Theory Play Share & Discuss

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Teach Immune System
with Antidote

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Biology, Disease, Tower Defense

Do you know any tower defense games? What is biology?

Teacher Resources

This lesson focuses on the basic concepts of biology, disease and the video game genre tower defense. After you have gone through these basic concepts, this lesson includes instructions on how to play the game. Later lessons will go into more detail with these same topics and themes. If you so prefer, you can also use most or all of the sources in this lesson and use this lesson as the basis for two consecutive lessons instead for a thorough introduction to biology.

  • Theory: This lesson covers the basics of human diseases.
  • Play: The players get to know the game and learn how to play.
  • Share & Discuss: The tasks focus on getting better acquainted with the game.


  • An abnormal condition in a living being caused by internal factors or external ones
  • Internal factors include genetic disorders and foreign objects (e.g. metal shrapnel causing allergic reactions)
  • External factors include multiple types of pathogens: bacteria, viruses, prions and fungi.
  • Disease is distinct from injury, purely physical damage caused by various sources.


Teacher Resources

Using your own sources and the ones below, go over the basic concepts of biology. It’s recommended you spend 10 minutes or less on this topic.



Image Source: Sneeze, Wikimedia Commons.

Tower Defense Video Games

  • Tower defense is a video game genre where a line of enemies marches toward your defenseless base. You must stop the enemies by using towers you build along the way.
  • Antidote combines the science of biology with the tower defense format!

Level select.

Teacher Resources

Tower defense games are simple strategy games where the goal is to preserve your base (in this game it is the large stem cell) from attacking enemies (bacteria, viruses and so on). This is done by erecting towers (cells) that you upgrade into different forms to fulfill various functions, such as generating currency (sugar) or attacking enemies.

Antidote includes a clear tutorial on how each element works, and the first few levels are simple. Later on, strategic placement, quick thinking and good choices become essential to succeed.

Example of Mazing

“Hedging/mazing” is an important strategy: build towers so that enemies have to take the longest possible route.


Teacher Resources

In this example, the construction of a maze is underway. By filling the empty slots strategically, the enemies are forced to take the longest route possible and be susceptible to as many attacks as possible.


Lesson Goal

  • Play and complete the first three levels of the game!
  • If you complete all three levels, be sure to try them again and go for a higher score! Try to go through the three levels without letting any enemies pass.

How to Play

This is the main screen of the game. To select the level you would like to play, either swipe or press the arrows. In the beginning, you can only select the first level until the rest are unlocked by playing.

Gameplay screenshot

To start playing, press the play button in the bottom center.

Gameplay screenshot

Share & Discuss

Share & Discuss

Find the wiki of the game. Where can you find it on the main menu? Where can you find it in-game?

Show Notes

This useful tool can be accessed in the main menu by pressing the symbol of a book with the “?” in the bottom right corner of the screen. While playing a level, press the pause button and the same book symbol will appear in the bottom right of the screen.

Did you manage to avoid any damage to the stem cell? How? If not, why?

Tasks after Playing

What is disease?

Show Notes

An abnormal condition of the body, caused by either external (e.g. trauma, pathogens) or internal (e.g. genetics) factors. Many things can cause disease.

What does “pathogen” mean? What kind of pathogens are there?

Show Notes

A bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease. (defined by Google)
Kinds of pathogens: Bacteria, viruses, prions and fungi.