Orborun is a game that requires skill. It’s a game that can easily be picked up and played for a couple of minutes but it can also be played for hours on end. The kind of game anyone can enjoy. It’s a game about a running (and rolling; or vice versa) robot and your goal is to set the best time and have the highest score.
This isn’t one of those puzzle games that desperately feels like it has to tell you a story just in order to make sense of it all. The game has several modes - Haste, Puzzle and Hazard – and each mode seems to have 15 levels. A new category will unlock as soon as you finish one of these. So finishing Haste will unlock Haste 2, which has more obstacles and is generally more difficult. As you probably would’ve guessed already each mode is focused on something specific. So Haste focuses on speed, Puzzle focuses on getting as many points as possible while sometimes figuring out where to go and by flipping switches and Hazard is focused on avoiding obstacles and falling down holes. Of course, your main goal is to still set the best time and score.
Overall the levels are enjoyable and require good skills and timing. Finishing a level will also earn you coins that can be used in the in-game store to buy cosmetic items for your robot.
The game gradually introduces some new objects every few levels like ramps, walls and portals.
It makes the game more interesting and difficult at the same time. The camera does get in the way of the action sometimes and I think it would’ve helped if it was placed just a tad higher.
Collision detection is also a bit flaky; some of the levels require that you bounce off of walls in order to make a left or right, but bouncing straight into the wall will reset you to the last checkpoint. Confusing and frustrating. So you have to move slightly to the left/right before crashing into it. I understand that the robot isn’t built for high speed crashes but if you implement a mechanic like this you have to ignore these kinds of things if you ask me.
The game also doesn’t always register when you pick up (collide with) an item. I’ve had several times that I was 100% sure I picked something up but the game didn’t process it. For me it’s not that big of a deal but if you want to set the high score then it most certainly is.
Graphics wise the game is simple. Simple but pretty. The robot is well animated and textured, and the way it morphs into a ball (or the other way around) will look good and cool to anyone who likes Transformers.
The level design on the other hand is a bit uninspired. The level is set in a gigantic cube with lots of platforms and each of the game’s categories has one primary color. Haste uses a lot of blue colors, Puzzle has an orange colored look and Hazard uses a good amount of green. It’s certainly distinctive.
But then again, the colors aren’t the problem; it’s the fact that the levels feel a bit empty. There’s nothing happening in the background. You can argue with me here and tell me that this is for serious gamers that don’t want to be distracted, but then I’d say that any serious gamer could probably look past those things. I don’t want to see a level full with animated stuff, but a few things wouldn’t have hurt.
The soundtrack is electronic and it usually has a good, solid beat. You’ll probably have heard all of it after just a few levels, but I guess most of you won’t even notice because you’ll be too focused on finishing a level. The sounds effects are kept to a minimum and can usually only be heard by collecting items, or by the occasional crash into an object (which is rare).
Orborun isn’t a very long game. A level usually takes less than a minute to complete. If you can complete it in one turn, that is. A lot of the levels will definitely take a few tries in order to complete them and if you’re a true completionist than it will take you many tries more. Since there are 6 categories consisting on 15 levels each the game should take you at least 90 minutes to complete. And that’s a best case scenario. I think you should add at least a couple of hours more if you want to be truly accurate. And afterwards there are still the Bonus levels to be completed. So all in all there’s a good amount of value to be found here.
Orborun doesn’t really reinvent the wheel but what’s there is (mostly) solid, and fun. Sure, there’s always room for improvement but anyone looking for a game to set a new record (time and/or points) will have a blast with this one.