NEW ORBIT ($0.99) by Blackish is a universal space adventure game that requires timing, skill, and a basic understanding of gravity to succeed. Fly through space in a flimsy shuttle using zero gravity and the gravitational pull of nearby asteroids to make your way home.
The game is story driven. Before each mission starts, players are introduced to characters, given the history of an area or updated on the current status of things through in-game characters. The voice acting is fantastic. It never seems forced or awkward.
The first level is a tutorial to help players get a feel for how to maneuver the shuttle. The ship will propel forward when you touch the screen. The longer the screen is touched, the faster the ship will go. Letting go of the screen will not stop the shuttle from hurtling through space. The lack of atmosphere creates an inability for any sort of resistance to slow the ship down. If reverse thrusters are not implemented, the ship will just float through the universe at the exact same speed.
At times, players will need to use a nearby asteroid’s gravitational pull to help maneuver through debris, to land or dock with another moving spaceship. There are mines to be drilled and stranded civilians to be rescued.
Each level is another chapter in this first episode. The game is deeply involving, without being long and time consuming. Players can get though it in a single sitting. Since it is called the first episode, there is hope that the developers will be putting out new adventures in the future.
Overall, this universal game is a wonderful mix between story and action. It is more than a casual adventure, but not a simple arcade game. It looks great, has well acted voiceovers and an interesting science fiction storyline. Pick it up in the App Store for only $0.99.