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.