Retrovirus: the videogame set inside a desktop computer

Feb 13, 2013

Descent-inspired game with brilliant visuals and weapons options makes blasting bugs 'blissful'

What you need to know
Cadenza Interactive's virus-slaying videogame Retrovirus has been released in the UK. The game is inspired by the popular 1990s videogame Descent, in which players navigated labyrinthine mines while fighting virus-infected robots.

Retrovirus is set inside a desktop computer where microscopic robots go about their routines until they are attacked by a worm-like virus. Players act as heavily armed antivirus bots dispatched to seek-and-destroy the virus in the system's inner workings.

What the critics like
This game is a worthy successor to the Descent game series, says Roger Hargreaves in Metro. There are great controls and exciting graphics – "the PC's guts are visualised as gleaming sci-fi architecture and the virus as grotesque biological infestations".

Retrovirus "masterfully revamps and improves a winning formula", says Nathan Meunier in Gamespot. This "unique, fast-paced shooter" is worth digging into for its distinct setting and intense virus slaying. The customization, freedom of movement and weapon options can make blasting bugs "blissful".

The idea of setting the game inside a computer is "genius", says Mark Adams in Gaming Illustrated. Players traverse "a brilliantly clever landscape", while exploring, puzzle solving, and doing a bit of shooting – so there is "plenty of gameplay for everyone".

What they don't like
There's a simple and easy to understand set-up, says Hargreaves in Metro, but for some reason Cadenza have "ladled on the plot very thickly". The needlessly confusing story and techno-babble might make some players want to give up before they get started.

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