Tom is the nicest, most adorable virus that can ever infect your computer. He’s resilient, makes goofy noises, and almost wills you into infecting other computers with his sheer cuteness.
We’re lucky then that this is all just a game.
A Virus Named Tom is a new puzzle game from independent newcomer Misfits Attic, a studio that shows their love for the genre by combining the best elements from games past and giving it their own voice. Tom is a family-friendly venture that tells the tale of a virus named Tom (crazy, right?) as he tries to take down the machines of the future. Programmed by a mad scientist who was fired from the company that made said machines, Tom begrudgingly goes through increasingly more difficult levels, as the company tries to stop him with bugs of their own.
The game utilizes basic mechanics to incorporate an easy control scheme, but adds variety by providing surprising obstacles. The levels are all basically on the same map, and the environments never change, but learning different techniques and trying to avoid the traps makes this easy to ignore. Just like any interesting puzzler, Tom creates one basic mechanic, and is able to just run with it in the most creative of ways, keeping the player invested and engaged.
“What are they going to throw at me next?” the player will ask. “I finally beat that level I had been working on for about a half hour. I know I can beat the next one.” This conversation can go on and on for hours.
The game also keeps you interested by having both a single-player and a co-op mode. I know there is that joke that says every game nowadays has to have a co-op mode, but for puzzlers, this has become a necessary add-on. The co-op mode for Tom is local (does not support online play), and supports up to four players. However, because it is local, I have not been able to experience it. Considering though that you can convince three other friends to help you get through the most difficult levels, I don’t see anything wrong on the surface. Besides the fact that “friendships will be destroyed,” of course. Sounds like an improvement to me.
Combining the challenge of a well-done puzzler with the quirky humor of a mad scientist, A Virus Named Tom is a must-buy for those that enjoy testing their skills … or destroying corporate machines.
Plus, it has an interesting and catchy soundtrack. You have no excuse.