Anti-Virus

Posted on by Gabriel | 2 comments
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It's hard not to think about great puzzles and games when Oskar van Deventer is mentioned. This prolific Dutch puzzle designer invents puzzles faster than you can solve them, and my only guess is that his day is longer than 24 hours, as I can't fathom how he can find time to create so many puzzles. Great ones, I might add.

Back in 2008, Oskar's contribution to the vast catalog of SmartGames was the Anti-Virus, which is one of the few not invented by Raf Peeters, SmartGames' resident designer. Anti-Virus could be described as a fancy version of Rush Hour, since both concepts are based on getting pieces out of the way and free the main piece, but in reality, Oskar's game is much more than that. It excels in every way on how a multi-challenge game should be done. The result is a gorgeous, vibrant and colorful game, very addicting, and above all, quite challenging, which is a rare thing in this type of games.

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The goal of the Anti-Virus is to get rid of the "virus", the red piece, by sliding your "immune system", the other colorful pieces, diagonally on the board. You solve a puzzle when you can successfully slide the red piece out of the exit point located in the board's edge. It won't always be that simple, since the path to free the red piece will be blocked by the other pieces and the diagonal movements aren't always as intuitive as the ones you can do in Rush Hour, for example. This is what makes the concept so different, challenging and addictive at the same time.

There are 11 pieces in total, although two of them are single white units, placed on the board to make your task of sliding the pieces much harder. The other nine pieces can be divided in six different groups with three of them being unique. The challenges won't use all of the pieces at once, but they are varied enough to include a different number of them in each puzzle.

The game has a good progress in terms of difficulty as well, starting with the "Starter" level and going all the way up to "Wizard" in five different levels and 60 challenges. Unlike many puzzle games I've tried, the Anti-Virus game can be really challenging once you reach the last difficulty level. Some of those puzzles required me to reset the board a few times and start over before being able to finally solve them. All puzzles are provided with solutions, but use them as a last resort only, because it's much more satisfying and rewarding solving a tough puzzle by yourself.

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Closing Comments:

Once again, Oskar delivers us a masterpiece in the form of a puzzle game, not so common in his designs, but probably one of his best creations, and definitely my favorite game from SmartGames. What else is there to say? - If you love challenging puzzle games and still don't have this one you owe it to yourself to add it to your collection.

Availability: You can find the Anti-Virus puzzle game at Sloyd.fi for about €25.

Links:

Oskar's Official Website

SmartGames Website


2 comments:

George said...

Great puzzle! That is clever to put the board diagonally as in your first photo. That way the moves are not diagonal, but left-right and up-down. I always but the board square, but it strikes me the diagonal board might help.

Gabriel said...

Thanks, George! Honestly, the reason was because I thought it looked cooler for the photo. I also play with the board square, like the pictures below, but I can see how the board diagonally would make things a bit easier.

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