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ORBIT (Wii U) artwork

ORBIT (Wii U) review

"Some games cost $1.49 and surprise you with the sheer value they offer. ORBIT isn't one of them."

ORBIT is the latest release from RCMADIAX, a publisher that has for the past few months delivered a budget-priced Nintendo eShop game or two virtually every week. There's a reason for that prolific and affordable output: none of the games seem to be particularly ambitious.

In ORBIT, you play as an arrow that makes orbits a central orb. I assume the orb is a planet and the arrow is a satellite. Small red balls fly in from the sides of the screen, one or two at a time from random directions. As you fly, you can tap the screen to leave a trail of blue behind you. If the incoming red balls (which I take to be meteors) collide with your blue shield, they disintegrate harmlessly. If some of them slip past your shield a few times, you lose. Your goal is to get the highest score you can manage before that happens.

ORBIT (Wii U) image

The entire experience, from interface to gameplay, is managed with stylus taps. You tap the text to begin a new game from the title screen, and you tap and hold your stylus against the screen to produce the aforementioned blue shield trails. There are no other input options. If you want to pause the game to wipe your nose or answer the phone, you're out of luck. Accept your loss and start over, if you dare!

Once you've played ORBIT for a few seconds (long enough to get the hang of things, which may actually take a couple of attempts), you've seen everything it has to offer. You've also heard everything, because the game features literally no music or sound effects. On close calls, you have no way of knowing if you've dodged a bullet or taken one of your three available hits.

Although game difficulty does seem to increase slightly a short way into the proceedings, it doesn't steadily ramp up as you progress further from that point. By the time I blocked 150 or so of those vicious red balls, I had settled into a groove that wasn't interrupted until finally I said "Enough of this" when I passed 500 points and just sat there until my planet was finally destroyed by incoming meteors. There were a few close calls along the way, but I always had ample time to set up a shield in advance of a meteor's arrival. You can't set a trail in a complete circle, but you have sufficient energy to cover around three fourths of the radius at any given point and that's much more than you should ever really need.

ORBIT (Wii U) image

When you finally lose, the game retains your score for that session only. You can try again and maybe beat said score, but there are no leaderboards that might let you compare your performance against any posted by other players. Your session score is also erased when you exit the game, so you can't even fire it up later and invite a friend to do better.

"I got 502 points," you say to your friend. "Beat that if you can."

"I don't believe you," your friend says. "No one would willingly waste that much time!"

And then you hang your head in shame and shed a single tear, because you did precisely that. Don't let such a tragic scene unfold in your life. Don't play ORBIT and then try to boast about your score. It's a safe bet no one cares.


honestgamer's avatar
Staff review by Jason Venter (April 22, 2017)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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hastypixels posted April 22, 2017:

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime did it better. There's always room for another bit of filler, but it seems to me the devs are squeezing out the last few drops before the Wii U eShop dries up. Let's hope Nintendo has stellar plans for the Switch eShop!
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honestgamer posted April 22, 2017:

Yeah, I think that's exactly what's happening. As for Switch, it sounds like Nintendo is taking quality control more seriously, even going so far as to not pursue (or by some accounts, to discourage) ports of games people generally like. So far, the Switch eShop has been quite interesting. I hope that continues!

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