The WiiWare image for Orbient.
|Director(s)||Hiroaki Ishibashi, Jun Sasaki|
|Producer(s)||Kensuke Tanabe, Hiroshi Suzuki|
|Composer(s)||Hiromichi Fujiwara, Kazuomi Suzuki|
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance, WiiWare|
|Release||Game Boy Advance|
Orbient, known in Japan as Orbital, is a puzzle video game developed by Skip Ltd. and published by Nintendo for the Wii's WiiWare digital distribution service. It is one of twelve games in the Art Style series of video games available for WiiWare and DSiWare. It is a remake of a Japan-only Game Boy Advance video game titled Orbital, released for the bit Generations series of video games.
The objective of Orbient is to control a white star which grows larger by absorbing blue stars and collecting smaller gray stars to form orbiting satellites.
While the original bit Generations version was met with mixed reactions, The WiiWare version of Orbient was very well-received, holding an average score of 82.3% and 82/100 from GameRankings and Metacritic respectively.
In Orbient, players control a white star. The game starts with the white star able to take 5 hits before it is destroyed. To make it grow, the player must collide his/her star with a similar-sized, blue star. Stars smaller than the player's star are gray-colored. Colliding with these stars does not change the white star's size, but if the player positions the white star just right, the gray star will orbit the white star and become a satellite. Red stars are bigger than the white. The white star is able to orbit red stars to help travel through space. Whenever the white star grows large enough, the target star glows orange, and is able to be a satellite; as soon as that happens, a small crescent star appears, and having it successfully orbit the white star will give the player bonus points, (collecting all different crescent stars unlocks new galaxies and are also the goal to complete the game 100%). Colliding with the orange star will take away a hit, but having it orbit the white star will clear the round. The player guides the star by pressing the A and B buttons on the Wii Remote to utilize gravity and anti-gravity, respectively, and attract it towards or repel (also respectively) the gravitational wells of celestial objects. Players must be careful not to crash their star into the red stars or floating objects like asteroids, or be sucked into black holes, which take away a hit (and in the case of black holes, restart the entire stage).
At the end of each round, the player gets scored on the number of stars consumed or collected as satellites, bonus points for clearing the stage with a time faster than the set "official time", and bonus points for collecting the crescent star as a satellite, and adds it to the total. Times or total scores that show in red are new records. Satellites, including the orange and crescent stars, are then converted into extra hits for the next stage.
Orbient was originally released for the Game Boy Advance as Orbital under the bit Generations label on July 27, 2006 exclusively in Japan. This version was announced on June 1, 2006. Nintendo announced that they would be giving free copies of the games in the series to 700 members of the Club Nintendo website in exchange to feedback on them, though only to people who own a Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS. Nintendo filed for an ESRB rating for this title in the US. It was later remade for the Wii's WiiWare service in the Art Style series. Both versions were developed and published by Skip Ltd. and Nintendo respectively.
Orbient received positive reviews from critics upon release. On Metacritic, the game holds a score of 82/100 based on 11 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews." On GameRankings, the game holds a score of 83.17% based on 12 reviews.
The bit Generations version of Orbient received mixed scores from Famitsu, receiving a 7/9/6/7 from them. IGN praised the simplicity of the gameplay and the improvements made to the original, and called it "an incredibly mellow, relaxing experience", yet at the same time "one of the most challenging games you'll ever play". GameSpot found the physics-based puzzles to be clever, but criticized it for lacking that "must-play, addictive appeal" and for its lackluster presentation. Eurogamer called it a quietly brilliant game, and called it the most interesting and rewarding of the three WiiWare games released so far. It was nominated for multiple Wii-specific awards from IGN in its 2008 video game awards, including Best Action Game and Most Innovative Design.
The letter "O" in the game's logo/title cameos as a collectible sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
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