Orbital review [Windows Phone]
We review Orbital, an addictive billiards-style game from Bitforge
Orbital is a classic example of transforming an existing game and adapting it perfectly for the mobile pick-up-and-play mentality. At its heart, it's just a game about shooting balls onto a board and picking the right angles to score the highest number of points, but the excellent neon presentation and clever spin on the formula make it a highly addictive little game.
Originally released on the iPhone back in 2009, Orbital makes its way over to Windows Phone with the usual addition of Xbox Live leaderboards and achievements to tempt old owners back for one more game.
Each of the three game modes on offer works off of the same core concepts - you control a cannon at the bottom of the screen and have to fire shots into the rectangular playing area. If you allow a shot to ricochet back below the line where your cannon rests, it's an instant Game Over.
You start by firing up into an empty board. When your shot comes to a rest, it expands out until it either touch the sides of the board, or another previous effort. By hitting these expanded circles a certain number of times (three or five, depending on the mode selected) you cause them to explode and score points.
Naturally, these targets are also obstacles, so the bigger they are the harder it is to navigate a shot carefully so it doesn't just rebound straight back down the middle of the screen.
In Supernova mode, each circle requires five hits to destroy, but subsequently explodes and damages all nearby circles when this number is reached (as shown in the centre of each circle). Gravity, meanwhile, removes these chained explosions, but also reduces the number of required hits to three and adds a gravitational field (dependant on the circle's size) that can pull at your shots. Pure is essentially the same as Gravity, but it (naturally) removes the titular feature.
Notably, both Pure and Gravity automatically rotate the cannon back and forth, meaning timing the shot is just as important as aiming, while Supernova gives you complete control over the angle by touch-and-drag controls.
Initially it won't matter what mode you pick, because you'll almost instantly see the Game Over screen regardless. While the game is far more simply than we're making it sound, the lack of a tutorial when you first start up the game will leave you a little confused as to what you're meant to be doing.
Give Orbital a few goes though and it'll most likely become your new ‘go-to' game for those quiet moments waiting for the bus. The action is quick, strategic, and skillful, while the seemingly minimalist graphics quickly explode into joyful showers of primary colours when you perform a good shot. It may be a simple game of billiards at heart, but it comes highly recommended.
|Reviewed On||HTC 7 Mozart|