A Virus Named Tom is a puzzle game with a stand-out art style and fresh approach to puzzle games made for beginners and veterans alike. After the extremely entertaining animated cartoon intro the game eases you in to the first few puzzles, and you’re having fun, and not only this but you’ll replay stages to try and beat your score. The way things work is you play the role of Tom the virus, the product of Dr. X whom created the futuristic city and is unfortunately fired for his Globotron enforcer creation which didn’t go down too well. So Dr. X is out for revenge in the form of sending out a virus to destroy the technology of the majestic future city that he himself had previously created. As Tom you travel around a grid in straight lines and must turn pieces of a circuit to connect a current, and the faster you can complete the circuit, the better your score will be. Things of course get a wrench thrown into the works as puzzles become more difficult with ‘glitches’ being added to the grids and if you get hit by one a chunk of your time limit is diminished. Difficulty can be scaled depending on your personal preference and if a puzzle is becoming too frustrating, there’s an option to use a skip token allowing you to breath easy and move onto the next level.
Luckily, there are multiplayer features in A Virus Named Tom, including local co-op and versus modes. Local co-op seems to be something of the past more and more these days, playing on the same system with a friend is something too often overlooked. The co-op modes provide a slight variation on the single-player story levels, except with up to four players. Even the co-op mode has hints of competitiveness injected into the mix as at the end of each level the game tells you the percentage of the puzzle completion you were responsible for. When it comes to the versus mode, it’s a take on the classic game of drawing lines to gain territory. The player with the largest part of the map at the end, wins. Except of course, in this case it’s with grids, circuits and currents. Not only are you trying to take as much territory for yourself as you can, you must also worry about dropping glitch bombs for your opponent to hit and dodging theirs, hitting a bomb leaves your territory back up for grabs to the enemy, exciting stuff.
A Virus Named Tom is reaching the end of it’s development and is currently in beta form from indie developer Misfits Attic. Due for release this spring on PC/Steam, you can pre-order at 50% off now and get access to beta builds and the finished games for $5 here