Field of Science

Pleiotropy the game

This is the official page for Pleiotropy the game.

Pleiotropy the game can be found at Kongregate.


Move: Left and right arrow-keys.

Objective: Catch the beneficial mutations (green) to increase your score while avoiding the deleterious mutations (red). Neutral mutations (gray) don't make any difference. There are about twice as many deleterious as beneficial mutations.

Pleiotropy: When you accrue a certain amount of points your level of pleiotropy increases, and your cup increase in size. This makes it easier to catch more beneficial mutations, but harder to avoid the deleterious mutations. The level of pleiotropy will not decrease even when your score decreases.

End: The game ends only when your score reaches 0.

High scores: Since we didn't create a database with high-scores, you can post a comment here with your maximum pleiotropy level. We trust you to be honest.


Pleiotropy comes from the Greek πλείων pleion, meaning "more", and τρέπειν trepein, meaning "to turn, to convert". It designates the occurrence of a single gene affecting multiple traits. A mutation may have a beneficial (advantageous) effect on one trait while also a deleterious (disadvantageous) effect on another.

Here you are playing a whole lineage (a species) that reproduces with mutations as time goes on. The effect of the mutations is to make the organisms more complex, resulting in increased pleiotropy.

In evolution there is no time when the "game" ends, except when a lineage goes extinct. Similarly, pleiotropy the game only ends when you give up, stop moving, and your score goes to 0.


Code: Arend Hintze
Idea: Bjørn Østman


  1. Hi! I liked the game, also found this blog interesting. My best pleiotropy level was six, I don't think that's a high one, but my avoiding/collecting skills are limited... :) With the lvl six pleiotropy I think I could "survive" for long-long time, but I couldn't avoid the reds enough to raise the level more, so I gave it up. Pinkypearl

  2. I got up to level 8 myself today. Normally I have trouble getting to level 7.

  3. It is useful to try everything in practise anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)


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