Electron User


Author: Llewellyn
Publisher: Impact
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in Electron User 6.07

Following the great success of Clogger and Zenon, Impact has produced a neat little game called Orbital and, while it is by no means a future classic, it does have quite a lot going for it.

It's simple to play but is difficult enough to keep you interested and entertained. The idea is that you move Ozzy the Orbital around the twelve tiny worlds that make up the home of the deadly Octopodes.

The fact that these worlds appear to be made up of building blocks is a bit disconcerting at first. But you don't really worry about that as you only have a limited amount of time to move around, collecting the plutonium marbles which are liberally sprinkled about. The marbles have been created by the Octopodes in order to poison the Orbital race. Also patrolling the world are some of the Octopodes, and they will kill Ozzy if they catch him.


As Ozzy, you move around the world and when you touch a marble, it vanishes. The problem is that you can only move along flat surfaces or drop down to a surface one layer below - fall too far and you shatter. The only way of regaining the higher ground is by moving on to a teleporter which transports you to a fixed point. It can be used as many times as you wish.

The twelve worlds are divided into groups of four. When you complete a group, you acquire a password which gains you entry into the next four.

Once all the worlds have been emptied of all their marbles - a task I have so far failed to perform - the Octopodes have a contingency plan. This involves them placing a replacement set of marbles and making the world invisible.


The game has neat graphics which look good in colour. There is the usual high score table which, when you start playing, is filled with the normal selection of witty names like J. T. Kirk and Old Reptonian.

If you like games which need a little bit of thought, this is one for you. It isn't complicated, but it contains a few interesting problems which should keep you amused for a few hours.

* * * Second Opinion (By Janice Murray) * * *

Here's fun in the traditional arcade style. It reminds me of Crystal Castles, and has its roots in that old chestnut, Pac Man. You race round a maze collecting marbles while avoiding the monsters. Special transporter squares must be used in the right order and working this out is a bit of a brain teaser.


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