've never kept a game this long. The challanges are super engaging, some taking me months to finish. My favorite part, being the minimal hand holding from the game, is a bit of a double edged sword though. New aspect have a steep learning curve. But the endless possibilities and total freedom keep bringing me back. No adds, no pay to play, and hands down the best intellectual/engaging chalanges I've ever had. I'd recommend this game to anyone! It's that good!
56 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
July 4, 2019
This game is great and i play it all the time but I have sime suggestions. 1. I think the ability to draw walls/barriers would be nice. Seeing how species differentiate is interesting and it would be faster with barriers between species. 2. Locking the light angle at a certain place without it moving. Just a feature i wished was present a few times while playing. 3. Perhaps customizable petri dish shapes? Squares/rectangles, etc. I think two circles connected by a tube would be interesting.
23 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
June 11, 2019
Fantastic and fun. I'm currently driving myself crazy trying to create an organism that can survive in the desert dish with added food coatings and low nitrates and death at the edges. I do wish there were a way to create a placeable "spawner" that could constantly spawn in a genome instead of having to do it manually. Also, it would be helpful if the petri dish sliders had text boxes to enter a number instead of having to tediously drag them until I see the number I want.
6 people found this review helpful
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What's new

- 2 new cell type, Ciliocyte and Gamete
- Increase from 20 to 40 modes
- 6 new substrate parameters
- 3 new general genome parameters
- 5 different "tools" in microscope
- 21 new challenges (Thanks to Alast, Bwisialo, Nayus)
- Donate button
- 4 new senses
- 4 new signal inputs
- Performance increase (but more features so not faster on all devices)
- Stability increase (tons of bugs fixed, and added for removal in next version)
- Simulation logging to file
- Many smaller changes