Have you every played Metroid Prime, only to get stuck thinking, “What if I could throw samosa in her tiny word mode, onto a Wipeout race track?” or is that just me? Just me? Ok, well then MY prayers have been answered as Orborun does exactly that.
Originally released as a mobile title built for iOS and Android, you’ll take control of your very own husky Orbot, (thats right he’s got a little weight on him), and roll your way to freedom, avoiding obstacles, picking up boosts and teleporting as you go. This may seem like a simple concept at first, but once your little orb of hope picks up speed, it becomes a mad cap twitch fest, that’ll have you dodging weaving all over the place. Yes, I even found myself bobbing and weaving my own head around, as if that would help Tim make it to the end. Oh, I forgot to mention that I named my Orbot Tim, I needed to have faith in that little guy.
As you would expect from a mobile game-come fully fledged PC title, the gameplay is addictive and offers plenty of replay value but is best served in short bursts of play, mainly to avoid your frustrations from build up.
You see, ass you roll down a strip of glass, with your goal in site, you’ll be surrounded by nothing but the dark abyss below, meaning one miss step, or roll and your out of there! Akin to the difficulty of Mario Karts Rainbow Road, precision and concentration is key, something which will become ever more difficult as the maps begin to wind round longer corners and throw big gaps to jump.
The ante is upped that bit more in every level, with the addition of walls that pop up, red and blue glass which offer the chance of a points boost or penalty depending on which you crash through and portals you’ll have to navigate through. The portals are a particularly tricky affair, each sending you back to the begining, with only one offering pathway to the next platform. I found myself on a number of occasions having to remember what was the correct portal from a choice of 2, then 4, then 5 all to chose poorly and start from scratch.
If all that sounds too easy for you, theres also points to be collected along the way, all dotted around the very skirts of the track itself of course, because why not right? If you want to be the proud owner of these precious points, you’ll need to swerve and veer off the track, meaning that landing has to be perfectly aligned or you might hit a wall or fly off into the darkness.
Orborun offers some extremely polished gameplay with well designed maps but its not quite perfect. As you progress and the difficulty increases, it starts to reach a point in which I can imagine many of us will find more frustrating than enjoyable and could perhaps choose to switch off, especially considering theres no real narrative to keep you motivated.
Visually Orborun looks good but its nothing exactly unique, opting for the ever popular faux Tron surroundings, lots of white lines and bright panels to be found as well as a ton of glass.
If you fancy your hand at some multiplayer, to real cement your skill levels in history, thats on offer here and thankfully, or perhaps unfortunately its only a split screen affair. I personally lovely split screen multiplayer, throw it onto your TV using Steam Big Screen and enjoy some old school couch gaming. It would have been nice though to play against friends silhouettes in time trials or race random people world wide.
Overall, Orborun is a mobile experience that has made the big leap and pretty much succeeded in what it set out to do. It delivers a fast solo racer with some interesting ideas and that ‘5 more minutes’ mentality that will keep most people entertained for some time!
MLG Rating: 8/10 Format: PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Orborun by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 1 week on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.