Friday, October 13, 2006


Title: OrbitZ
Author: Addictive 247
License: Freeware

Addictive 247 recently relicensed OrbitZ from a shareware to a freeware game. I am very thankful for this, but there is a price. You are forced to view an advert for other Addictive 247 games and hit ESC every time you exit the game.

The goal of each OrbitZ level is to safely get each planet (Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune) to its corresponding worm hole. You choose how to move the planets, but once a planet starts in motion it keeps moving until it hits a wall or another planet. To key to solving most levels is figuring out how to use the planets to block for each other and gain access to areas which they could not by themselves.

There are a couple of other items to spice things up. First, there are mines. If you run a planet into a mine, you gotta restart that level. Of course, there are mine sweepers. If a planet passes over a mine sweeper, all the mines are destroyed. Then there is the vortex which is similar to a teleporter, but you can only use it once and you do not know where the other end is. There can be a bit of trial and error with vortices. Finally, there are asteroids which bounce back and forth and must be avoided.

OrbitZ comes with 60 levels plus 5 tutorial levels. You can play any level at any time. Also there is no time limit. I have to give them thumbs up on both of these design choices. The levels get gradually more difficult as you proceed, but no level is overly difficult from a logic point of view. A few of the later levels are difficult from a timing point of view. On these few levels, you have to very carefully time planet movements to avoid the asteroids. No level editor is included.

One minor complaint about OrbitZ is that the graphic for Mars and Jupiter are similar. I got used to it, but it seems that Saturn would have been a better choice for one or the other. Otherwise, the graphics and sound are excellent. OrbitZ has the fit and finish that you expect from a commercial game.

OrbitZ keeps track of five players or profiles as they call them. One interesting feature is that the total number of moves is recorded for each profile. This might result in a little friendly competition among family members. It is too bad that they do not record the number of moves on each level and give a par or best score for each level. This would make OrbitZ a bit more challenging.

OrbitZ is a fun, quality puzzler and worth the price of having to look at their advertizement.


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