iPhone Game Review Orbital is a game based on a simple and popular flash game called Gimme Friction Baby by Wouter Visser. Like with Gimme Friction Baby, you start off orbital without a clue as to what to do. Unlike many modern games with 3 dimensions and dozens of control inputs to manage, Orbital is a simple game, and discovering the mechanics and their nuances actually adds to the fun.

iPhone Game Review Orbital

Quote about Wouter’s Gimme Friction Baby from jayisgames.com:

”the omission of instructions was deliberate: Wouter believes that including instructions on such an abstract concept could potentially be more confusing than just letting the player figure it out for herself.”

Since this is a review of Orbital, I will explain the general mechanics. If you would like to figure it out on your own, just skip this paragraph. At the lower portion of the screen, a small cannon constantly rotates from left to right. A tap of the touch screen triggers a single shot from the cannon which will release at the same velocity each time. Upon bouncing off the walls of the screen the shot quickly slows to a halt, and after coming to a stop the shot expands into a perfect circle emblazoned with the number 3 at its center.

Major Reviews On Orbital

The shot will continue to expand until the walls of the circle either hit a wall or, an adjacent shot. Each time that resulting circle is hit by another shot, the number counts down from three until finally, at zero the circle bursts in a vector burst light show. For each circle burst, you will score one point. As you continue firing shots the screen quickly begins to fill, and should and shot bounce below a line drawn just above the head of the cannon, the game is lost.

The physics in the game is consistent and never caught me off guard. While the pacing of Orbital may be related, this game is no slouch. It is likely that your first several games will result in a mere single or very low double-digit scores in the teens. As I continued to play, I eventually began to develop strategies that allowed for increasingly high scores. A superbly integrated global high score leaderboard was a constant reminder of just how far I had yet to improve after the completion of each game.

iPhone Game Review Orbital

The pure model is based on the classic physics in Gimme Friction. Gravity Mode adds a gravity pull to each circle on the screen. The gravity pull of each circle is proportional to the size of each other. As larger circles have a larger center of gravity.

On Gravity Mode

Gravity mode is where Orbital really shines and was by far my favorite mode to play. Multiplayer mode places a player and cannon on each end of the screen. And each player’s goal is to force the opponent shots back behind their own “goal line”. While the multiplayer mode has little to do with the main modes in the game, it is very well suited to the device. A blast to play with a friend while waiting for dinner, or at a bar after a few drinks.

Overall Orbital is a very complete package. The gameplay is simple, yet deep and strategic. A round can be played casually just for fun, or competitively against the world in the online leaderboards. The visuals are retro, and simple but beautiful. This is a very easy game for me to recommend, and should not be missed.

Orbital Scores a 5 out of 5

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