Vivirion, an arcade avoidance game by Mortar Games, has you controlling a small. fragile creature, attacked on all sides by a hostile environment. But with your guidance, the little guy is sure to triumph over every adversary, and thrive in his evolution. By the way, did we mention that said creature is a virus that has infected a human host, mutating into ever more deadly pathogens? Yeah. In retrospect, that's actually pretty central to the premise.
Direct your chosen virus with the mouse, gaining health by consuming smaller enemy cells, and avoiding the larger cells which will take health away. Turning on the "Cell Size Assistance" option will mark smaller cells with OK and larger cells with an !, but generally it's easy to eyeball the diameters. Also, watch out for the white blood cells, which will actively try to hunt you down. Collect bonus cells to gain a temporary ability boost. At the end of each level, you'll upgrade your attributes and mutate into a stronger form. Overall, the gameplay is reminiscient of Fishy, though the circular sprite designs make it much easier to distinguish the different sizes. It's a little slow going at first, but the eerie atmosphere and a surprisingly affecting (even slightly nightmarish) final level make Vivirion worth playing until the very end.
Cute, although the mouse control was really jerky. I would have liked the option for keyboard control.
Cute? Really? I think I'd rather have played an antibody. The yay factor of achieving disease is a little distasteful to me.
The Host Is Dead.
Medal Get! HIV +25 points.
Awesome, can't wait until I get to play as a breast tumour or bowel cancer.
As for the actual gameplay, it was boring and repetitive. I don't think the upgrades even did anything.
Far too easy.
The challenge in Fishy was that once you got to level 5 or 6, the game sped up to the point that it would almost always throw some impossible situation at you. Here, the slower pace of the drifting blood cells and their relative sparseness made the game pretty boring.
Not only was this ridiculously easy and boring, and the upgrades utterly pointless, but this game gets how viruses work completely backwards! Viruses are smaller than the cells they infect because that way they can enter those cells and modify their DNA to produce more viruses. This is stuff I know from a high school biology course years ago, for crying out loud. Talk about a fatal research failure.
Echoing Xindaris's point, on the HIV level I kept trying to infect white blood cells on purpose.(Not a precise description of how HIV works, but close enough for this purpose.) Would have been cool if you had to seek out and infect the types of cells that the actual viruses would target.
This game lagged terribly mouse-wise in my case, so after level four I sadly called it quits.