Hack your way through brain scrambling puzzles while maneuvering through a thumb cramping maze of enemies.
User reviews: Mixed (560 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 1, 2012

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Contains a copy of A Virus Named TOM and the Soundtrack

 

Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX Prime 2012 - Art deco retro-futurism permeates this challenging puzzle game."

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January 21

Ask me anything/Q&A livestream today @ 2pm Pacific Time

Hey guys, Tim Keenan (AVNT creator guy). I figured on this weeks live stream I'd answer any questions people might have. So fire em at me during the chat here:
http://www.twitch.tv/misfitsattic

or tweet them at me here:
https://twitter.com/MisfitsAttic

Thx!

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Reviews

"its clever take on puzzle gameplay is likely something you’ve never encountered; a bizarre, yet compelling hybrid"
- http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/08/02/a-virus-named-tom-review
“The most addictive co-op game we’ve played since Portal 2.”
http://pc.mmgn.com/Articles/A-Virus-Named-Tom-Preview-Co-op-Addictio
"I bought it instantly - I'm completely in love with it"
- Jerry Holkins, Penny Arcade

Steam Big Picture

About This Game

A perfect place. A city without traffic. A dog that doesn't poop. All products of the brilliant mind of Dr. X, but hell hath no fury like a mad scientist fired by a giant corporation. In this unique action-puzzler you take control of TOM, a virus created for one purpose: revenge.

Hack your way through brain scrambling puzzles while maneuvering through a thumb cramping maze of enemies. Team up through over 50 cooperative levels in what MMGN is calling "The most addictive co-op game we've played since Portal 2." And if the over 100 levels aren't enough, you and your friends can destroy each other again and again in battle mode to determine just who is the supreme virus.

Key Features:

  • Single Player mode with over 50 levels across 6 distinct areas
  • Cooperative mode (for up to 4 players) with over 50 additional levels in which "friendships will be destroyed"
  • Battle for supreme virus-itude by battling your friends in Battle Mode
  • Evolving mechanics which ratchet up the difficulty from lollipop to soul crushing
  • An animated tale full of dark humor, malfunctioning robots, and little girl screams

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP (sp2)
    • Memory: 500MB RAM
    • Graphics:Direct X 9.0c / Shader Model 2.0
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:350 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • DirectX®:10
    • Hard Drive:350 MB HD space
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8, Lion strongly recommended. 32/64-bit
    • CPU: Dual core CPU
    • Memory: 2GB RAM, 4GB RAM strongly recommended
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ support (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • Hard Drive: 350 MB HD space
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32/64-bit. S3TC is NOT required.
    • CPU: Dual core CPU
    • Memory: 2GB RAM, 4GB RAM strongly recommended.
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ support (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • Hard Drive: 350 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
My Take: Think Pipe Mania and Tron Lightcycle. Redirect the virus' infection by rotating the circuits while dodging the anti-virus countermeasure drone spiders. Elements such as locked circuits and red game over blocks get thrown in later. Eventually, you get to a point where it's solely based on timing your moves around the spiders. Tedious.

Graphics: The character and level design are simple, but worked for what they are. The little cutscenes follow an art style reminiscent of what you would see on Cartoon Network in the mid 90's, just not as good. Also the resolution is locked at 1280x720 so if you switch the settings to 1980x720, you get a horrible border all the way around the screen.

Sound: So little going on here that the only thing worth mentioning is the respawn noise is annoying.

Music: Surprisingly solid with a track or two I'd actually listen to outside the game.

Controls: Simple enough bindings, you've got directional controls, glitch drop, and circuit rotation. The game recommends the controller, but you can honestly make do with the keyboard. I couldn't tell any difference in the gameplay between the two.

Did I Finish It: No.

Will I Finish It: Eventually, but I'm so irritated with the later levels, I'm taking an indefinite break.

Should You Buy It: Only if the concept interests you, snag it in a bundle or if you see it for 80% or less.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
The idea is interesting and puzzles seem to be interesting for a while too, but it became fast just a boring chore and hard. Can't tell why exactly, but simply did not seem interesting enough to play more. If you like fast puzzling and memorizing trails through a maze, go for it, else, play some puzzle game.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
An interesting mash up born when you cross Pipe Mania and Qix. The game plays a lot like Pipe Mania with the player controlling Tom, who moves around the gridded game area and spins the 'pipe' pieces by moving around them and holding a button, all while avoiding enemies. Tom has 'health' (time bar) that slowly drops over time and is reduced further when hit by an enemy.

This game has potential, given its inclusion of a bare but amusing story that gives context to the player's actions, as the game slowly introduces new concepts, powerups and enemy types. It also rewards the player with a few 'skip tokens' every new world, so if you are really stuck on a level you can still continue playing.

Unfortunately, I just feel that the game lacks polish and refinement as the difficulty spikes and curve seem to be pretty uneven, and the very fast and 'instakill' enemies just seem to throw the balance out of whack. There is a nice mix between standard puzzle and enemy levels, however the game as a whole did not hold my interest very well with the fairly plain looking levels, fairly shallow game mechanics and unfair 'twitchy' game movements required in later levels just to survive, all while trying to think how to solve the actual puzzle.

Overall, an enjoyable but flawed puzzle game that hardcore difficult puzzle fans will love but most people will find just too unremarkable and difficult to be enjoyable. 6/10.
Finally, kudos to the people in the audio department for a memorable and enjoyable soundtrack! One of the best parts of the game for sure.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Fun mix of puzzles; challenging at times, with the occasional reflex-testing moment and a decent little storyline that ties it all together.

- Skinny from the Fat B*stard (curator link)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
I remember that I bought this game early on and then could not play it for years because it had some kind of a bug with my hardware that made the game just turn black at random. Despite this, my excitement never waned.

Fast-forward to now when I have a new PC and this bug is gone, and I can say that this is an incredibly shallow game. Every 3-5 levels a new gimmick is thrown into the mix, but they don't really make it better so much as just turn a set of levels into something beyond the basic Pipe Dream gameplay. The biggest issue is that, unless there's some late-game revelation I never got to, the board remains roughly the same size and you're just trying to connect everything, sometimes before it all locks up and screws you on a few stages. Scoring is just based on speed, turning a puzzle into an action game if you want rewards: figure out the solution, then do it 30 seconds faster without dying.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Отличная головоломка,которую можно играть долго и тем более таких игр очень мало,кроме браузерных
Плюсы:
1) Вид жанра и сама суть игры,уже может очень сильно привязать на многие часы
2) В игре несколько эпизодов и в каждом эпизоде несоклько уровней,но есть очень тяжелые,на мой взгляд,которые с первого раза не пройдешь
3) Игру можно играть и в 2,для облегчения (проверял,так и есть,становится играть веселее и легче с напарником,чем 1)
Минусы:
1) Соундтрек,не очень,режет уши
2) Однообразное,уже через 2 эпизода,можете подумать,что уже это играли
Оценка 7.5 из 10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Disclaimer: I haven't played the Multiplayer element of the game and my review is only reflective of the single player experience.

I decided to play this game after it had been in my library for almost a year from a Humble Bundle I had purchased. I thought it would at least keep my attention for a while as it was classified as a puzzle game, but to my dismay it wasn't really a puzzle game overall.

The game is mostly a twitch/reaction game with some puzzle elements. The game takes its roots in the genre Pipe Mania made popular. You have to move circuit pieces around so that you have a complete circuit/flow of the virus and the level is complete. You may ask "But isn't that a puzzle game?" and to that question I would say it is a puzzle game.The last half of the game it introduces too many elements for it to remain a puzzle game. The later elements all rely on the player moving quickly and trying to think on their toes and often that leads to death. A good puzzle game gives the player time to do the puzzles and doesn't require ADHD levels of movement while still trying to solve a puzzle.

Many design choices made in the game are inherently flawed. After you complete a level it takes you back to the main board to select a level wherein you will often find that you have to move around a couple times to get to the next level. I would have liked to see the game progress you to the next level after a level is completed. My next issue is with the music. There felt like there were 3 tracks of music that were randomly selected at the start of a level. I would have liked to have seen a couple tracks for each world and I would have liked it if the music didn't change every single time I had to restart a level. The sound effects are some of the most nerve-wracking I have heard in a while that I ended up just disabling sound to play the game.

Overall the game is an "Okay" experience but I know for sure that I will not play it anymore. It's not worth $10 and has the same amount of content I would expect from a $3 mobile app. I'd have to say to all my friends to give this game a pass as there are plenty of other games you can get that are better for the same price point.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
The game is simple, but it becomes harder the more you play it. Feel free to try it if you're really bored and you're looking for something to waste time. I will not say this is a bad game, but it is far from being 100% good.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
I really love this game the levels is hard but a still a good game for me.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
I like the concept behind this, what with you controlling a virus in an effort to infect various machinery. Most of the puzzles are an entertaining way of blowing a couple of minutes here or there, but those boards with an antagonist element, while novel, are more frustrating than tense. Due to the way Tom moves in a "notched" manner across the grid, getting out of harm's way is often down to how fast you can hammer a given directional key. Twitch gaming isn't really something I'm looking for in a timed puzzle game. The ability to skip stages is doled out piecemeal as a reward for progression, and although using them feels a bit like throwing up a white flag, those with no compunctions about this will find the feature handy. Overall I'd rate this a bit above average.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
It is a good puzzle game with good dev support, and it is a blast.
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36 of 39 people (92%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 30, 2014
This game is well crafted, however the mechanics are more twitch reaction based and less puzzle solving. Since the core goal is to alway solve the tile turning puzzle this becomes frustrating quickly. The developers tried to compensate by allowing the player to automatically skip levels, but this doesn't correct the core problem since the level after the one you skipped has the same problems.

If you have always wanted a twitch reaction tile puzzle game, this one may be perfect for you. Otherwise you may lose interest quickly, as I did.
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22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2014
Wow. I was really surprised at how unfun the gameplay actually was. Mixing up several different gaming styles – contemplative puzzling, timers and fast-paced enemy avoidance – apparently didn't pan out that well in this case.

The gameplay's two major inspirations would appear to be Qix and Pipe Mania (or the hacking puzzle in Bioshock, shudder). Instead of drawing lines like in Qix, you navigate a grid of Pipe Mania -type puzzle parts and manually rotate them one at a time while avoiding enemies.

I kind of want to like Tom – the writing's amusing and the production's solid. However, the core gameplay just isn't fun.
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26 of 34 people (76%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
Imagine the hacking minigame from Bioshock, except that you rotate existing tiles instead of placing existing ones. Also imagine that you control Frogger, who hand-rotates these tiles while listening to techno and dodging traffic on a highway.

If you dismiss indie games as being EITHER fast, tough-as-nails platformers OR artsy atmospheric environments, I highly encourage you to give this game a shot - this is a fine example of original gameplay that requires split-second precision and risk/reward decision making. I had beaten (not gold-medalled) the single-player campaign in about 4 hours, but don't take that as a knock against the game - I preferred to play in 10-minute intervals to give my nerves a chance to recover from the frantic pace, and I haven't played much of the other modes yet.

The soundtrack by Ian Hicks is extremely well done - 7 tracks that nicely complement the setting and gameplay that are well worth purchasing and adding to your mp3 player. The 8th, which is used in the trailer, feels out of place and I've removed it from my playlist. Recommended.

Speed and precision required: Yes

Straightforward 100%: No

Soundtrack format: DLC, mp3
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 11, 2014
A Virus Named TOM is not a bad game, but the game mechanics and controls don't make this all that fun to play. It really needs a more intuitive method to rotate blocks maybe by using the left/right triggers or bumpers.
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2014
A brief explanation of the game: you're a virus trying to infect systems. To do that you have to redirect power through the system. You just have to rotate tiles till they form a path from the power source to your objective. Had a pretty good start but I just got bored about 3/4 of the way into the game. Doesn't know its identity, whether it wants to be a strategy game, or an action game, or both. Mechanics are sort of just all over the place. At some point it just becomes memorizing tiles. Pretty boring after a while.
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34 of 49 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2013
This game... it has no clue what it's trying to be. There's no difficulty curve, you'll have random hard levels mixed in with middling ones. You go straight from a pure-puzzle stage to a pure-action one and there's major whiplash. Some levels require memorization as pieces are hidden, which only makes things more tedious. Controls need work too, TOM is not always responsive to slightly early arrow presses which can lead to you coming to a dead stop when you meant to move right and often even a fraction of a second can get you killed. Also, the death penalty is incredibly steep and if you're going for a gold score you might as well restart if you die even once. Which wouldn't be a problem except in levels with enemies all over the place and avoiding dying is the only real goal of the level. This game is just simply unfun to play, the art's nice, the music's alright though a bit dull after a while, but just playing this game is a chore. I couldn't even find it in myself to finish the game, I was just having that little enjoyment playing it. I'm sure there's an audience for this kind of game somewhere but it isn't me and I don't think most of the crowd that would want to play this from how it looks would be in that audience. I only got this through the humble bundle which is about the only place I'd recommend getting it from, really.
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21 of 29 people (72%) found this review helpful
121.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2014
Someone should remove the "puzzle" tag. This is definitely not in this category. Most of the time this game consists of dexterity and agility challenges.
This could have been a good puzzle game and THERE ARE pretty good puzzles in there. Sometimes.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 16, 2014
the game is fun but generic. its insanely easy up until the final section where difficulty takes on a steep learning curve and becomes nearly impossible to play. luckily by that time the maker gives you enough level skip tokens to get through and see the pointless ending. not a terrible game but not recommended.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2014
Nobody likes having their ideas stolen. For Dr. X, it's more than just a clever invention, but his entire livelihood being taken away by a mega corporation, framing and imprisoning him in the process just to make it abundantly clear what a bunch of greedy pricks they are. Unfortunately, they forgot about a little virus named Tom, who's about to turn their billion dollar company into a pile of rubble, one computer at a time.

A Virus Named Tom is something like a pimped out Pipe Mania. Guiding Tom through computer mainframes, you need to redirect the flow of the hack by twisting panels until the infection has spread across the entire board. Simple in theory, but in execution it becomes quite an elaborate challenge once anti-hack bugs, hidden and unmovable tiles, and the intricate maze designs start to pile on more and more things to keep track of. One of the most impressive things about AVNT is how it balances these elements into a gradual but brisk increase in difficulty. Rarely did I feel overwhelmed by any of the mechanics, instead rather impressed with myself that I was able to solve what initially appear to be incredibly involved puzzles. It's constantly rewarding and satisfying to progress, even with the surprisingly long single player story (which doesn't take into account the entire separate coop campaign which I've yet to even dip into).

As a puzzle game, A Virus Named Tom resides pleasantly in the realm of the best pick up and play arcade classics. It's challenging and enjoyable whether in short bursts or drawn out sessions as you try to attain a gold medal on every level, and never once managed to outstay its welcome for me however long I spent with it. It also features a fantastic electronic soundtrack, and some rather charming and humorous cutscenes which somehow manage to make mass hysteria and deconstruction feel lighthearted and amusing. Really, if a game can't sell itself to you with a dog that doesn't poop, I don't even know what more there is to say.
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