2DArray, the developing geniuses that brought us the compelling and challenging platformer, The Company of Myself, are at it once again with a mix of existential drama and astroidvania game play in Viricide.

Viricide puts you in the helm of an “antiviral unit” set inside of an artificial intelligence based computer. Your job is to take aim inside of a small grid like square where anomalies of varying shapes and sizes will fly by your screen, forcing you to dodge them while firing your cannons in any and all directions, destroying said anomalies and collecting chips in the process to fund upgrades for future levels.

The game mechanics are very smooth, using either the wasd or arrow keys to move your ship while using your mouse to both aim and fire your cannons at enemy units. The gameplay changes quickly from three main elements of the dodge and shoot dynamic. At first you will feel as though you are merely trying to shoot passing blocks as fast as you can to grab that extra income, but it isn’t long before you are playing hard on the dodge aspect as the levels produce more and more enemies on screen at one single time. Small square blocks make for your average target while the intro of circles that move in a wave like pattern will definitely force you to hone in on your stick and move skills. Once you are introduced to squares that take up what feels like half the screen at any given time, you will truly learn the meaning of the phrase, “a tight squeeze”. Cluster blocks that attack as a bunch stuck together, then exploding into a spray of shrapnel that will test your speed in aiming and shooting become part of the family of destruction you face in your travels down the malfunctioning systems of your partner A.I. It won’t be long until you are greeted by the tiny circles that move fast, follow you closely in dog fight fashion, and are more than willing to attack in groups. Upgrades are small, nothing fancy, and quite expensive to purchase in the early stages; however you will need them to stem the tide of rushing geometrical doom in your favor.

A tight squeeze

To say the game is very similar to other games of its type is an accurate way of assessing the basics of it, but this is 2DArray we are talking about! They know how to make a simple game feel like the story of your life being flattened out and displayed on your screen in an orgy of retrotastic game play, coupled with subtle emotional quandaries, and wrapped in what would otherwise be considered simple story telling. From the moment you finish the first mission you are greeted by an A.I. program that can be considered no less than compelling character development, brought into being by what I would happily call some of the best voice acting i’ve heard in a game. Top notch work on 2D’s part. The game has heart, and I mean that literally (if you make it to the last level you’ll see what I mean.).

The fan response has been overwhelming, as 2DArray points out in a recent blog post on their site here.

The game has all the things 2DArray is known for: retro-style game play, brilliant storytelling, and even though the graphics in this particular game are meant to be simple; they have a vibrant charm that holds true to the dynamic of the setting. I recommend you try it, and wish 2DArray only the best and hope for more from them in the future.

Find the game at:
Armor Games
Kongragate