Orbyx Deluxe adds plenty to the Pachinko concept, but fails to provide decent ball physics.
Another developer steps up in an attempt to take PopCap’s Peggle crown! Orbyx Deluxe from Hemi Games has plenty going for it, with lots of different powers to use and enough variation to give the game its own unique edge. Unfortunately the bouncing ball physics never feel tight enough, and the poor level design can make later levels rather frustrating.
An evil sorcerer has stolen the magic from a group of good witches, and locked it all into a crystal known as The Orbyx. This crystal has then been shattered and spread across the land, rendering the witches powerless. Only with your help can the witches reclaim their magic and send the sorcerer packing.
Over 50 levels, your task is to fire a ball into a series of orbs, turning all the golden orbs red before you run out of balls. A ball will bounce around the level, removing any orbs it collides with before exiting via the bottom of the level. If you’ve played Peggle or any Pachinko game before, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Orbyx Deluxe mixes the concept up with a few interesting features, although nothing we haven’t already seen. Before each level, you’re asked to choose a witch and a special charm. Each witch provides a different guide for your ball, perhaps showing part of the path your ball will take. Charms are a little different – the letters of the word MAGIC are scattered around each level, and if you manage to collect them, the power will be unleashed.
More witches and spells are unlocked with time, allowing you to change your tactics for each level. You’ve also got different types of paddle available, from the ball catcher seen in Peggle to a paddle that can be controlled via the mouse. Finish a level, and bubbles will rain down on the level, allowing you to collect as many as possible before the ball drops down. There are plenty of fun ideas knocking around in Orbyx Deluxe, giving the game its own unique feel.
Apart from the main story mode, you’ve also got 100 challenges to complete. These involve getting a certain score on each of the story mode’s levels, or finishing them in a set time. If you’re into your Pachinko games in a big way, Orbyx Deluxe will keep you going for a decent amount of time, especially since scores are automatically uploaded to a global leaderboard. There’s a huge incentive to replay levels multiple times in an attempt to top the high scores.
While Orbyx Deluxe has plenty going for it, the dodgy physics douse the fun in a big way. If the ball collides with a wall, obstacle or red peg, it will not bounce and instead roll off the object. It doesn’t feel natural at all, and usually leads to a solid run ending abruptly. This can put a real downer on the action and leaves a very sour taste in the mouth.
The level design eventually becomes a little too difficult towards the end of the game, with golden orbs situated in hard-to-reach areas. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but due to the poor bouncing ball physics mentioned above, it can make play very frustrating. There’s also an orb called ‘The Curse of Undoing’ that, when touched, will reset every orb turned red in that run. These orbs are always positioned in the most annoying of places, and seeing your handiwork undone is not very fun at all.
Orbyx Deluxe brings a few clever ideas to the table, but the less than satisfactory ball physics mar what would otherwise have been a great Pachinko experience. If you’re interested in trying the game for yourself, there is a demo available to download for free.