Review by mycroftholmes10

"Build a Family of Planets in the Cold Hell of Outer Space"

Art Style, Orbient Wiiware.

Art Style is everything I am looking for in Wiiware software - affordable at $6, quirky, simple, and fun. But difficult to play.

You are a little speck of space crap, adrift in cold and lonely space, at the mercy of gravity and antigravity, which thankfully you control.

To a point. When you press “A” to activate gravity EVERY planet in range pulls at you and the big ones pull harder. When you pres “B' to repel their mass EVERY planet in range pushes you, and the big planets push harder. And by the way, congratulations, you just managed to learn most of the controls! But the point is you never stop, and you cannot turn around, you travel in arcs. Sometimes the best move you can make is to do NOTHING - let it ride, you may push and pull yourself to your own demise.

Demise is met by colliding into planets that are bigger than you, or space junk obstacles, or getting sucked into dreaded black holes, who are always pulling at you, harder than anything else, I might add. Success is made by colliding into planets that are your same size, thereby adding their mass to yours, and now you GROW, and can absorb the next level of planets. And so on and so forth until on of your fellow planetoids is overcome with excitement, ignites, and is yours to claim! You claim your new Sun by getting close to it but not colliding with it, it must Orbit you, and you have completed the level.

You get 5 lives a level, which sounds like a lot, but often isn't. When you are hit, you become invincible temporarily, change course, and cannot ‘mate' with other planets or attract and repel gravity until you are free of the obstruction. But the game never stops, never stops. At the end of the level, your performance is scored and you are awarded extra lives to carry to the next level, if you garner enough points.

The best way to garner points is to collect satellites, do this by approaching planets as you would the Sun, instead of colliding with them, have them orbit you. This is big time, style points mastery here, and as an added bonus each new satellites you gain cues a little musical tune, that grows and grows as you add planets to your family. At first the music is an annoying, high pitched, repetitive ditty, but after you gain four or so planets it starts to become a beautiful, hopeful, and triumphant theme. This is of note because the rest of the music in the game is pretty morose and melancholy- fitting with the cold, hard nature of space, a place where Ricardo Montalban feels revenge is best served. In every level there is also a bonus moon to collect, but be warned, it kills your ditty and replaces it with the ‘heavy' moon theme, which is to me a mixed bag. I avoid the moon for this superficial reason! Bump into the moon and it bounces of you and disappears, as if to say, ‘I ain't got the time for you, clumsy….'

The game is 2-d style, top down, and attractive. You never sail into the abyss, you simply go from the right side of the scrolling screen to the reappear seamlessly at the left side. This is not a game to show off to friends - they will be restless, but you will be engrossed, a great single player game, but slow paced. You have to think two or 3 moves ahead, and if you fail to do that or miscalculate you can do naught but watch as you orbit cannot be altered in time to avoid collision and failure!

Give it a shot! You could do a lot, worse on Wiiware or anywhere else, I guarantee you that..…40 levels for your orbiting enjoyment.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/10/08

Game Release: Art Style: ORBIENT (US, 09/29/08)


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