Welcome to Benâ€™s Game!
This is a game about fighting cancer. In this game, you play the role of a hero on a hovering surfboard with ultra-high-tech weapons. You are the cure!
Benâ€™s Game takes place inside the body, on a playfield of cells.
Benâ€™s Game may be played by one or two players. You can even switch from single to two-player in the middle of a game! Here are the controls:
Tip from Ben: Brakes are very very very very very very useful.
Hit them often, and you wonâ€™t go out of control.
The object of the game is to collect all seven shields. These are shields against some yucky side effects which kids experience during cancer treatment.
But before you can collect the shields…
Each shield is surrounded by hundreds of mutating cells. In order to capture the shield, you must first destroy all of the mutating cells.
But before you can destroy all of the mutating cells…
The giant monster guarding each shield is causing the cells to mutate. These monsters will do everything he can to keep you from getting the shield!
So, to win the game…
1. Attack and destroy the Monster.
2. Attack and destroy all mutating cells.
3. Grab the shield!
Meet the Monsters!
The Fever shield is guarded by this hothead. Heâ€™ll hurl molten lava at you!
Guardian of the Barf shield; donâ€™t be too close when big smelly green globs start falling! Ick.
While youâ€™re trying to score the Hair Loss shield, watch out for the billiard balls heâ€™ll launch at you!
The Colds shield is closely watched all winter by this meanie. A snowball fight with him is likely to leave you buried!
Blaaa. He vants to keep you from capturing the Bleeding shield by sending his very scary vampire bats! Ah ah ah aaaa.
Whirlwinds launched by this one will chase you as you pursue the Rash shield!
Buk buk buk. Okay, so the guardian of the Chicken Pox shield doesnâ€™t look that evil… maybe just confused, but watch out! Big puffy pox are headed your way!
The heroâ€™s status is displayed on three meters. If any one of them drops too low, your weapons will be weak, and youâ€™ll be powerless against the monsters. Keep fighting and you can restore all of them !
||Health - (from the hospital)
When you bump mutated cells, youâ€™ll lose health.
||Ammo - (from the pharmacy)
As you attack, youâ€™ll use up ammo. Donâ€™t let it get too low!
||Attitude - (from home)
Possibly the most important component of health. The electric barriers are called Setbacks, and when you hit them, your attitude will go down.
Compass - Keep an eye on your Compass. It will tell you where to go to fill up on whatever you need!
To collect a weapon, just drive through it! The last three weapons you have collected are displayed at the top of the screen. You can switch between them by pressing the “Switch Weapons” button (see the section on Controls).
Triple Power: If you collect three of the same weapon, your next shot will be, in technical terms, humongously devastating.
||Sword: This is a direct-contact weapon. It does a lot of damage at short range!
Triple Power: If you collect three swords in a row, you can send a wave of power clear across the field!
Pro tip from Ben: When youâ€™re going fast, the sword will GLOW. While it does this, you can drive right through mutated cells to destroy them without using any ammo! It even works on the monsters.
||Repeater: This is a rapid-fire weapon. Just hold down the trigger and watch the shots fly!
Triple Power: Collect three repeaters in a row, and youâ€™ll launch a spiral burst of shots all at once!
||Crossbow: The frozen bolts fired by this weapon not only destroy the mutated cells, but keep them from growing back for 10 seconds!
Triple Power: After collecting three Crossbows in a row, you can unleash a devastating wave of ice!
||Missile:This weapon can be exceptionally powerful. After striking its target, the Missile will split and strike two more, then split again.
Triple Power:To unlock the “unlimited fission” missile, collect three in a row, and then look out! If your shot is well-placed, you can clear the whole level at once.
Saving Your Game
When you play, the game automatically saves which levels you have completed. The next time you play, youâ€™ll be asked if you want to continue where you left off. Thatâ€™s all there is to it!
Customizing Your Hero
Want to give the character your name and image? Hereâ€™s how!(Younger kids will need a grown-upâ€™s help for this, but it makes a really fun activity for a room full of kids!)
Each player image has an image, and a mask. The image is the colorful part, and the mask is the cut-out area.
This is the image file, “player_Ben.jpg”.
This is the mask file, “player_Ben_mask.jpg”.
Suppose you want to make a character named Sue:
Step 1: Go into the “textures” folder. There are a bunch of “JPG” picture files there.
Step 2a: Make a copy of “player_Ben.jpg” and change its name to “player_Sue.jpg”.
Tip: If the name doesnâ€™t start with “player_”, it wonâ€™t show up in the game.
Step 2b: (or not to be?) Make a copy of “player_Ben_mask.jpg” and change its name to “player_Sue_mask.jpg”.
Tip: If the name doesnâ€™t start with “player_” and end with “_mask”, it wonâ€™t look right in the game.
Step 3 (The fun step): Open both of these images in any paint program which can use JPG files. Go crazy. Purple hair, wings, a moose face, itâ€™s your choice! When youâ€™re done, the image should be colorful, but the maskshould be a black-and-white cutout.
Tip: If the image size is changed, it might not work.
Step 4 (The really fun step): Play the game! Your character should show up in the character selection screen, with your name!
Life Tips: Important lessons Eric learned from Ben
As I worked with this 9-year-old master of life, I learned a few things which are helpful in winning the game.
•Sometimes the way is blocked, and you have to give up some health to get what you need. Donâ€™t let that scare you; youâ€™ll get it back.
•When you hit a setback, you lose some attitude. Sometimes you can avoid them, but not always.
•The more you attack a problem directly, the less gigantic it seems.
•Donâ€™t play Benâ€™s Game while wearing 3D glasses, unless you want your eyes to stay crossed forever.
•Going super-extra-fast on a hovering surfboard is not very productive, but it sure is fun.