Halloween might be behind us, but the world has been battling a deadly pathogen and doctors have been testing unreliable vaccines in attempt to battle the virus, leading to dead bodies and conspiracies.
It’s time to step into the world of True Virus, where you’ll have to point and click your way through town to find out what the hell is going on.
When the game starts, you awaken in a dodgy looking hospital room, with your feet chained to the bed, thankfully you won’t have to search hard to find the key, so after jumping out of bed to explore a little, it’s time to uncover the secrets of the psychiatric hospital that was your bed for the night.
The story is pretty scarce at first, so it’s hard to explain too much without touching on potential spoilers, but we’re playing in a fantastical world, where there’s been a deadly virus going around and the powers that be have been trying to follow the science with some untested vaccines, obviously because humans don’t like to wait, it’s deemed save to test these vaccines on children and before you know it, the town is near-deserted, with corpses strewn around and a few spooky going-ons which you’ll have to get to the bottom of.
Playing as an old-fashioned point & click adventure, you’ll find yourself randomly clicking on everything in sight as you uncover the next clue or collectible item in order to progress through the game, there’s no resident evil style highlights around objects, so it’s easy to overlook certain objects, which I prefer, many games resort to highlighting interactive objects but I’d much rather use my head for what might be selectable rather than having to sypher through potential red-herrings.
You’ll also find the crimson fish are few and far between with the vast majority of items you’ll collect all needed, usually sooner rather than later for one reason or another.
One common theme is 4- and 5-digit codes, to access locked doors and cabinets, and sure enough, you’ll have to find scraps of paper and numeric clues to help solve these codes.
Beyond the standard find a code, unlock a door, there’s some smart puzzles, but most revolve around collecting items, one in particular stood out that required a light switch and paying attention to your surroundings, it’s these few unique tasks which require a little more grey matter, which help to make True Virus feel a little more complex, though occasionally it’s a little unnecessary, such as the screwdrivers you’ve already looked at, only being available to pick-up after a certain point, thankfully rooms are packed with items to memorise, so it’s fairly easy to remember where you saw that useful item and then return to collect it when required. Overall, there’s a nice mixture of puzzles which generally tie into the story and atmosphere of the game.
Sadly, the core complaint comes down to the control scheme, with a painfully slow cursor speed stretching out even the most straightforward tasks… You want to open that door on the right?? Sure, just move the mouse to the left, grab the key and then click on the door.
The downside is, it takes around 15 seconds to do that. A simple speed-up command doubling cursor speed while holding something like RT would have fixed everything, at least giving the option to move a little quicker, but in its current state at launch, it adds a painfully slow pace to pretty much everything.
Graphically, the screenshots tell you everything you need to know, there’s a very low-budget feel about the game with some details barely distinguishable and a hand-drawn style throughout, as mentioned above the way selectable items feel part of the scene rather than a tacked-on item is a welcome addition, but it’d be nice if some of these details where a little clearer, I spent a while looking for a mouse trap, only to find half a dozen tools on the wall that could have been vaguely described as “mouse trap looking” certainly weren’t what I was looking for.
Audio isn’t quite as positive, with a few eerie bumps in the night, no voice acting and only the occasional atmospheric sound, I really didn’t feel any major loss with the sound turned right down, the scenery and story did a good enough job of setting the atmosphere, but I think a little more attention to the audio could have helped considerably.
True Virus is available now for only £7.49 which represents pretty good value.
It’s in a tough spot where the sluggish control scheme makes it less accessible to genre newcomers, but anyone who’s a fan of point and click adventures, will find enough unique puzzles and a fairly intriguing story more than enough to make a purchase worthwhile.
the sluggish control scheme makes it less accessible to genre newcomers, but anyone who’s a fan of point and click adventures, will find enough unique puzzles and a fairly intriging story more than enough to make a purchase worthwhile.