Exclusive: Orbital 1.2 iPhone update adds Supernova mode
Crack out the champagne
Orbital has hit the headlines a couple of times over the last few weeks, firstly after developer Bitforge decided to hold a 59p sale and then release a Lite version to counter disappointing sales, and secondly after Bitforge’s PR agency Triplepoint lamented on its blog that the strategy - along with the developer’s strategy of making a very good game - hadn’t managed to bring it any success.
Perhaps this’ll work. Bitforge - well, Triplepoint - has been in touch to let us know that an Orbital 1.2 update is currently in the submissions process, and it’s the kind of update we like to see, adding as it does a whole new mode to the original two single player modes: Pure (good), and Gravity (great).
The new mode is called Supernova, and it’s fairly different from the other two. Rather than aiming ‘blind’ by timing your shots from a swinging cannon at the bottom of the screen, you can aim by holding the screen and moving a red line - which doesn’t reflect off walls - to where you want it to go. When you take your finger off, the cannon fires.
Each orb now has five lives rather than three, and when they explode they create supernovae, chipping away at or destroying the orbs in their vicinity. If you manage to time your shots correctly, you can create chain reactions, clearing swathes of the screen with a single shot.
You might think that having an aiming line would make this mode easier than the others, but you’d be wrong. The extra resilience of the orbs more than compensates, and since you can only aim as far as the first wall you’ll find that you continue to make misjudgements.
During my time with it I found that I tended to either score very badly or reasonably well. It’s easy to crash out before you chip away your first five lives, but if you do manage to get into the points the sparking supernovae start to help you along.
It’s a decent mode, though Gravity is still the standout. If you haven’t already downloaded this 59p corker, though, Supernova gives you another reason to.
The update isn’t live on the UK App Store as of writing, but is should arrive later today.