Match Game Amino Acids by Athletic Design
Old Flash-version here

Match amino acids by their name and molecular structure!

There are two game variants: Puzzle & Timed.


This is more a playground for study than an actual game. You are given a skill score but the focus should really be on playing around and learning by trial and error. However, you should be able to achieve a skill score of at least 80% before you try the Timed-variant.


You have 60 seconds to match as many amino acids as possible. Match all before time runs out to earn a time bonus. Additional points can also be gained by matching an amino acid of the current bonus category.

20 different side-chains

An amino acid (AA) is a small molecule that contains an amino group at one end, a carboxylic acid at the other end, and a short side-chain of “other stuff” in the middle. There are 20 different AAs coded by the genes of humans (and all other life forms) and they differ only in their side-chains.

Long polypeptide chain

The basic amino group of one AA can make a so-called peptide bond to the carboxylic acid of another AA. In that way a long chain of AAs is formed. Such a chain is called a polypeptide chain.

The polypeptide chain is folded by forces of the side-chains

The different chemical groups of the side-chains determine their electric properties (e.g. non-polar, polar, charged), which determine how they attract or repel other side-chains. Such forces will fold the long polypeptide chain.

The folding determines the function of enzymes

When one really long chain has folded to form a big and compact 3d-structure, we call that structure a protein rather than a polypeptide. Most proteins are enzymes, which regulate all chemical processes in our bodies. A protein's function is determined by its form. As we have seen, the form is determined by the number and order of the AAs it contains. The number and order of the AAs are coded by a gene - and that’s how a gene controls how your body functions!

Free amino acids

All AAs play important roles in the body by themselves (i.e. without being a part of a protein), for example, by transmitting signals between nerve cells.