Hack your way through brain scrambling puzzles while maneuvering through a thumb cramping maze of enemies.
User reviews: Mixed (535 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 1, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

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


"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.”
"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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 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
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
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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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
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
120.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
This game is a puzzle game. Except, the puzzles aren't difficult, just time consuming. But it has enemies, so it's sort of an action game! Except the enemies are predictable, and being hit by one only serves to reduce the time remaining that you have to solve the particular puzzle until you 'run out of energy'. At which point you need to start the 'puzzle' over again. This game then quickly devolves into two kinds of levels:

1. Long and boring puzzle levels where enemies are hardly a threat, and sometimes pieces of the puzzle are obscured so you either have to rely on memorization or gueswork.

2. Insultingly simple puzzles that are only made 'difficult' by a pointless overabundance of enemies, which, due to the fact that you are limited by a grid, are impossible to dodge unless you literally wait for the perfect timing, jump in, rotate pieces of the puzzle, and jump out before you get hit and waste your time.

Wasting your time is the name of the game, here. This game is not a puzzle game, nor an action game, nor a game in any sense of the word. It is a time waster, in the purest sense. Buying it is, predictably, a waste of time.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
A Virus Named TOM is a puzzle game that puts you in the shoes of TOM, a rather adorable robot looking computer virus. The primary gameplay is rotating circuitry around to pass power from one end of the board to the other, and completing this task as fast as possible. While this is not exactly a novel game concept, the presentation is nice and there are some interesting twists in the mechanics later into the game.

However all that being said, I personally was not all that enthused by the game, so if a friend were to ask me for a recommendation, this title would not be one of them. It's a great little puzzle game, just not for me.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
A solid puzzle game with fun co-op and competitive multiplayer to go along with loads and loads of personality. The cinematics are wonderfully realized and play out in the great retro-future aesthetic of a 1950's sci-fi movie. The game mechanics are familiar, heavily inspired by games like Pipe Dream, but there's a lot of new ideas here too. The game introduces new mechanics at a very nice pace and always keeps the player entertained with between levels email exchanges and cinematics.

A Virus Named TOM is the sort of indie game I hope to see more of, simple on the surface with hidden complexity, well designed and above all else extremely polished.

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
There's a good chance you got this game in a bundle which means you should probably give it a shot; you will know within an hour or two whether this game is for you. If you intend to purchase A Virus Named Tom though, well that's a different kettle of fish.

The game starts off as an innocuous pipe dreams style game; organise the circuit pieces to infect the part. The game quickly introduces more boundaries to your success, both related and external to the circuit itself: fixed pieces, encrypted pieces, anti-virus pieces, drones, glitch-proof drones, hunter drones etc. Personally I enjoyed the puzzles that involved finding the correct circuit within the defined time limit, and initially the drones gave levels the right amount of pressure. Unfortunately with the glitch-proof and hunter drones things start to get obnoxiously messy, especially as they are often paired with extremely fast patrol speeds, changing the game into a frustrating mess of puzzle solving and timing-based movement.

It's certainly not a bad game but there are dozens of fun and challenging puzzle games on Steam that certainly outclass A Virus Named Tom.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
First few levels are way too easy.. but other levels are almost impossible to complete! great thing are tokens, you can skip levels with thoose, but that's not enough. Anyway, this game is looking great, but the levels screwed it up.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Meh, it's ok... I got this as part of the Humble Bundle Indievision Weekly Bundle... so it really was just a bonus tack on to the movies.

I think the most compelling reason to play this is to beat your friends' scores.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
I wanted to like this game but the gameplay just isn't fun and I can't bring myself to try and finish it. The puzzles can be frustrating yet when you do finally beat them you just don't get that same feeling of satisfaction as you would in other games.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
I won this game in a giveaway so no loss really but it is kinda bad.
I'm sure there are some but i can't
think of any soo....
*Need to use controller cause keyboard on this gives me a headaches it's so hard
*At times can be very hard like took me 20 min to get past one level
*If you like puzzle well this is more like arcade dodge the bugs while you flip panels
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
Long story short, it's Pipe Dream with intentionally bad controls.

The cutscenes were neat, though.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
This game is very bad at being a puzzle game. I bought it because it was categorized as a puzzle game, and now it's tagged as a puzzle game, but don't trust that.

If you like brain teasers, really stay away from this. The game has a good presentation, but is overall frustrating. It doesn't require thinking to get by and many of its mechanics go against puzzle game fundamentals. For example:

There is a flawed gold/silver/bronze medal system for finishing levels with certain ammounts of energy remaining. Which gives the impression there is an optimal way to solve levels until LATER in the game you gain the ability to RECOVER energy and you can use that ability in levels BEFORE gaining that ability!

You can die, and you will, a lot, if you touch the creeps in stage, but then you respawn. You also gain the ability to kill them, but they also respawn. This is like an arcade game that doesn't work.

One of the "puzzle" features is that the pieces you have to rotate appear for 2 seconds on the screen then become "?" symbols until you pass energy through them. You can rotate the "?" symbols. Just so you know, it's 100% not possible to beat a level of this kind and get a gold medal without memorizing what you should rotate first, after a lot of restarts.

Not a good puzzle game. Flawed mechanics. Frustrating. Would not recommend. If you want a connect the paths game, get Droplitz, it's a casual puzzle like Tetris and at not in the least frustrating.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
A Virus Named TOM

This is an indie puzzle game where you control a virus who's name is TOM.
The story behind the game is that you are a scientist who get's kicked out of the city of tommorow and he is the one who built a lot of the new machines that they use.

He decides to get his revenge by infecting all of his previously built machines and so on.
I was very surprised with how badly the game controlled and how I was having nothing even close to a good time with the game. The tutorial isn't very good and it just feels wonky when you are trying to control the puke green little robot, flipping tiles to solve puzzle after puzzle.

I tried out getting as good times as possible on a few levels but with a keyboard it to some degree felt nearly impossible to go fast. This might just be me being bad or not using a gamepad but it just felt sloppy which is not a good first impression to give the player.

Something that they did "good" with the game however was the amount of content for someone who enjoys this type of slow paced gameplay.

The only two modes in the game are the singleplayer campain/story-line and a local-coop mode. You will very quickly get frustrated with how the mechanics work and the developers even added a skip level function but that really does not help since the level after the one you skipped will have the same feel and problems.

I would really like to recommend it but no person in their right mind can say that it's a good and polished game when almost everyone who played it had a bad time with it.

- Liam
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
This game is a very rude. I have friend he name TOM. He not virus but nice horsesellman. Since people know of game they not buy his horse cause they say he virus. I no ounderstand why game maker not like my friend Tom. He sold kidney yesterday to pay rent. IS WAT YOU WANTED MR. GAMEMAKERS! Please not buy
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
This game is the best puzzle game I've ever played. 5/5 and good gravics
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
It is a good puzzle game with good dev support, and it is a blast.
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