A brand new indie iOS arcade game has caught my attention, and its concept follows a trend on the app store that was born the day Flappy Bird hit the headlines. Over the years, arcade games have become more engaging and more complicated, involving new mechanics, power-ups and leveling systems to keep players playing for longer.
However, ever since Flappy Bird, we’ve seen more and more titles fall into the iOS arcade game genre that have gone back to basics – they have one simple goal, and a single scoring system, period. These games only really serve as a small amount of entertainment, but they are perfect for the few minutes we have spare between moments in our busy lives, and Orb provides us with that simple entertainment that’s easy to fall into.
In Orb, you must drag around an orange ball with your finger whilst dodging projectiles that bounce of the four corners of the screen. As you keep playing, more projectiles will be added, and eventually you’ll be swimming in bouncing rubber balls, trying your hardest to avoid any contact with these balls.
To make things harder, making contact with the edge of your screen will also result in a game over, so you’ll have to make your moves carefully; in my attempt to avoid projectiles, I swiped my thumb to the left, but as a result of this I ended with my orange orb colliding with the edge of the screen.
I’d say Orb is the perfect title to try out if you’re looking for a new iOS arcade game that follows a similar point tally system to Flappy Bird, and thanks to the small file size, you may keep it with you for a long time, having it ready to be played in the occasional minutes of boredom when there just isn’t time to do much else.
As Orb is an iOS arcade game, we really can’t expect much when it comes to graphics, so even though Orb’s simple graphic assets could be easily mimicked in Microsoft Paint, it certainly doesn’t take away from the experience.
As far as sound goes, Orb is pretty basic there, too. There is no backing soundtrack, but there are a small range of soundtracks that play whilst you interact with the game. A strange ‘woo’ noise plays constantly whilst you hold your finger on the screen, and any collision ends with a relevant 8-bit game over noise that almost sounds like the start of a Pokémon battle.
Whether or not you find a liking to these sounds or not comes down to how much you like the iOS arcade game genre. I think the developer for Orb has done a great job capturing that retro experience with this game.