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Destroying the City of Tomorrow, Today: A Virus Named Tom
Dr. X created the City of Tomorrow (sponsored by Mega-tech), a place where life is perfect. Dogs don’t poop, there’s no need to walk because there’s an automatic Sidewalk of Tomorrow to take you everywhere, or hey, why not try out this teleporter to get from place to place? All of this is brought to you by Mega-Tech, employer of Dr. X! But then, Dr. X went too far and invented a robot that killed anyone found walking instead of using the Sidewalk of Tomorrow. Profits dropped and Mega-Tech kicked Dr. X to the curb. (Does the Sidewalk of Tomorrow even have a curb?) But Mega-Tech is about to find out just how much of a mad scientist Dr. X can be! A Virus Named Tom, is about to make a mess of the City of Tomorrow, today!
Tom must sabotage each futuristic invention of Dr. X to make Mega-Tech regret firing him. Each Invention of Tomorrow is divided into parts that Tom must infect in order to make the entire machine fail. In order for the virus to infect the machine, Tom must complete a circuit inside each piece by manipulating puzzle pieces. Tom’s got it easy in the first few pieces of each machine, but as he gets closer to completion, the difficulty increases. Enemies include encrypted puzzle pieces which you must turn blindly in order to find out how they connect, anti-virus spiders that patrol the paths between puzzle pieces and will kill Tom if they touch him, and lastly, Tom’s own limited energy resources, which make turning each piece in the right direction the first time more important and add a bit of strategy to how you connect the pieces. But Dr. X didn’t leave Tom completely vulnerable. He can plant glitches along the paths to destroy the anti-viruses, especially helpful if you can catch one and then get another to crash into it! To manipulate pieces, you simply hold down the space bar and move along the grid in the direction you want the piece to move. It doesn’t take long to figure out it works, though sometimes making each piece move in the most energy efficient way isn’t possible due to the spider anti-viruses. Dropping Glitches is easy too, though the timing on them needs to be precise in order to do the most damage.
Some of the puzzles are pretty simple to solve, but the addition of enemies, encrypted pieces and energy drain makes them more challenging. There’s also a timer and a medal system for those players who like to see if they can do things the fastest and the best. Most fun is watching Dr. X’s revenge once Tom’s work is done. The cutscenes are funny, and made me want to go on to the next level. Avoiding the spider anti-viruses can be a little difficult, especially if they all move in the same direction at the same speed, but well-placed Glitches will get the most troublesome ones out of the way.
A Virus Named Tom does a great job with the puzzles and the world built up around them is funny, interesting and never seems like just a way to move the player from one level to another. I wouldn’t say A Virus Named Tom was the hardest game I’ve ever played, but there were some levels that required me to consider how I was going to move each piece and still save energy and avoid the anti-viruses. There is a Co-op Mode, where you can work on the story together and a Vs. Mode where you fight each other for supremacy over a grid and kill each other with Glitch Bombs.
A Virus named Tom is for PC from Steam at or Stand-Alone at http://www.avirusnamedtom.com/index.html