Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There’s a long and storied history of great puzzle games based on fighting diseases at the microscopic level. Unfortunately, Victor: Virus Eradicator is not one of those games. A flawed central mechanic smothers the handful of good ideas it actually has.
Hundreds of viruses have infected some poor soul and it’s up to Victor to eradicate them one screen at a time. Once players place Victor on screen any virus that bumps into him will explode, releasing waves that then kill other viruses. Victor can only be placed once though, so the goal is to create a single chain that will eradicate the target number of viruses. However, since players only have one shot, and waves disappear at a frustratingly quick rate, the best strategy is usually to put Victor where the most viruses converge and hope for the best. Virus’s movements aren’t totally random, but they are haphazard enough that failing or completing a puzzle too often feels too arbitrary. Some stage layouts force players to create chains around corners, but even these theoretically clever moments ultimately seem too reliant on luck.
Also, even if players can stumble through the 100 levels, getting the best scores is basically impossible without bombs. These items unleash bigger, longer, delayed explosions that are great at keeping a combo going. However, even most bomb-based victories rarely feel earned, and to get more players must either pay or fulfill some pretty tough gameplay requirements.
It’s a shame the fundamental mechanic of Victor: Virus Eradicator is so imperfect because later stages do expand upon it in some conceptually neat ways. Some have zones where Victor can’t be placed while others feature a diabolical Victor doppelganger who releases waves that cancel out Victor’s waves. Also, just like regular Victor, he has a sick beard, which is probably the most visually amusing thing in the otherwise uninspired presentation.
There’s an outline of an interesting puzzle game in Victor: Virus Eradicator, but the game as it is now would need a fair bit of retooling to get there. Healing others is great, but first it should take care of itself.