Ranier Harris

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Beat The Bomb, an immersive video game company based in Brooklyn, is raising funds for first responders with a single-player web-based game called Fauci’s Revenge, named after the current director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci’s straight talk and willingness to counter misinformation coming from the White House has made him a cult hero in the fight to control the coronavirus outbreak. The arcade-style shooter game has players controlling a floating Fouci head, shooting virus particles to advance through 19 challenging levels.

As players level up, the virus becomes more aggressive and players must clear each level without losing all of their health. As, an added quirk to the game, icons drop from the top of the screen that have images representing activities that are good or bad for social distancing. Catching an HBO icon will replenish health while catching an image of a crowded party will deplete health.   

Gameplay Clip from Twitch Streamer ajapplequist

The game is currently only available for desktop or laptop users now but a mobile version is coming soon. The game was developed by Zach Chang. There are 19 levels to play in the game in which the user, playing as Dr. Fauci, destroys COVID-19 using lasers shooted out of his eyes. In addition, the player must avoid bad things like The Club, The Concert, Touching and Hands on Face and find good things like Meditation, Netflix, and Washing Hands. Trump makes an appearance, but you can bump him off screen with your lasers. The game is free to play and donations are encouraged and there are special prizes to those who win the game.

Fauci’s Revenge is part of the #BeattheVirus campaign to raise $25,000 for New York City hospitals and first responders. Beat The Bomb has already donated all its equipment formerly used to help players disarm a paint bomb to the coronavirus effort including 6,150 protective suits and 4,500 gloves to the NYC Mayor’s Office and 100 face shields to Columbia Irving’s Medical Center Emergency Department.

The game is currently closing in on 5,000 plays and so far 50 people have beat the game, giving them a free ticket whenever Beat The Bomb is able to reopen. The game “was just a joke at first,” founder and CEO of Beat The Bomb Alexander Patterson emailed the Bushwick Daily in a statement. He was “angry at the virus, and [he] wanted to get back at it, somehow! [He] thought, what if people could be Dr. Fauci, our hero, shooting the coronavirus by laser beams coming out of his eyes while he was wearing cyberpunk sunglasses!?” The game, like others at Beat The Bomb, was designed in the likeness of the 80s style arcade games at Barcade in Williamsburg. 

“The game gives us the ability to emotionally fight back against this unseen virus, to give it (digital) physical form, and to provide a way for people to shoot at it and destroy it.” Patterson continued, “[i]t’s a fun distraction when we all need one but also supports a good cause.”

All photos courtesy of Beat the Bomb.

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