Now Playing: The Omega Virus

Managed to find a sweet deal on this blast from the past on eBay. Ok, so that was apparently 2 years ago and we just now got around to actually playing it, but nevermind that. It was just one of those things where I was suddenly hit by nostalgic memories of this game out of nowhere and decided that I had to have it again (no idea what happened to the one I used to have as a kid). The box is a little bit beat up, but amazingly it has all the pieces and they’re all in almost new condition. It even has the little notepad full of score sheets, still almost entirely full.

So this is a massive electronic, talking board game where 1-4 players compete in order to find and destroy the deadly sentient Omega Virus. To do so you first need to find each of the 3 colored keycards to be able to open the red, yellow, and blue rooms, then in a random one of each locked colored room you’ll find 1 of 3 devices you need to destroy the virus. Along the way you’ll run into traps, and maybe some other players, which you’ll have to face off against in a kind of rock-paper-scissors-like battle which can result in a device or keycard being destroyed if you lose. On the bright side, you can find a probe that acts as a second character for you to expand your search efforts with.

Anyway, if you manage to survive all of that you still need to find the room that the virus is in and defeat it in what will almost certainly be multiple turns of combat. Oh, and did I mention that this is all happening on a 30 minute timer (or slightly less or more, depending on how many players there are), and that as time starts running out, entire sectors of the board will explode and become inaccessible? Meanwhile, the virus is literally yelling taunts at you at every turn, telling you how bad you are at this and how you’re definitely all going to die.

Yeah. This game was pretty ahead of its time and it’s all surprisingly well-designed too. The system of typing these 3 digit codes in to do everything seems daunting at first, but you pick it up very quickly and there are helpful little quick-guides written on each player’s side that list all the basic commands. You just have to make sure you keep proper track of what rooms you’ve visited and where you can find each item again if you need to, which you can easily mess up when you’re trying to do everything as quickly as possible to beat that clock.

Another factor that makes things interesting is the interactions between players. It’s entirely up to you if you want to try to peacefully co-exist with your fellow players and focus on beating the virus or you want to shoot your friend in the back because if you can’t win NO ONE CAN!

So I’m pretty pleased with having this again, as it turns out. It requires a little effort and a lot of room to set up, but it can be learned and played very quickly, and it holds up very well for being a game made for children in 1992.

P.S. that is not my hand. I just wanted you readers to know, I don’t have girl-hands!

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