Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
Today's edition of Indie Game of the Week will take a look at A Virus Named TOM; a downright incredible action-puzzle game where you play as a tiny cybernetic virus who's trying to light up circuits.
In the distant future, a professor known only as Dr. X has made quite a name for himself working for an organization known as MegaTech. It's pretty simple to see why, of course- he's invented pretty much every single piece of technology utilized by MegaTech's City of Tomorrow. Of course, X is a little bit on the off side - his invention of Globotron, a robot designed to destroy anyone caught walking (X explains that he 'cured' walking with treadmill streets) led Megatech to terminate the legendary inventor. Naturally, he didn't take kindly to that, and unleashed an endearing little virus robot by the name of TOM.
That's where you come in as the player. You are TOM. Your purpose is to infect all the circuitry in Megatech's technology, causing it to fail in a spectacular, amusing, or occasionally horrifying fashion.
The first thing that caught my eye about the title was, admittedly, the graphics and sound design. The game is positively mesmerizing to look at, and the music is downright incredible (I've yet to hear a song I didn't enjoy on the game's soundtrack). TOM, in spite of the fact that he's essentially a sentient, digitized weapon of mass destruction; is actually kind of cute in an off-kilter way, and everything - from the circuitry to the antivirus bots - is eye-popping.
Of course, TOM isn't all form and no substance - the game itself is quite fun to play (though the puzzles get a touch ridiculous at higher levels). Basically, your goal is to flip around circuits on the board until every single circuit connects to the original, infected piece of circuitry. You do this by moving TOM around a circuit at ninety-degree angles while holding down a particular key. The circuit will flip around as TOM moves.
That simple mechanic gets a lot more complicated. TOM's only got so much power, so as a result; every single match is timed. Failure to complete each puzzle in a timely fashion will result in TOM's 'death,' forcing you to restart that stage. Anti-TOM bots designed to seek out and destroy TOM eventually start making an appearance later, and while you can drop down a 'glitch' to temporarily destroy some of them (others are immune) your best bet is usually avoidance.Antivirus circuitry muddies the water even further - connecting antiviral panels to your circuit will nullify the infection, leading to an automatic loss.
In addition to the entertaining single player, TOM features an incredibly robust multiplayer offering, with more than fifty levels. Even better, multiplayer - which can be played cooperatively or competitively - supports up to four players.
So...long story short, I love this game. If you're the sort of person who enjoys a good puzzle, you will too.
Eight of The Most Memorable MMO Dungeons Ever Designed
Dungeons are a staple of the MMO genre; large-scale challenges requiring co-operation and co-ordination between anywhere from five to a few hundred players to adequately complete. Of course, not all are created equal, and some stand head and shoulders above their peers. Today, I'd like to tip my hat to those few legends, those instances that'll stick with us for years to come as shining examples of how to do dungeons right.
Ten Of The Best MMORPG Songs Ever Heard
In many ways, an MMO is only as good as its music. Many of the best and most memorable moments in an MMO invariably have a song associated with them; a piece of music which brings the memories flooding back the moment it reaches one's ears. Today, I'd like to pay homage to some of those songs - and some of those moments. Here, for your listening pleasure (and in no particular order, I assure you) is a list of some of the best songs ever heard in an MMO.
Facebook's Purchase Of Oculus VR Isn't The End Of The World
For those of you who've been living under a rock, Facebook recently purchased Oculus VR to the tune of $2 billion. Understandably, backers and developers alike were rather unimpressed, calling it a betrayal. As for me? I've never been more excited.
Seven Of The Worst Things You Can Say In League
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Six Reasons You Should Be Playing Dark Souls II
I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately - and you should be too. Say what you will about the game's flaws, it's still arguably one of the best action RPGs released in the past several years. If you're up for a bit of a challenge, it's well worth the buy. Don't believe me? Let's talk, then.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
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Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."