Orbia (Free) by JOX is an action arcade game that tests your one-touch dashing skills. If you enjoyed other games like AZ Rockets and Lichtspeer, but want a world like Badland 2, then you'll get a kick out of Orbia.
When life gets too much (and boy has it been lately), I just want to sit down and enjoy some mobile games while in the comfort of my fiancé's arms on the couch. Usually I turn to puzzle games for these moments, but sometimes I want a game that tests my reflexive skills. For these moments, I like arcade games, and Orbia is one that fits the bill nicely. Even though Orbia has been out for a while, it slipped my radar until now. And I'm glad I discovered this hidden gem.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Orbia is beautiful. The game carries a fairly minimalistic aesthetic due to the softly colored backgrounds with serene landscapes and scenery. The targets you're dashing towards are simple circular outlines, sometimes with power-ups inside. Your character, a cute white fuzzball with glowing eyes, along with the enemies (dark evil versions of you in various sizes) are rendered in 2D and pack in a lot of personality in small packages.
There are various skins that you can come across as you play, which change your character's appearance and grants special abilities, and they all look unique and distinctive from each other. Animations are smooth and fluid, so there is no issue of lag or choppiness on my iPhone 8 Plus. Orbia also has a soothing and ambient atmospheric soundtrack that is immersive, so it's delightful to listen to as you play.
Even though the end goal is to get as far as you can in the game, there are still levels, and you can jump back to any completed level if you wish. Orbia features four different worlds with their own scenery and baddies to watch out for. On top of that, there are a ton of stages in each world to complete (the first one has 400 alone), so it should be enough to keep you busy for a while. Other chapters can be unlocked by spending crystals (in-game currency) or meeting other requirements, such as liking their Facebook page.
The goal in Orbia is to get as far as you can, and to complete each stage, just dash to each target unscathed until you get to the next level. Easy, right? Like plenty of other games, Orbia sounds easier than it looks.
To dash, all you need to do is tap anywhere on the screen. You don't have to worry about tapping on your target, since it would obstruct your view of obstacles. This one-touch control scheme lets you play the game with just one hand, so it's great to play anywhere. However, there are bad fuzzballs surrounding each target, and you must time your dashes right so you don't touch them, because otherwise, it's game over.
The game starts out easy enough, but things get trickier as you go. You'll encounter multiple orbiting layers of bad fuzzies, and they rotate at different speeds. Or there are large ones that are harder to avoid, rotating belts of them, and more. It's all about timing here, so just look for the opening and take it.
Sometimes you'll find power-ups in the targets that help you out in the long run. Things like shields protect you from a hit automatically, so you survive a bit longer. Other items let you dash faster, making it easier to get through tight openings. These boosts get activated when they're needed, so you don't have to think about additional controls besides dashing. They also pop up fairly frequently, so you may get a few items before a run ends.
Orbia also rewards players who are able to consecutively dash to targets without pausing. When this happens, you get a speed boost, and more crystals are awarded to you. Plus, it's fun to see how quickly you can complete a stage just for kicks.
As mentioned earlier, there are skins to unlock for your character, which add not only a dash of color, but grant you special talents too. For example, you can get faster dash speed, change your size, increase the time for bonus items, and more. Each skin is locked to the area that you find it in though, and more can be found on select stages. There are a ton of skins to discover and unlock, so it adds to the replay value.
Since Orbia is a free game, there are occasional banner and video ads. However, they don't necessarily get in the way, but could still annoy some people. Fortunately, there is an in-app purchase to get rid of ads if you so choose. Additionally, some skins are locked behind in-app purchases, and they also have pretty good bonuses as well as getting rid of ads too. However, some of the prices for these are pretty high, which I didn't like.
An orbital ascent.
Orbia is a gorgeous game that's relaxing and challenging at the same time. The simple and clean graphics are great eye candy, and the colors are definitely soothing and complement everything nicely. The music is whimsical and delightful to listen to. THe gameplay is simple enough for everyone, but still proves to be a nice and welcome challenge for all. The one-touch controls make this the perfect kind of pick-up-and-play game to try when you're just waiting around somewhere. Plus, there are hundreds of levels and a ton of unique skins to unlock that boost your game.
Personally, Orbia has a lot of good stuff going on, but the free part does bug me a bit. The ads, while not intrusive during the game, do get annoying over time. At least there are ways to get rid of them. But that brings me to another point — some of the prices for the skins are ridiculous. One costs $20, and while it pretty much gives you godly bonuses, I just think it's too much. Plus, I'm not a fan of how each skin is locked to the area that you get it in. I think giving players the option to use any skin in any chapter grants more freedom.
Despite my qualms with the game's in-app purchase skins, I'm finding Orbia to be a fun game to play when I have some downtime. The game's visual style is beautiful to behold, and reminds me a lot of games like Badland. I found the music to be tranquil and soothing too, which is always welcome for me these days. The one-touch controls are fantastic, and the gameplay itself is challenging, despite looking easy on the surface. It's one of those games that is hard to put down once you get started.
Orbia is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for free. There are in-app purchases.