Orb review [Windows Phone]
We review Orb, a simple tilt-based game from Palladium Power that really is a ball
Whoever invented the ball must be pretty proud of themselves. The world's most played sport uses one, and in fact the very ground we stand on is technically a giant ball - so it's really only fair that video games can make use of them, too.
Orb involves guiding a ball along a scrolling platform for as long as you can using tilt controls. There's no story or plot twists to get your head around - it's just you, the disco-meets-space age environment and a number of obstacles.
These obstacles come in a range of styles. Yellow blocks with an arrow nudge you in the direction they point. With holes in the ground usually nearby, it's best to avoid them or at least fight the movement with more tilt.
It's also possible to fall off each level, as each platform drops into the abyss once it's reached the bottom of the screen. This means you need to control your speed as well as your direction.
Just to add another spanner in the works , red bomb squares blow up any white squares surrounding them, or cause a chain reaction if other red squares are nearby. At points like this you need to dash forward or it's game over. There are also blue jump pads, and going off the right side of the screen puts you on the left, and vice versa, which can take a second or two to remember in the heat of the moment.
It's a simple gameplay system but definitely more than enough to test your dexterity. Your memory also gets a pasting, too, because certain track sections appear again over time - or at least, it feels like they do.
Most of Orb's fun comes from seeing if you can go that little bit further. Every attempt could see you beat your hi-score and maybe even beat scores by Orb fanatics from around the world. Combined with the tricky but rewarding nature of the game, Orb is enough to keep you interested for quite some time.
Throw in a catchy soundtrack and great presentation and it's hard not to recommend Orb, especially when it costs just £0.99. Granted, there are no other game modes to speak of, but the core gameplay has an addictive quality that frustrates and delights in equal measure. For the odd five minute blast of gaming on your Windows Phone, it's worth the pennies.