There are lots of games that spread awareness about a topic. So many, in fact, that the Serious Games Association has a directory of these games called Games for Good. Reverse the Odds is different, though. It doesn’t just spread awareness; it actually helps to provide scientists valuable information about cancer.

Reverse the Odds has players analyzing slides to look for cancer cells. This helps scientists studying cancer save a lot of time so they can do some other important tasks. Though it’s a completely free game, it makes use of some of the typical free-to-play elements. The main game involves restoring life to a blocky world by pouring potions on them. You have a limited quantity of potions that regenerate over time.

reverse the odds

In each level you analyze a slide to find cancer cells.

You start a turn by choosing a portion of the world to pour your potion on. After that, you have to analyze a slide of cells in a few different ways. Once you’ve completed that, you get sent into the game portion. Your goal is to “reverse” a number of little blob characters called “odds” from their bland gray to a colorful state. The game plays like the classic Othello board game. However, rather than capturing the entire board, you have specific goals to reach. Once you’ve done that, the level is over and you return to the world. If your slide results match up with other players, you receive another potion and can start a new level with different goals. If you run out of potions, you can wait for more, or simply analyze another slide. If your answers match up with a majority of other players, you’ll be given another potion right away.

I really like Reverse the Odds. The Othello-style puzzles are fun. Even the slide analysis can be fun if you like hidden-object games. And really, it’s pretty great to play a free game and help with the fight against cancer at the same time. Reverse the Odds is free to download on iOS, Android and Amazon devices.

Nicole Tanner

Nicole Tanner

Nicole has been playing games her entire life. Now that she's a mom, she's passionate about promoting games as a healthy pastime to other parents around the globe. She has been an editor at IGN, where she launched and hosted the Girlfight podcast. In her spare time (which is not very much, honestly) she enjoys gaming, reading, and writing fiction. Most of the time she’s a mom to a crazy, intelligent, and exhausting little girl.