Gaming has allowed us to indulge in a wide selection of fantasies over the years. Have you ever wanted to set the fastest lap ever recorded around the Nurburgring? Have you ever wanted to get in touch with your inner elf? And have you ever wanted to pilot a rocket powered toilet across space? If you are the latter then Orbit is the game you have been waiting for.
The space program has never seen darker days, finances are incredibly low and you have been tasked with exploring planets and collecting gold ore to help bring the space program back to former glories. Calling this a low budget expedition is putting it mildly; as you will go from flapping your arms to riding rocket powered toilets and bathtubs across planets searching for relics and blue prints. At least there’s an upgrade system to help our little explorer.
As you can probably already tell, Orbit is a game that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Even in its own dialogue it will poke fun at itself. I don’t want to spoil too much but here is an example of the writing in Orbit: “It’s almost as if someone designed the ‘Orbit’ project as a linear progressive experience, meant to get harder and therefore more rewarding”.
When I first started playing Orbit it reminded me of that flash game where you try and see how far you can hit the penguin across the screen with the yeti. Upon getting further into the game I realised it is deeper than that. Although they do have one thing in common; that ‘one more go’ factor. The aim of Orbit is to launch your character and collect Relics which are always on the ground and blueprints which are scattered around the level.
When you first start playing you won’t get very far at all but that is where the addictive nature of Orbit begins. All the money you collect you are able to spend on upgrades. Without upgrading it is impossible to collect everything from the level. Most of the upgrades have a tier system, gradually getting better and better with the more money you put into them. These range from improved engines to a ridiculously oversized launcher and even to a screen wiper which may seem strange but is a vital upgrade when enemies start appearing.
The enemies in the game come in three variations and all have different effects on you when you bump into them. Blue enemies drain your fuel, yellow enemies drain your gold and green enemies obscure your view by causing green slime to cover large portions of the screen; this is where the screen wiper upgrade comes in handy.
If I have anything bad to say about this game it’s that it’s all rinse and repeat. Every level amounts to getting your upgrades built up and collecting all the Relics and Blueprints while avoiding enemies and flying debris. While the game openly pokes fun at its repetitive nature I don’t think that’s any reason to give it a pass on it.
Overall Orbit is a very fun game albeit a simple one and I think you will enjoy the humour it provides while it lasts. I also highly recommend that you try to play the game in small chunks as this may help obscure just how repetitive it gets. It is definitely worth its asking price and is a great game to switch on to wind down after playing a more demanding title.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Platform: PS3/ PSP Release Date: 07/12/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Orbit by the promoter for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PS3. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.