Review by PentiumMMX
"Fun, but gets old"
Many, many years ago, not long after my local cable provider got Cartoon Network, I saw an ad for a new online game on their website called Cartoon Orbit; which involved collecting and trading digital cards of various cartoon characters. Because it looked so cool to me at the tine, I had to sign up and start playing.
The game it's self was quite simple to figure out; all you do is collect cToons, or digital trading cards. You could either use your points (The in-game currency) to purchase new cards from the store, get a special code by watching Cartoon Network (Or in some cases, Kids WB), or you could trade with another player for the card you want. The cards ranged in availability, much like real trading cards; some where much harder to obtain than others (Usually, the hardest to obtain where the ones tied in with promotional events, like the Cardcaptors set).
To earn more points, they offered a luck-based game called WinBall; where you simply released the ball and waited to see where it would land. You could keep playing it over and over to quickly build up enough points to buy whatever card you wanted; being this game's equivalent to level grinding in an MMORPG. Also, to show off your collection, you could create a cZone and fill it with the cards in your collection.
However, the game wasn't without it's flaws. One of the ones made noticeable as soon as you joined was the inability to create your own username; being forced to choose from a list of pre-approved names that consist of a random scientific word, the name of a cartoon character, and a 2 digit number in that order. Also, the game suffered from being quite heavy for a browser-based game; even on a mid-range PC of the era with a DSL connection, it still ran slowly, so you could imagine my frustration playing the game on an 5-year-old desktop with a dial-up connection.
Some of the special events they ran where downright cruel at times, like one they had around Christmas one year where all your cToons where "stolen by the Grinch", and you had to complete a special mini-game to get them back (While you did get them back after Christmas wither you completed the mini-game or not, it was still quite frustrating because they really did make you think you where going to lose all your cards unless you beat that mini-game).
There was also the major problem of glitches and cheating; seeing as there were no moderators, cheaters ran free as they stole cToons from other users and abused glitches to earn large amounts of points. However, the biggest problem of all was that your cToon storage space was very limited; there was no way you could obtain every last card if you didn't have enough room for just the complete Powerpuff Girls set alone, which really killed the collecting part of the game.
It's not online anymore (It shut down back in 2006), but back in it's heyday, it was surprisingly enjoyable aside from it's problems.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 09/08/09
Game Release: Cartoon Orbit (US, 05/31/00)
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