Orange Software is very new and this is their first program, accompanied by a letter betting we couldn't even get off the third level. Well we did - so there!
The setting for Virus is New York. New York in this case is a purple coloured maze and it has been struck by a dreadful virus which is not only killing everyone off, but mutating the bugs the city is famous for into horiffic man-eating things. Your job is to save the place by collecting Culture Moulds and taking them to the laboratory. The levels of the game are split into 'suburbs' of New York - New York, of course, looks the same whichever neighbourhood you're in. On each level you have to collect five moulds. The mould, a white object, dashes around the maze with a life of its own. Once collected, the lab in the centre of the screen flashes and you can dash to it. Once five moulds have been thus deposited you move to the next level. To make life difficult there are several types of bug. The green ones drain your energy and eventually kill you off, red and yellow ones kill on contact.
As the game progresses on each level, blue axes and red food appears. Axes save you from the bugs and banish them for a few moments, the food replaces lost energy. Finally, the centre track contains a speeding centipede like a subway express, which moves from left to right at random but frequent intervals.
'If you want a super-smooth graphics game, don't buy this one. On the other hand if you want a fast, zippy and colourful game which is above average, then read on. Virus is not super enough but it is a nice variation on the pac/centipede theme. It's fairly playable and fairly addictive and gets better with each game. On the whole not bad at all.'
'Its surprising to find maze games like this still being developed, because the concept is so old-fashioned. But this one does have many original features. Graphics are one block and don't move very smoothly, but then again, who cares with a game like this - its fun in itself There is a certain amount of simple animation in these very fast moving graphics. The objects are easily recognisable, which is a must in these types of game where the collecting of objects is the point. Colour is used well and all the characters are shown up very brightly. Sound is continuous with good squelches and various other good sound effects. I think this game is quite playable, but after a while it tends to get repetitive as do most maze games.'
'I suspect the proprietors of Orange Software are quite young, judging by the letter which accompanied this tape. Their bet about the third screen was soon undone, at least on the two slower levels (there are 4). But the game gets progressively more difficult, with more bugs being added, and what starts off as a relatively ordinary looking maze game does develop into a pretty fast and interesting one. Colours are bright and the graphics, although jerky, are fast moving. There is an unusual but sensible keyboard layout. I found it playable and reasonably addictive, but eventually lacking long playing appeal.'
: Q/A up/down, B/N left/rightJoystick
: KempstonKeyboard play
: responsiveUse of colour
: well used and brightGraphics
: small, reasonably detailed and fastSound
: good, continuousSkill levels
: 4 speedsLives
: a very novel series of ideas based on several older themesGeneral Rating:
Axes, monsters, centipedes and moulds make for an unusual game. The culture mould is the brighter diamond shaped thing lower left.