Retrovirus is a six degrees of freedom shooter which sends players into the depths of a computer on a search and destroy mission against an invasive virus. Retrovirus is being created by Cadenza Interactive, the indie studio behind the popular tower defense game Sol Survivor.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (141 reviews) - 75% of the 141 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 31, 2013

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"A really superb FPS, and blessedly a six-axis one, made intricate through some really genuinely smart weapon design of the like not seen in a shooter for far too long."
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

"I forgot how much I really missed this style of game and the overall look and feel really brought me into the game's world."
Co-Optimus - 4.5/5

"Retrovirus masterfully revamps and improves on the winning formula that hooked players almost two decades ago"
Gamespot - 7/10

About This Game

Retrovirus is a six degrees of freedom shooter which sends players into the depths of a computer on a search and destroy mission against an invasive virus. Retrovirus is being created by Cadenza Interactive, the indie studio behind the popular tower defense game Sol Survivor.

Players take command of an antivirus program, armed with the tools necessary to erase the virus’ very existence from the system. Movement and exploration are core to the gameplay, and players are encouraged to adapt to the demands of a world where free flight is the norm. Of course, the virus is armed to fight back, and first person shooter combat features heavily as players test their level of comfort with movement within the machine environment. Each player is able to customize their antivirus program with different plugins, allowing for a variety of approaches to a given situation.

The Retrovirus single player campaign focuses on the core story of the game, with the player’s goal being the eradication of the virus and the discovery of its origins. To defeat the virus, the player must solve puzzles, engage in dogfight-style combat, and explore the depths of the virtual world.

Retrovirus also features multi-player modes, designed to engage players’ social and competitive sides. Co-operative multi-player allows players to complete the campaign of the game with a friend, teaming up to restore the system to working order. Competitive multi-player will focus on the core of the six degrees of freedom shooter, hearkening back to the action-oriented shooters of the late 90’s and early 00’s.


  • Discover movement within a six degrees of freedom environment, free from the limits of traditional gravity-based environments.
  • Delve into a two-layered story, exploring the real-world origins of a malicious computer virus and cleansing the inner workings of the infected system.
  • Fight battles, complete puzzles and explore an environment built for the free-flying citizens of the computer system.
  • Customize an antivirus program, focusing on strength, speed or cunning, with weapons and utilities to suit a variety of play styles.
  • Join with a friend to remove the virus from the infected computer by playing the campaign in co-operative mode.
  • Compete against other players in a variety of multi-player modes, testing the limits of combat with six degrees of freedom.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz dual-core CPU
    • Memory: 2GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.5 GB free space
    • Graphics: VNVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, AMD Radeon HD 2900, or higher
    • Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
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Mostly Positive (141 reviews)
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98 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
They pacht out 3d Vision for VR! Even if it says 3d vision supported in game!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
33.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
Okay, why were people expecting Descent? In D, you're in AN UNDERGROUND MINE. It's gonna be crampped and kinda confusing. A personal computer's busses are not gonna come anywhere near that, and it does become quite klausteric in some portions, emphasising quick judgement and 6DOF-CQC, like Descent. The graphics are supposed to be fancy to reflect modern computers, although I will say that the engine the game runs on is quite inefficent, but powerful nonetheless.

One of the only negative aspects I can find about this game is the AI, where they're just kinda point-and-shoot, and don't move around much or do anything special like Big D had. I also didn't like how the conductor has this OP hitscan weapon while infected, but when NOT infected, he's defenseless. Don't do that.

Okay, good elements: THE SOUNDTRACK. OH MY GOD THE SOUNDTRACK. It ain't D's techno shenanigans, but it fits the game damn fine, the synths come in warm and cold flavors and the boss themes are on-point, the neurofunk and Amen work is immaculate, and aranged OST is a standalone album - no question. Jonanthan Peros did a wonderful job composing and producing both the procedural and aranged work. I couldn't fathom how many bassbins would be destroyed if he ended up with a record deal on some label like Mindtech.

The story was grand. There were two layers: The good ol' fashion blow everything to Kingdom Come and save the babes, and then there was the email layer that told a deeper story for all those >muh immersion folks. I also like how the protag you play as actually IS a retrovirus. Able to function independantly through the system with no operating AV controller, change it's code on the fly, and then there's the Oracle's ability to forge definitions for unknown malware.
This level of AV tech simply does not exist yet. It is some next-level ♥♥♥♥. Most of the time, you have to have someone in meatspace to hand-scan lines and lines and lines of code before pushing it through with the next definitions update.
I also LOVE the little detail at the end where the only weapon that can hurt the final boss (which takes place in the BIOS, obviously) is the Interupt (shotgun). If you know anything about computers, you'd know why that is.

Lastly is the gameplay. It's a bit slow, but the open Steam Workshop allows for gameplay modifiers, and Big D's was actually fairly slow too, until you mastered chording and/or the AB (D2 and especially in D3 where pulsing it at 100% can accelerate you to breakneck speeds). Honestly I found it completely playable, but the framerate kinda made it hard, but I pushed through anyway beceause it was enjoyable. I also liked the upgrade system, while it didn't seem complete, it was very useful and I got a lot of use out of it - switching between abilities while under fire to fulfill a situation that my current loadout can't eat.
There was one bug that bugged me, and that was that rockets that hit walls don't hurt you, but if they hit a target, they do hurt you.
OH, and there are bugs that prevent you from 100% the whole game. But I got all the emails, so no biggie.

Overall, 8/10 would play again. In fact, I actually have played it twice. Oh, and I bought the album. It can be found here.
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25 of 30 people (83%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2013
Let me start with, I do not dislike this game. It isn't a great game, but it's not bad either. Gameplay reminds me of Descent(Never heard of it? Look it up!). The idea is you are an antivirus program inside of an infected computer. Of course the inside of the computer is designed to be like subways, and other tight rooms and corridors. I don't know why I can't get Wreck it Ralph out of my head but it can relate. Different programs are different characters. Anyway, the computer was infected with a worm so you have to work your way to finding it, killing stuff, and upgrading your definitions(abilities) to fight it.

So far there is a decent variety of weapons, enemies and challenges. You are introduced with more along your journey at a not very impressive rate. It does get repetative so I can only do about a level or two at a time. But that might just be me haha and I do not think I am very far in it so things can really pick up soon. I'll post updates as I play more or when I finish so check for comments before buying if you want to read any more crap I spew.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2013
Buy? Likely. Retrovirus is a Six Degrees of Freedom (6DOF) FPS about a world within a person's computer, where a destructive worm has infected and corrupted the system. Your task as an agent of the anti-virus program is to of course, delete this worm. Emails scattered across the system, hints to the reasoning behind the worm attack.

6DOF essentially means freedom of moment, so you're constantly flying and have to deal with threats that can occur from any angle in 3D space. RV can't escape (and possibly doesn't want to) the comparison to Descent and Forsaken/Forsaken 64 - I think the developer refereneces Descent in forums.

Mecanics are based on weaponry and technology that use a limited, but regenerative resource called cycles that are displayed on your gun. You also have a scan function to highlight enemies, a charged scan to scan a wide area of enemies and to activate marks (bullet holes) made by your weapons. These marks vary depending on the weapon, such as a small explosion with the pistol-like Dual Strike, push back with the minigun style Thrash, or creation of gravity wells with the shotgun-like Interruptor, my personal favoritte. The use of cycles essentially means unlimited ammo, but requires you to manage shooting as you can easily run out if you shoot too much and you don't have any reload canisters. This is a problem with the larger hoard fights and some boss fights as there where times I felt I couldn't deal with the threat and I felt impossible with the Corrupted Driver boss battle (until I found a level exploit). You can also upgrade your "ship" and weaponry with bytes earned from killing enemies, destroying corruption and orange byte pickups which I think are called Memories.

I LOVE the high tech "Futuristicy" art style, though I'm not sure what I think about the combination of that mixed up with destroyed stone and concrete walls thanks to the Worm. I guess the idea is that the Worm is so destructive, that it's destroying the actual physical structure of the machine (though, the system is nothing like any computer I've any seen, it's obviously an interpretation)

I found the game mostly enjoyable and I enjoy the technology puns and references - computer geeks may get a laugh out of the dialogue's sense of humor. I did get more annoyed near the latter quarter of the game where I died alot due to a couple bosses and a couple hordes. It's a shame that this game wasn't advertised well, because hardly anybody knows about it and there's never anybody available for Co-op campaign or competitive multiplayer (except for certain Days when the developer hosts game sessions).

If you're somebody that liked Descent or Forsaken, or a computer geek that likes sci-fi FPS games, this game is definitely worth checking out - it provided me with at least 12+ hrs of gameplay (admittedly, more deaths than I'd like). I must warn you that the game may require a strong gaming system, as the frame rate can drop significantly - it has 12-15fps on my Intel HD laptop and drops like crazy when I accidentaly leave Folding@Home on (though, it's CPU intensive anyways, but many players mentioned performance problems - look at the community hub) Due to the lack of community, it's probably best to wait for a sale or bundle.

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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2014
This is an underrated little game... A cross between Descent and Tron, with graphics reminescent of Portal. Not without its flaws, but enjoyable nevertheless, which is what matters in the end. Note that these comments apply to the single player campaign only, as I did not try the multiplayer.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 4, 2014
A very fresh and new concept for an FPS. However, do keep in mind it is horribly optimized and only runs on the best gpus from 2011 and onward.


If you got past the requirements to play what you are left with is a fast paced, puzzle-solving, riff raff of a good time.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 13, 2014
I usually love supporting indie devs with positive reviews of their work. If Retrovirus was half its length, I'd do it for it, too. But to say it overstays its welcome is selling the tedium of this game short. It's a thankless slog through a game which behaves like it's an early beta and not a full release, and the more you play, the more you feel like the devs are out of ideas and just play for time to be able to say that their game is X hours long. As a short experience, this could've been really cool, if not mechanically inspiring. As it is, I can't really recommend it unless you find it VERY cheap somewhere.

Sorry that Retrovirus is being made an example in this case, but devs have to understand that you've got to do what you're comfortable with. If you've got content for 3 hours, make a very well paced, tight game, and players will remember it for being better than six or eight hours of the same thing over and over again, motivated by a plot thread so thin that you'd need a microscope to see it.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 18, 2014
Do not buy for the occulus rift. It's very unoptimized even at low graphics and the lag will make you sick.
Otherwise, for normal game play, it's decently fun.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 27, 2014
I was excited to play this game, and the initial opening of the game offered a nice twist on FPS tropes, but after the novelty of six axis shooting action wears thin, the shallow experience surfaces and it becomes tedious fast.

Level design is monotonous, enemies are dull, and the shooting feels underpowered and weak. And while the premise of the game is great, the actual execution is just bland and uneventful.

Stick to Descent 1 and 2.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 25, 2014
While the developers cloned descent to some extent, they didn't grasp what made descent great.

1. The simple and clean level design made descent work
2. The size of the robots and bosses and being easy to read or distinguish by colors/sounds.
3. The atmosphere. The original Descent 1 + 2 (at the time) had atmosphere, this game hasn't learned anything from the lessons learned since Descent 1,2, and 3 (and that was quite a while ago).
4. The essence of descent was the feel of the ship and the great weapon design.

None of these were researched or replicated. The levels are often too big and too convoluted even though you have a navigator. The levels feel very messy and you don't really remember much about them because everything is so cramped and jagged. Descent needs just simple hallways with the detail kept out of the way. Descent 3 (the worst descent in terms of gameplay) suffered the same problems this game does sadly.

If you're looking for a TRUE successor to descent look at talon. Descent 3 is where descent fell off the tracks because they had poor weapon design, ship feel and the levels were too big. This game repeats D3's failures sadly.

Check out for a true descent clone that understands what made descent great. It's not perfect but it's the best example we have of a true descent clone circia 2014.
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Recently Posted
Crazy Cow
4.9 hrs
Posted: July 1
Retrovirus is one of the most boring games I have ever played.

The gameplay is about clearing a room of enemies and then moving on to the next room,
-it's completley linear with little variation in the level design and look.
-about 4 different types of enemies.
-a few different weapons which the only reason to swicth through them at all is to let the previous weapon recharge ammo.
-it's easy to get the sense of direction confused and go back the way you came, if it wasn't for the coloured checkpoint grids that you eventually come across you would probably end up back at the start of the game.
-the story is so uninteresting it's not even memorable.

Overall this game isn't worth your time playing even if it was free, I highly recommend looking at a different game.
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6.2 hrs
Posted: June 30
This is quite a unique experience. You basically play as an "agent" searching and eradicating a computer virus. Along the way, you traverse areas meant to resemble different internal parts of an operating system, and meet a pretty colorful cast of characters with their own personalities that serve to keep the system moving. In addition, you can locate e-mails to get a little more depth into what is going on. I read a few of these, but they didn't grab my attention enough to read them all. You can play the entirety of the game in co-op, which does add a bit to the experience. Certain enemies are weak to certain weapon types (so it can be helpful to have different weapons equipped), and certain enemies are only weak in certain areas (meaning it can be beneficial if you can arrange a flank). The game is a good length, and doesn't wear out its welcome. I had a couple crashes while playing, and sometimes had to redistribute my upgrade points again at the beginning of a play session (especially if I wasn't the host). Otherwise, the stability was solid enough. I haven't played many games like this, the last being Descent II in 1996!
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3.6 hrs
Posted: May 30
This is one really awesome game. Tron 2.0 is one of my favorite games. Retrovirus reminds me in many ways of it. There is collecting things, shooting things, earning points for upgrades, cool music, and cool graphics. This game gives you stats on what you found, what you missed, percent completion, achievements ... it really entices you to play it over just to find all of the little stuff. So many games respawn everything ... they really rob you of that sense of accomplishment. Clearing out viruses definitely feels positive.

I started playing on Admin as I am normally disappointed on Normal level, and I definitely don't regret it. I die several times a level because I get too confident and move right into an area without paying attention. Bam, it can be punishing.

The whole free movement takes some getting used to, but it does "right side up" you most of the time to help keep your bearings straight.

I would definitely recommend this game, very much so, as long as the Devs continue to support it. I would definitely be up for expansions and the like.
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11.4 hrs
Posted: May 23
It was definitely a fun little experience, gave a really cool look at what antivirus software might do and interact with all the different parts of a computer. I liked it, but if you don't like 'dogfighting' shooters then you probably won't enjoy it very much.
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15.1 hrs
Posted: May 15
An incredibly underrated game that should be played by way more people. Many people are calling it a Descent clone or comparing it to Descent, which is completely wrong; just because this is a 6DOF shooter doesn't mean it is the same game. That's like calling Serious Sam the same game as Call of Duty, because they're both FPS shooters.

Sure, the multiplayer's a bit dead, the bosses are too easy and the final boss is more of a monotonous grind than an epic last fight, but apart from that this is a brilliant game that isn't getting the recognition it deserves. The concept behind it is, as far as I am aware, totally original, there is a pretty good backstory, and the levels are well-designed. The soundtrack is pretty funky too, almost perfectly matching what you are going through in the game.

The only major issue with this game is the optimisation and the lack of graphics options apart from "make the pixels visible or not", but if you have a good computer or you're willing to deal with a less good-looking experience, this game will be incredible.
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41.9 hrs
Posted: April 8
AH THE COMPUTER IS RIDDLED WITH VIRUSES AH KILL EM ALL few days later maybe a month HOLY GOD I FINNALY DONE IT........ OH NO ITS ON MY COMPUTER (this is not a real story so dont dont buy this game it doesnt give you a virius and is extremly fun well I cant really find any players ;(
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William Anthonio Zeppeli
5.3 hrs
Posted: April 3
-the scan mechanic
-Basically as you are an anti-virus program you get a scan ability that can open door, cause fired bullets to exploded or other effect depending on the gun or you can charge it and be able to see enemies through walls which is a ver unique mechanic.
-the graphics (while not spectaular) are pretty great
-the sound track is good
-Emails that you can collect and read that both give devolpment to your user and when you get spam are hilarious
-I personally like the designs of some of the areas

-the story is ok I guess
-this has workshop support (see negatives)

-the AI barely moves or requires any sort of tactics
-some guns are more useful than others
-there are no mods despite it being a workshop supported title
overall I enjoyed this and it reminded me of an older game called Virus:The Game minus the game scaning your computer to make the map. If this had some (or any) mods that alone would make this better. 7/10
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10.1 hrs
Posted: January 6
Now that I've had this game for or a while, I can say that this is a Descent offshoot for old people (like me) that played Descent like crazy but now need a slower paced version for our old decrepit reflexes. Ha ha! Yeah I said it.
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Lord Rump
3.4 hrs
Posted: December 6, 2015
Some performance errors and brutal as all hell, but a great game.
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