Tooth Ache

Tooth Ache is a 2-D, pixel-art platformer game intended for elementary-aged children. In this game, the player scrubs away plaque buildup before teeth start to decay and begin spawning monsters. The objective is to protect the mouth against both monsters and plaque before losing up to four teeth to complete decay. Tooth Ache explicitly depicts the importance of dental care by delivering real consequences for the player's smile when they've neglected to brush for too long. Despite the serious undertone, the game is light hearted and more comprehensive for a child than "brush your teeth because I said so" will ever be.

Project outcomes

This was my first attempt at game development and I want to thank the University of Pittsburgh's School of Computing and Information for hosting the 2019 Games4SocialImpact Hackathon. It was an opportunity for me to push my creative limits on all fronts and I had an absolute blast while learning so much in the process. Special thanks to Dmitriy Babichenko, Ravi Patel, and Kelly Shaffer.

Biggest challenges

Learning both Phaser and Javascript on the fly was by far my biggest challenge with this project. I also have yet to nail playing the audio without the player having to click off-screen several times.

Up next for Tooth Ache

I can see young children liking the game regardless of there being a message, and I can also see dental and pediatric waiting rooms having the game readily accessible on tablet.

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