Review – Shift Orb – A Game Of Physics & Marbles
It’s always a joy to come across a new game. This is perhaps one of the things I enjoy most about indie games, there always seems to be a new game. There can be several reasons a game catches your eye. Perhaps you’re a fan of the genre, or the developer, other times it’s the premise of the game that does the trick. That was the case for me when I came across Shift Orb. The fact that the game was touted as a physics puzzle game was too much for me to pass up.
Shift Orb physics, puzzles, and obstacles
The games premise is a simple one, you control a marble you must make it to the goal by navigating the level. This is easier said than done however. You must overcome several obstacles to reach the end of a level. Sometimes you will need to move crates into a specific position creating a path. Other times it will simply be a matter of navigation. Some instances you will need to get a power-up for your marble to complete the stage.
The stages in Shift Orb can appear daunting at first glance. You may even find yourself questioning the developers’ logic behind a specific stage. Only to realize that the stage isn’t one big puzzle, it’s in fact a series of smaller puzzles. It’s an approach that was both unique and novel, it also kept the stages from feeling repetitive. This is quite the accomplishment when you factor in the obstacles that you encounter frequently throughout the game. Such as crates, they’re one of the more common obstacles in the game. Virtually every time you encounter them you must move them. The reasons that you move the crates varies, sometimes you move a crate to create a path, other times it’s about balancing a lever.
Aside from the physical obstacles that you’ll encounter, physics will be your biggest obstacle. Physics plays a role in everything you do. Elements such as momentum, gravity, force, and weight distribution all play key factors in the game.
Aside from the obstacles and physics the game does have a little more going for it. For starters, you don’t have lives, which means no game over. This is good because you will lose a lot of marbles just to the physics aspect of the game alone. The game also allows you to move the camera to any angle. This is good because many times you will need more of a perspective than the default view allows. The downside to this is the fact that the camera controls are sensitive. You also have the option to reset your marble. This is a great feature simply, for times when you screw up a puzzle and can’t make it back to where you need to be.
As much as I enjoyed Shift Orb, the game isn’t perfect. The puzzles in the game don’t offer a lot of variety when it comes to solutions. Add to that the fact that there’s no form of achievements or other game modes. There is literally nothing to entice players to replay the game. Which is a shame as this makes the game a one-time play through.
Perhaps the biggest flaw with the game is the fact that it’s extremely short. The game doesn’t have many levels, many levels in the game are short. The developer claims that more content is planned, but no word on how it’s going to be delivered. I do feel that the game is overpriced given the amount of content that you get.
While Shift Orb is fun it’s also incredibly short. I will be curious to see what the extra content adds to the game. If the idea of a physics based puzzle game appeals to you the game is available on Steam.