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Our digestive system is the scene of continual clashes

The final outcome will depend on your decisions

Microbiota Battle  - A  educational game for all 

This game allows you to acquire the following notions

Understanding of the microbiota and its influence on our biological functions

Awareness of the impact of our diet and antibiotics on our health


strategy and focus

Practice of additions and comparisons of numbers for the youngest

I hear and I forget, I see and remember, I "play" and I understand

Adapted from Confucius

1. Concept

Microbiota Battle  is a  educational card game* for 2 to 4 players to understand the functioning and influence of our microbiota (the bacteria that inhabit our digestive system) on our biological functions such as our immune system, our metabolism and our brain functions.

This game is aimed at young people (from 7 years old) as well as adults.

* The Immunitarium team is also working  on  the development of an application for smartphones.

2. Description of the game and objective

The game consists of cards representing the "good" and "bad" bacteria forming your microbiota and those of your opponents (Fig.1). These bacteria interact with each other according to their colonization or infection forces and influence your biological functions under the effect  food and events occurring during the game (Fig. 2).  


The objective is to score as many points as possible in each biological function during the 8 rounds of the game. The winner is the player who will total the most points in his state table at the end of the game.


3. Category of cards and their effects


     3.1.  Bacteria cards

Our microbiota is made up of billions of bacteria that have beneficial effects (“  good bacteria  ”) and adverse effects (“  bad bacteria  ”) on many biological parameters, such as our immune defenses (“  Immunity  “), our metabolic functions (“  metabolism  “), or even on our ability to concentrate or our mood (“  Brain ").

Figure 1. Overview of card categories

Figure 2. Example of game fields at the start of the game in two-player mode

For these reasons, each "Bacteria" card  is associated with a symbol representing the benefit or detriment it induces on health when fed with the type of food required. For example, the "  good bacteria  shown in Figure 3  is a type B bacterium with a colonization strength of 4, which provides 1 point of immunity when fed an "orange circle" type food.

About the "  bad bacteria  is a type D bacterium with an infection strength of 12, which induces damage of one  update on the metabolism when fed with a card "  Junk Food  ". All the "  bad bacteria  » are nourished by the same type of food («  Junk Food  "). The use of cards  food  is explained in detail below. 

Figure 3. Description of the "Bacteria" cards

Colonization and infection scores  define how bacteria influence or cooperate with each other.

According to these scores, the cards  bacteria  can be played in the microbiota  as follows :

  • The cards "  good bacteria  » can be positioned on an empty space or on another «  good bacteria  to boost their colonization strength by adding up their scores like a  "super bacteria".

  • A map "  good bacteria  "cannot directly replace a card"  bad bacteria  "unless a card"  Event  allow it.


  • A map "  bad bacteria  can be eliminated from a microbiota if the colonizing forces of the  good bacteria  surrounding him are greater than his infection strength. As shown in Figure 4, the “  bad bacteria  can be removed from the player's microbiota because its infection strength (6) is lower than the cumulative colonization strengths of the three "  good bacteria  which surround it (4+1+2=7).

  • A map "  bad bacteria  » can be placed in an opposing microbiota on an empty space or on a «  good bacteria  whose colonization strength is less than or equal to its infection strength, while taking into account the colonization strengths of "  good bacteria  » neighbors (Fig. 5).​

Figure 4. Example of elimination of a “  bad bacteria  by the colonization forces of the "good bacteria  » neighboring

Contrary to "  good bacteria  ", the cards "  bad bacteria  cannot overlap to accumulate their infection scores.

Figure 5. Example of adding cards "  bad bacteria  » in an adverse microbiota

    3.2. The "Food" and "Event" cards

Bacteria feed on the food we eat and produce substances (metabolites) that influence our biological functions. The cards "  food  " thus make it possible to feed the "  good bacteria  " from  microbiota of  players and earn points in the status tables. The "  bad bacteria  “, for their part, feed  foods of the type  Junk Food  (food rich in fat and additives) and produce  substances that alter our biological functions. The "  bad bacteria  of an opposing player's microbiota can be activated, regardless of their type, by playing a "  Event  " like "  Junk Food  ". Negative points are then deducted in the opponent's state table.

There are two other  types of cards "  Event  »  : ​


  • There "  Cure of probiotics  » is used to replace a  "  bad bacteria  of a player's microbiota with a "  good bacteria  » taking from the common pool of probiotics.


  • The "  Antibiotic treatment  » eliminates a «  bad bacteria  " of a microbiota but also a "  good bacteria  because antibiotics do not differentiate between “  good  " and "  bad  » bacteria. A map "  Antibiotic treatment  can be played in a player's or an opponent's microbiota. 

4. Timeline and status table

As we age, the microbiota evolves by losing its diversity. This characteristic is represented during the game by the elimination of cards according to the diagrams indicated on the timeline (Fig.  6).  

As for the status table, it makes it possible to count the points in each biological function during the game.  ​​ (Fig. 6).

Figure 6. Timeline and status table description

The Microbiota Battle game is at a stage  pilot. We would love to hear your comments. 

The Immunitarium team is evaluating different options to continue the development of this game. We will keep you informed of the progress of this project.

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