HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In his spare time between homeschooling lessons, 16-year-old Josh Ternyak designed an online video game called COVID Invaders.
Once you log on, a rap track prompts you to “just kill the virus with the vaccine.”
“COVID Invaders is a free game I made to help spread awareness about the vaccine,“ Ternyak said.
It’s getting a lot of buzz on the internet. Thousands of people have played Josh’s game since it went live three weeks ago, and part of the draw is that it looks and feels like an old-school video game.
“All you have to do is press the space bar to start,” he said.
Players get a crack at the pandemic by blasting COVID-19 specks with tiny syringes loaded with vaccine. A direct hit makes the virus explode.
“My goal is really just to help make people laugh and share this game as much as possible with people,” Josh said.
Type your name into the leader board and sign in as many times as you want, but each play lasts only 30 seconds. Josh built in that feature on purpose.
“Like most teenagers, I was really frustrated because I was wasting my time, and I didn’t know what else to do. So I decided to make this game just 30 seconds so people wouldn’t get addicted to it,” he said.
Josh lives in Plymouth, Minnesota. He’s an avid soccer player and a self-taught computer programmer. And, yes, that’s him free-styling the lyrics on the COVID Invaders backing track.
“The rap was something I made to illustrate the game and what it does, and also to teach people how to play it,” he said.
Josh credits his friend Roman Peysakhovich for inspiring the idea. The feedback has been positive.
“Many people say that this game is great for their kids because they better understand what the vaccine is and what it does,” he said.
If you want to give his vaccine video game a shot, go to COVIDInvaders.com.