Alan Zucconi’s entry for Ludlum Dare 28 has got itself all grown up with a proper Steam release. With improved visuals, sound effects and a cracking soundtrack from Doseone this is a challenging yet chilled out gravity simulation puzzle game.
The premise is simple. You shoot a satellite into orbit around a sun or other celestial bodies and try to time the launch, the strength of that launch and the trajectory to keep the satellite in orbit for as long as possible. It sounds simple but it’s a challenging blend of elements that successfully manages to spark that ‘one more go’ mindset.
Each new level is centred around a sun and the gravitational effects vary from each level. Sometimes you’ll want to keep the projectile spinning around the nearest body as it orbits the sun. Other times a long slingshot will keep your satellite airborne for longer, but if it goes off screen then it’s game over. It’s a brilliant bit of puzzle gameplay that always has you trying new methods and seeing the results.
You unlock new batches of stars as you go with more complex systems lying in wait, leading to some incredible journeys that your satellite goes on. Aside from the puzzle-like gameplay and an excellent ambient soundtrack there’s also a visual treat on offer that I didn't expect. Your satellite leaves behind a red trail as it goes on its merry way and the longer you manage to keep slinging around objects the more complex and beautiful the pattern it leaves behind. It’s another incentive, other than the leaderboards, to keep you playing and several times I had my finger over the screencap button to see if I could capture something special. Obviously I'm not that great otherwise it'd be on display right here.
is on Steam priced at £5.24 and comes with a daily level challenge, workshop support and a level editor. If people's creativity is anything to go by, 0RBITALIS could be one of those addictive little games that's always on in the background, ready to suck up your precious time.