Frost Lab Studios were back at this year’s Play NYC, but they weren’t showing off Plague the Peasants. Instead they brought Orbit Quest, and game that couldn’t have been more different than Plague the Peasants, but was just as, if not more, fun.
Orbit Quest is probably best defined as an action platforming game, though gravity plays a very different role than it would normally in a platformer. In Orbit Quest, you’re a brave space-faring explorer, trying to discover what’s left of earth while avoiding the myriad dangers that lurk amongst the stars.
You do this by sling-shoting yourself from planetoid to planetoid, using the gravitational pull of each object to keep you from rocketing off into the inky blackness of space. It’s a very simple mechanic to grasp, and is executed superbly. But of course, it can’t be that easy. Planetoids move about, vary in size, and are often patrolled by cybernetic space creatures or protected from approach at certain angles by lasers.
Everything in Orbit Quest is dripping with a “Golden Age of Sci-Fi” style. Stuff like Thrilling Tales of Adventure or Flash Gordon would be right at home, and the aesthetic fits perfectly. The space ship I chose to pilot was directly inspired by Wallace & Gromit’s: A Day Out, and I hope to see even more references to science fiction classics throughout the game.
Now, Orbit Quest wouldn’t be particularly tough if you could take your time, but Frost Lab Studio have done a great job of putting the pressure on. Lazers are deadly traps that will snuff you out should the planetoid you’re circling stray too close, and as you progress you’ll start to see great cosmic beasts roaming about, from laser sharks, to cyber jellies. These beasts are not afraid to stalk you, and you’ll have to move quickly to stay alive. This pressure to move fast injects what could be a rather slow paced game with urgency, and makes it much for challenging and fun.
With solid mechanics, a great aesthetics, and a built in need for speed, Orbit Quest has all the makings of a fantastic adventure platformer and I cannot wait to see what Frost Lab Studio have in store for us.