Search. Attach. Invade. Multiply. Repeat. That’s your goal as an HIV virion, a CD4 Hunter™. How many target cells can you infect before you run out of time?
Stay tuned for more games about other microbes that threaten our health.
Follow us on Twitter: @Drexel_IMMID, #IMMID, #CD4Hunter
Visit our website: www.drexelmed.edu/immid
CD4 Hunter is a fast-paced, educational mini-game in which players take on the role of a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) virion. By immersing real science within simple game play, users learn about the first step of HIV-1’s fascinating and complex replication cycle: binding and attachment. CD4 Hunter invites players to enter the bloodstream and grow their viral population by infecting specific target cells, while evading the immune system.
Download CD4 Hunter for free to:
• Learn complex science through fast-paced and addictive game play;
• Hunt for target cells in the human bloodstream;
• Control and grow your viral population; and
• Face antibody attacks as the immune system fights infection.
CD4 Hunter is the first in a series of mini-games to be developed by the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease at Drexel University College of Medicine, to introduce players to the dynamic world of infectious disease. CD4 Hunter was designed to supplement learning about the multi-stage process of the HIV-1 replication cycle, through interactive gameplay. This app is intended for use in biomedical science curriculum in higher education. Users apply knowledge about the biological processes involved during HIV-1 replication to advance in the game. CD4 Hunter focuses on meeting the following learning objectives:
1. Identify gp120 as a basic element of HIV-1 structure and apply knowledge about its function in the process of viral binding and entry.
2. Identify CD4+ T cells as targets for HIV-1 infection in humans and apply knowledge about their role in viral pathogenesis.
3. Identify and match the molecules on the surface of HIV-1 (i.e., gp120) and T cells (i.e., CD4+ receptor, and CCR5 and CXCR4 co-receptors) involved in viral binding and entry.
4. Apply concepts of viral tropism and immune evasion mechanisms to complete the HIV-1 infection cycle in CD4+ T cells.
Executive Producer and Consultant
Brian Wigdahl, PhD
Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology (M&I); and Executive Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease (IMMID), Drexel University College of Medicine
Subject Matter Expert and Project Supervisor
Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA
Assistant Professor of M&I; and Director, the Center for Business and Program Development at IMMID, Drexel University College of Medicine
Carla Louise Brown, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of M&I and IMMID, Drexel College of Medicine
Programmer and Artist
Co-op student at M&I and IMMID, Game Art and Production Program, Drexel University College of Media Arts and Design (Class of 2018)
Animator and Artist
Andrew Dean Bishop
Co-op student at M&I and IMMID, Animation and Visual Effects, Drexel University College of Media Arts and Design (Class of 2018)
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Subject Matter Experts
Fred Krebs, PhD; William Dampier, PhD; Michael Nonnemacher, PhD; Vanessa Pirrone, PhD; Michael Wagner, PhD; and Mary Ann Comunale.
Microbiology and Immunology Department graduate students
Drexel University Entrepreneurial Game Studio
*** Please help us improve this game by reporting any bugs to IMMID@Drexelmed.edu. We welcome feedback and suggestions for upgrades and improvements. ***
©2017 Drexel University
This app has been updated by Apple to use the latest Apple signing certificate.
Slowed down the speed of the tutorial.
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
Tyma Nimri - review
I really enjoyed playing this game and I think it is a great way to visualize how the HIV virus infects host cells and hijacks cellular machinery to replicate itself. That said, as of now, the game is simplified and does not include any of the processes that occur after fusion. I think there is a lot of learning value that can be tapped into by introducing a level of the game where the players have to perform a task relating to the RNA integration, reverse transcription, or new virus assembly inside the cell. Perhaps the player has to bind the reverse transcriptase to the virus's RNA then move the product to the nucleus for integration, or they can help assemble the particles for the new formed virus before it buds out of the host cell.
Developer Response ,
Dear Tnsolo: Thank you for your review. We are glad that you enjoyed playing CD4 Hunter. This was a 6-month project for an undergraduate co-op game design and development student at Drexel University, so we had to adjust our expectations to the amount of time available for the project. We agree with you that more details and levels would be ideal, and hope to be able to add them in the future.
You might also be interested in checking out our newest game Malaria Invasion (free download).
In the game, all cells infected with HIV die though in reality that is not always the case. Some cells become “virus producing factories” that keep producing more and more virions. To make the game more realistic and to add another element, once a player collected enough points maybe in a specified amount of time, the player could unlock one of these “factories”, making it easier to produce more virions. This could be another level.
Developer Response ,
Dear eep19, this is an excellent suggestion for future game features. Thanks so much for your review. Perhaps you'd like to play our new game, Malaria Invasion (free download).
Fun & informative—could be more detailed!
In the game, the extent of the replication process that is shown is pretty minimal— the HIV virus binds, enters the nucleus, and then morphs into more virions. This isn’t inaccurate, but is very simplified. It would be interesting to get a sense of how this replication occurs; namely, reverse transcriptase converts HIV RNA to DNA, and then enters the cell nucleus and combines with the cell’s DNA, etc. the game could show this process, or make the player convert RNA to DNA in some kind of matching game, as a “second level.”
Developer Response ,
Dear gccpod: Thank you for your review. This was a 6-month project for an undergraduate co-op game design and development student at Drexel University, so we had to adjust our expectations to the amount of time available for the project. We agree with you that more details and levels would be ideal, and hope to be able to add them in the future.
- Drexel University
- 186.8 MB
Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- Age Rating
- Infrequent/Mild Medical/Treatment Information
- © (c) 2017 Drexel University
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.