App review: Sea Hero Quest

The mobile game that’s helping scientists fight dementia…
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App review: Sea Hero Quest

Sea Hero Quest (free on iOS and Android) could be one of the most important games you play. Because by doing so, you’re helping scientists in the fight against dementia. Here’s what it’s all about.

What is Sea Hero Quest?

Sea Hero Quest was developed by Alzheimer’s Research UK, along with researchers from University College London (UCL) and the University of East Anglia. It's backed by the German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom.

UCL researchers will be using data gathered from the people playing the game to find out how healthy people steer around their environment. This information is crucial, as spatial navigation is one of the first things that goes wrong when someone has Alzheimer’s.

UCL neuroscientist Dr Hugo Spiers says: "We're hoping to learn from the data how well people do at different ages, across men and women, and different places in the world and that will give us this really wonderful database.”

The game’s developers claim that if 100,000 people play it for just two minutes, it will generate the same amount of data as 50 year’s of research in the laboratory.

How do you play Sea Hero Quest?

Sea Hero Quest sees you taking on the role of a sea explorer, on a mission to recover your father’s lost memories. As you make your way through the game you’ll have to navigate mazes, shoot flares and photograph fantastic creatures.

The gameplay of everyone who plays Sea Hero Quest is translated into data, and stored anonymously at a secure location in Munich. The way each player chooses to sail through the game’s levels will help scientists understand how people explore 3D environments, based on their sex, age and location.

The results so far…

Sea Hero Quest is already a huge success. Over 100,000 people played the game on its May 4 launch date, and since then it’s been downloaded over a million times. The data this has generated is equivalent to 1,770 years of lab-based research.

If you’d like to find out more about this revolutionary game, check out the Sea Hero Quest website. And if you’ve already spent some time playing it, let us know what you think by commenting below.

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