- Machine: Nintendo
More than half of the instruction manual for Orb-3D is devoted to describing your mission, which is to destroy an evil wizard and save the galaxy from getting swallowed up by a black hole. But the game isn't really about saving galaxies - it's about solving puzzles.
The cosmic clash is actually a sidelight to a fairly good collection of puzzles. To reach your final showdown with the evil wizard, you must make your way through 30 different puzzle screens known as Enigma Chambers.
Solving the puzzles requires both strategy and dexterity. To successfully navigate your orb-like spaceship through each screen, you manipulate force shields to the left and right of the chamber. Horizontal movement is easy, but vertical movement requires you to delicately shift the force shields upward and downward.
The immediate objective is to bounce your orb off all the visible targets at least once before running out of fuel. To make the targets disappear, you sometimes have to hit them from either the front or the rear, and sometimes repeatedly. Occasionally a direct hit will cause a chain reaction, knocking the target into other targets. The game sometimes plays like three-dimensional pinball.
And we do mean three-dimensional. Hi Tech Expressions promises you'll see "astonishing 3-D graphics" by wearing the special glasses included with the game. The effect is less than astonishing, however, and can be appreciated only when your small ship orbits the surface of the puzzle screen. The rest of the game is more 2-D than 3-D.
Also, as the manual warns, you may experience some eyestrain when using the glasses for extended periods. Fortunately, the game play in Orb-3D doesn't depend on the 3-D effects. You can play with or without the glasses.
The key to advancing through the puzzles is maintaining a healthy supply of fuel. Don't wait too long before visiting the fuel bay, Vern's Orb-O-Rama. Gassing up requires the same maneuvers used to solve the puzzles. But you'd better hurry, because the bays quickly close up.
Orb-3 D breaks new ground with its cosmic-puzzle concept. But some players may find that the novelties of each new puzzle cannot overcome the tedium of repeating the same maneuvers over and over again.
Published by Hi-Tech Expressions, Inc. and developed by The Software Toolworks, Inc., the game was released in 1990.
Krohn, the very evil space wizard has mastered the power to control a black hole. Using this power he is planning to take the entire universe under control. As to the player, he/she takes control under the explorer who is on assignment in some remote corner of the universe.
As your spacecraft, the Millennium Orb, is the only one capable of withstanding Krohn’s black hole, you have been reassigned to fight Krohn. There will be 30 chambers of various kinds blocking your way to Krohn. Each chamber’s left and right sides are force fields, and you will have to maneuver in order to keep your spaceship within the chamber. Also in the center of each of them there is a plane with various targets, and the Orb will have to travel around it. To go through a chamber successfully, you will need to complete a goal with those targets.