12 Orbits PC Review with Stream
Simple to play
Complex to master
Made more for phone then computer
Simple games were the beginning of this multimedia empire we call the video game industry, but they still have their place. At least, that’s the idea put forth by Roman Uhllig with his game 12 Orbits. In it you play as a single moving ball that intersects different areas and orbits that change your flight path based on momentum and how you attach or detach from that orbit.
Get a taste of 12 Orbits from my embedded stream below:
It sounds so simple on paper, but this is deceptively a very complex ballet of particle physics. Even playing against one other person can make it complicated enough with certain game modes that it requires all your attention. The key to this simple scheme yet complex play lies within the game control itself. In this game you only operate one key, that’s it, just one each for each player on basically any kind of input device. With only one key to use, how you use it becomes paramount. As such, when you are outside an orbit ring, you will speed up and attack with your ball, but within an orbit you will spin around its center, and hitting your one key will release you from that orbit on that angle that you released it. This makes for some really interesting gameplay as you need to not just release from orbit, but setup your next shot based on how to left the last ring.
There are lots of different game modes to choose from that allow for a plethora of attack strategies for each mode. Also because so many people can play at once, on anything from a keyboard to a touch screen, this can make for some frenetic gameplay and would make for a great party game. While the gameplay is easy to pick up, its not easy to master, so its very approachable, though I do think they need to add more to the graphics to make it a bit more appealing. Simple is good for gameplay, but more colors and graphics would go a long way. I do appreciate the return to classics or possibly an homage to PONG or something similar, but presented in a new way for a new generation. I also like that its easy to pick up and that in turn makes it easy to play with groups of even non-gamers which is something you don’t see often enough.
Also available on Nintendo Switch.