This game is not going viral.
Escape the Virus: Shoot’em Up has some redeeming qualities, but also plenty to dislike. Between a poor presentation and an unappealing control system, this probably isn’t a game for you.
Shoot’em Up has two modes: Shooter and Territory. In Shooter, you attempt to stay alive as long as possible and set a high score (local only) while destroying viruses. In Territory, you attempt to stay alive while defending a black hole that appears on various portions of the screen. When you defend the area for long enough you gain points and your score multiplier increases. I emphasize the staying alive part because the game becomes mostly you trying to do that. After about a minute of play, the number of enemies on screen makes adequate movement near impossible, and in Territory mode, controlling the black hole becomes becomes difficult without the help of a power-up.
The way you move around the screen is also frustrating. Your character fires automatically, making your only goal staying out of trouble. Using either the directional pad or touch screen, you can move in any direction, though deciding which control method to use is tricky. With the touch screen you can control speed, but turning can prove an issue. Using the D-pad you can turn more accurately, but you move at one speed: fast. I favored the ability to slow down, but trying to rapidly change directions got me killed more than I would have liked.
The subtle inclusion of power-ups was a touch I found enjoyable. When one appears, your character’s eye looks in its direction. I found a thrill in trying to navigate my way through a horde of enemies to get the item.
Escape the Virus: Shoot’em Up feels lackluster at best, and didn’t leave much of a positive impression on me. Those who embrace the controls may enjoy competing against themselves for a high score; others may dislike the game more with each attempt. If you are looking for something interesting on the DSiWare service, I would suggest looking elsewhere.