#705 Art Style: Orbient

Posted: 5th January 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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751st played so far

Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Gameboy Advance/Wii
Year of Release: 2006
Developer: Skip Ltd.
Publisher: Nintendo

At this point, two different tasks I’m doing cross. The game after each landmark is informally reserved for a more indie game, while there are two games in the Art Style series, so it’s time I start that too.

Art Style: Orbient is a weird Wiiware game. They’ve had some good hits already, like Bonsai Barber and the Bit.Trip games, and this seems like something to take a chance on.

Our Thoughts

The gameplay in Art Style: Orbient revolves, first of all, around gravity. And not gravity in the sense of falling down, but in the astronomical sense, of bodies revolving around each other and attracting each other. It’s about orbits and maintaining those.

You start off as a small speck, floating around in space while you’re surrounded by larger stars. You can attract yourself to them or repulse yourself away and can either end up in a stable orbit around them, you might follow others or float freely away in space.

As you do that, you absorb the smaller objects that float around (I guess like a streamlined Katamari Damacy), and you grow as you do, like a controllable black hole that absorbs what it can. When you see a yellow gate, you get a chance to get out.

The game’s visuals are quite streamlined and that stylised look does a lot to give you something to interpret. I think I’m close to the intended meaning, but it matters little. The trick in playing the game is to learn the controls – they are so different from moving in other games that that control keeps its challenge for longer. It works well, with a fun combination of learning that and dealing withe the changing environment.