The Micro User


Author: Llewellyn
Publisher: Impact
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in The Micro User 7.02

Antidote to poison

Following the great success of Clogger and the disappointing 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 Ozzie 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 Ozzie if they catch him.


As Ozzie, 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 flat surface one layer below - fall too far and you shatter. They 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 but are just as clear in monochrome. It also has about half a dozen sound effects, such as a chime whenever a marble is collected and a smashing noise when Ozzie is shattered. Added to these are a random collection of notes playing while the title screens are displayed. Apparently it took two people to create this tuneless beeping.

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.

So 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.


Other Acorn Electron Game Reviews By Llewellyn

  • Play It Again Sam 8 Front Cover
    Play It Again Sam 8
  • Orbital Front Cover