Room-in-a-box, Mar 2017
See the [[Prison Break]] review for general comments about the Escape Room The Game bundle – this scenario is only available as part of the set.
Virus has a laboratory find-the-antidote plot, another staple theme for escape games. The background story doesn’t entirely stand up to inspection, but the three game stages follow a clear narrative progression, and the link from part two to part three is particularly clever.
The components are again mostly printed paper items, usually to be popped out from a perforated sheet, with a few more substantial pieces. A few are intended to be marked or destroyed in the course of the game, but these are marked with a printer icon and the game website allows you to print fresh copies. That seems to me an effective compromise, with destructible components allowing the game to include some more inventive puzzles while keeping it replayable.
The weakest part of this game is a puzzle which could have been taken straight from a magazine, which seems there primarily to slow the players down a little – without it, the game is a bit light on content, with the third stage in particular being unexpectedly slight. On the other hand, Virus also includes a couple of inspired ideas and probably manages to be my favourite of the four scenarios as a result.