Orbital In Review – 1-thumb addiction

orbital-review8If you like physics-based games, bitforge’s first App Store offering Orbital, should be right up your alley. With awesome Geometry Wars-like graphics, this unique game has a simple concept that’s easy to understand, but much harder than it looks.

orbital-review4The basic premise of Orbital is to destroy circles that you create. Sounds a bit complicated at the moment, but stay with me.

Basically, you control a turret on the bottom of the screen. The turret moves left and right by itself, and it’s your job to tap when you want it to shoot. After it shoots, the tiny ball that comes out will bounce around your playing field until settling, at which point it will expand into a large circle until it hits something, causing it to stop (such as another circle or the boundaries of the playing field).

Each circle, after it’s fully expanded, has a “3” inside it. This lets you know how many times it has to be hit in order to be destroyed. Essentially, you have to hit it with other circles to destroy it. Counter-productive? Maybe. Fun? Oh yeah!

Now, the catch is that your ball, after being shot out of your turret, cannot cross the line that is slightly above said turret. This is increasingly difficult as the game progresses, due to the playing field becoming congested, and your balls being so very bouncy. (Sounds wrong, I know, but how else could I have put it?)


Your score is based on how many circles you destroy, and you will quickly learn that this game is much more challenging than it seems on the surface.

There are two game-modes that you can play (other than local multiplayer, but we’ll touch down on that a bit later). There’s “Gravity” mode, and “Pure” mode. In Gravity mode, each circle you create has a gravitational pull, which gets stronger depending on how big the circle is. It’s pretty sweet.

Pure mode makes it so that there’s no pull one way or the other with your balls; they exist in their own right and are unaffected by the weight of any circles around them.

Gravity mode is, hands-down, much more fun. There’s more of a consequence to each ball you shoot, and it really helps you get into the game if you love physics-based games (much like I do).

orbital-review5Now, there’s also multiplayer. Sadly, there’s only local multiplayer (although there is an online scoreboard). And I’m not talking WiFi or bluetooth — I’m talking same-device multiplayer. And, while this sounds lame, it is actually well implemented and adds an another dimension to Orbital.

Your goal is to defeat the other player, obviously (aka screwing up the other guy/gal). In order to achieve this, the best strategy is to create a blockade of circles close to their turret so that, no matter what, whenever they shoot a ball, it bounces right back at them. It’s a pass-the-device kind of multiplayer, so the screen doesn’t feel crowded, and it all plays out pretty nicely.

All-in-all, I must say that the developers bitforge have done a really good job with the game. It’s got great graphics, great physics and great gameplay, not to mention that it’s also higly addictive. If you enjoy games with Geometry Wars-like graphics and gameplay that is simple yet challenging, you can’t go wrong with Orbital.


App Summary
Title: Orbital (v1.0) Developer: bitforge ltd.
Price: $2.99 App Size: 6.1 MB
  • Great graphics
  • Awesome physics
  • Addictive
  • Two game modes
  • Fun local multiplayer
  • Online score board
  • No online multiplayer


This review of Alive 4-ever was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Connor Coghlan. You can find him via his twitter account @Condawg

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