The Omega Virus was an iconic game from the 90’s that was one of the few electronic (semi) co-op games on the market. Today Restoration Games announced an exclusive two player card game called Omega Virus Prologue. This small real-time game was created by designer Steven Aramini.
Unlock the Secrets
Omega Virus Prologue has 2-players going head to head in real-time as they build rooms of 3 different colors (red, blue, yellow). Each player has an identical deck of cards at their disposal and laying these cards out in specific patterns is crucial. Cards have a lock symbol on them cannot be flipped over until the key of the same color is claimed. If a player doesn’t have the necessary key, these locked cards are placed at the bottom of the players deck.
Each of the 3 colored keys can only be claimed when a room of that color is created that matches a specific shape. Think of these as Tetris-like shapes that have to be in a specific color. They can be any orientation but the number of squares has to be exact.
Once you claim a key in Omega Virus Prologue, the locked card of that color can now be placed in your tableau. Getting the keys early in the game is so necessary. The goal of the game is to connect the two pieces of the battery cell, satellite dish and atmospheric purifier. The second piece of each of these equipment types is on the front of these locked cards.
Speed and Precision
When I say Omega Virus Prologue is a real-time game, some people may wince. I know that real-time games can cause some people real anxiety and may not be their game of choice. I noticed that this game didn’t feel chaotic like other real-time games like Escape, Fuse or Magic Maze (all games that my wife Erin hates).
Players need to finish unlocking cards and connecting the equipment first to gain the speed bonus each round. But, if players are too fast, they may not hit the other 3 floor plan bonuses that are available during a round.
These objectives give a single point for having the most 2+ rooms of specific colors, having the widest single room, or having the largest room of a single color. It’s not just about speed, it’s also about meeting these floor plan bonuses along the way.
Omega Virus Prologue comes to an end after 3 rounds and the player who scored the most points during those rounds in the winner.
This small box game is an excellent challenge for two players who like puzzley, competitive games. As you create patterns and gain keys, you have less road blocks in your deck. Players need to be cautious not to cover up the vital equipment that you need to complete the game. Thankfully, you can pull a card back up from their floor plan and drop it to the bottom of your deck.
I will say that if you struggle with spatial reasoning in games, this one may be a challenge. Players need to be able to mentally spin and flip the room shapes that are required to game each key card.
Steven Aramini’s design in this game is straight-forward, very puzzley and a lot of fun. Fans of the 1992 release of The Omega Virus will appreciate the nods to the original game. Look for the full restoration of the original Omega Virus to be announced soon.
You can purchase a copy of Omega Virus Prologue very soon through the Restoration Games website or at Gen Con 2021.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Small box for portability
- Floor patterns and objectives change every round
- Head-to-head gameplay feels tense
- Real-time game haters should sit this one out