Orbitsu is eye-candy for your brain

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Puzzle

Orbitsu is a visually mesmerizing game with an equally relaxing soundtrack.  The game has its roots in the Match-3 genre, but the devs have added features that make Orbitsu highly replayable.  From the menus, different tutorials and the fun UFO theme, Orbitsu is more polished than I expected.  I also found the touch controls very responsive, although some of the orbs can be hard to distinguish because the colors are similar or they go into the charged mode.

Right away, you notice the rotating set of various colored orbs, and using your finger, you hold and release colored orbs in order to match like-colored orbs in sets of 3 or more to cause them to explode before the rotating set grows beyond the outer ring.  Once it does, you’re toast, and game over.  Depending on how they explode, a chain reaction can occur, which can send neighboring orbs into a short orbit before they enter back into the rotation potentially causing other matches/explosions.  You do get to see what color orb is in the queue, and the way you shoot orbs is somewhat unique because they spin around the rotating set of orbs until making contact.

There are two modes: Arcade and Survival.  Initially, I thought where your orb hits were random, but during gameplay, you’ll see a transparent orb that shows you exactly where your orb will connect.  Arcade mode is Orbitsu with levels.  While this is simple in the first 10 stages or so, Orbitsu becomes more challenging as the rotation of the orbs changes direction often when your newly released orb is in mid-flight.  Also, after completing every fifth stage, you enter the Defender stage, really a breather level where you can accumulate extra bonus points without the risk of losing a life.  Think Tap Tap Revenge except with orbs where you have to prevent (by tapping) incoming orbs from hitting the rotating set of orbs.

Orbitsu offers different powerups such as a rainbow orb which is like your wildcard orb that explode with any matching pair of orbs; charged orbs which are orbs that randomly charge up and can be volatile to explode when another orb hits it.  Before I forget, Orbitsu includes a timer which in the early stages serves to give you bonus points if you finish a level early.  However, in the later levels, if you go over the time limit, you start losing points.  In Survival, the objective is similar to Defender stage found in Arcade mode where you need to keep the system clean for as long as you can.  The difference is you lose lives and points this time.

I find myself easily losing track of time playing Orbitsu, and I think you will too.  Orbitsu is an eye catching, enjoyable game and a great diversion with just the right amount of challenge to bring you back for more.


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