Game Review: A Virus Named Tom
Have you ever recognized an Indie game from just looking at it? Well, I sure have, mostly because they either have no voice acting, terrible graphics, or are just plain insipid. A Virus Named Tom is however completely the opposite. The game was developed by the Indie team called Misfit Addict on August 1, 2012. This game is simply superb, and nothing less then what most Indie game titles should be compared to today. It combines the art-work with its fast paced quick thinking gameplay, and incredible voice acting, along with its upbeat soundtrack to make this title truly incredible.
A Virus Named Tom follows Dr. X, along with his virus named Tom. Dr. X creates a virus after the industry that he worked for and created countless inventions for fires him for creating a machine that would hunt down citizens who would rather walk. Strangely enough, his characterization truly showed that he really was a nutcase, and exactly what the industry called him right before they fired him as well. Dr. X couldn’t handle rejection so well from the company, which had him make Tom, the virus, who you control. The story does have this somewhat dark theme that surrounds the idea of Dr. X trying to take revenge, however, the whole story itself is takes a comical approach trying to make the player kind of giggle at the idea of what Dr. X is trying to accomplish through the game.
However, if you are here for the best features of this Indie game, the gameplay and sound section is the place the player should be most interested in. The gameplay has you, the player, control TOM as he invades electronically manufactured devices starting from a simple robotic puppy to an escalator in the later stages. Each stage has five or so levels, and boosts the difficulty quite a bit. You start out playing a tutorial level with Tom has he just simply moves a square panel in order to pass the virus from one side of the mainframe to the other. In doing so releases the virus.
The stage as already stated ramps up difficulty quite a bit. You will have some stages where you have to destroy some bugs that are sent out to kill you. Each and every bug is easily killable, however, the problem s that some bugs are used to provide electricity for your virus to spread from one end of the main frame to the other. Sometimes you have levels within some stages that have invisible stages, and you have to guess and check on your way to completing the level. Some stages have you doing over four things at once, such as destroying two bugs, and then having you quickly run to a square panel and turn it twice, but still dodging the other bugs that are around.
To make the gameplay even more enjoyable, the developers gave the players a point based system where you get graded on how quickly you finish the level, and how little damage you take. Additionally, some developers scores are already placed on each levels, which really makes the player want to actually beat the score, and in doing so actually even gets you a couple of Steam achievements if you are interested in those kind of things.
There are online features available as well on this, but it doesn’t seem to actually have you just play online, but has you play online with friends that actually have the game installed and running it the same time you do. Considering the fact that I only entered online CO-OP once, and barely got to know what features it held, I can’t say too much, however I can say having one is a bonus as itself.
Strangely enough Indie games are hardly reputable for their graphics, and sound, but I can sincerely disagree and argue that A Virus Named Tom is completely the antithesis of this known fact. The game not only immerses you in this very futuristic game using its techno soundtrack, but also uses it pixel-shading to draw the player in. It even has this cartoonist type drawing style that entices players who don’t just like realism in their game, but like a game that is colorful and invigorating to look at.
Overall, as simply stated, this game was truly incredible when you think about how this is an Indie title. It combines everything that makes an Indie game good, which are: great and heavy critical thinking gameplay, creative graphics that pop out and tell you to that it has been worked on for a long time, and my favorite a sound track you can jam to while playing. Overall, all I can say is go pick it up right now from Steam for eight dollars, it’s definitely worth your time and worth your money.