Initially Revealed: %
by Andy Gainey of Experilous
A pathogen has invaded our patient's skin! Just beneath the surface, it travels along pathways through the cells, producing itchy symptoms as it migrates. We must uncover the arrangement of this tangled mess, and apply an antigen to the skin just as the pathogen arrives.
How to Play
New! A video tutorial is now available. Or read below for the original (and hasty) instructions.
Similar to Minesweeper, Symptomatic involves hidden information that is only indirectly revealed. Within each cell are three segments of pathways, each one connecting one of the six edges of the cell to another of the six edges. These pathways (which wrap around on each edge of the game board) look something like this:
At the beginning of the game (for normal/hard difficulty), no information is known about these pathways. What is revealed is the location and movement direction of the pathogen is provided.
Additionally, the pathogen generates symptoms that are also visible. These symptoms start from the pathogen's current cell and travel outward in all six directions from that cell, following the pathways a fixed number of steps. This distance is indicated on the panel to the left of the game board as "Symptom Radius".
The direction shown for both the pathogen and its symptoms indicate when cell the object would move to next, if it were to travel one more step. But symptoms don't actually move. Instead, each turn they vanish and new symptoms appear around the pathogen's new position, providing new information about the underlying pathways.
When you think that you have an idea of how these underlying pathways are laid out, you can draw that path on the game board. To do so, just click and hold on an initial cell, and then drag the cursor through two or more additional cells. Once you release the mouse button, the new pathways will be added to the board. (Note that the first and last cell will not be included in this path, so you'll need to include at least three cells in your path.) You can also single click in a cell to erase the guesses in that cell, or redraw a new guess over past guesses.
So the trick is to predict where the pathogen will move to next, and apply an antigen at that cell. To do this, just double click on the cell to which you think the pathogen will move next. It always moves the same distance, indicated on the left as "Pathogen Speed", but the windy paths can make the final location hard to guess. To assist with this, the game will automatically use your previous guesses to generate an estimated path and target, if you have provided enough guesses.
If you guess correctly, the pathogen will take a point of damage, and it's remaining life (shown both on the left panel and within the pathogen itself) will be updated. Once the pathogen has lost all of its life, you'll win, and all the actual pathways will be revealed, layered over your guesses. The blue segments are pathways that you guessed correctly, while the red segments are incorrect guesses. Segments where you hadn't made any guess are simply white.
That should be all you need to know. So pick a difficulty at the top left, and start injecting that antigen!