An interesting concept, but a flawed execution.
Video games that work against you can be fun. Beyond the challenge/reward response that can be had (like in Super Meat Boy), sometimes it's just entertaining to see how much misfortune you can handle (Dark Souls, or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy if I remeber right).
However, multiplayer is something entirely different. When it comes to singleplayer games that can be frustrating, there are several factors that keep the game from being unbearable: you are working with your own tolerance, you are handling your mistakes, and you only have obligations to yourself. So even though challenge is definitely good for multiplayer games, it is a much finer balance.
Sadly, A Virus Named Tom doesn't quite find that balance. Solving flow-like puzzles (somewhat like hacking from Bioshock) with friends can be immensely rewarding, even under a decent time constraint. Solving that same puzzle when things are constantly destroying you, your teammates are constantly colliding with you, and your time is drained with each death is not as much fun. It almost feels like the developers wanted to make the multiplayer both co-op and competitive, but forgot how to make it fun.
This game feels like a long road trip with 4 different people fighting over the same map. If you think you have 3 friends that you trust with your life, trying to beat this game with them might be a test for your friendship. If the price is low enough and you and your friends can handle the frustrations, A Virus can be amusing.
Posted: October 19th, 2013