The Micro User1st August 1987
Published in The Micro User 5.06
Omega Orb is the latest arcade/adventure from the prolific Peter Scott, author of Thunderstruck II and the recently re-released Hunkidory. This is certainly from the same stable, although featuring a number of refinements over previous offerings.
You control the title character, a beautifully animated bouncing ball - without doubt the cutest creature I've seen in a long time. I particularly liked the delightful squashy effect when the Orb hits the ground.
The idea of the game seems similar to that of its predecessor, Thunderstruck II - move the Orb through a variety of multicoloured locations, collecting "core pieces" - presumably to rebuild the core. Although I have yet to find it.
A number of other objects litter the landscapes and it's up to you to work out what to do with them.
Omega Orb is, however, considerably more hectic than Thunderstruck II, because new locations introduce a number of evil-looking creatures with intentions to match.
Contact with any creature reduces it to a cloud of dust, but severely drains your energy. Furthermore, the game has a nasty habit of leaving the dead ex-sprite behind, reducing your energy to death level in seconds. What would you do without your trusty laser gun? Although you can carry only one object at a time, collecting or dropping one is automatic. You simply jump on it - if you have that object you will be dispossessed, and vice versa. If you are carrying a different item it will be exchanged for the new one.
But beware, if you wait more than about a second the new acquisition will be dropped. It is therefore very easy, and annoying, to bounce off with the wrong object, or even empty-handed - but the trick is soon mastered.
Unfortunately I had a pre-release version. However, I liked what I saw - large animated sprites, used not only for moving creatures but also for many landscape features, allowing you to walk behind the scenery. The plot, as far as I could work it out, was a challenge to both mental and physical reflexes.
Although I found Omega Orb a little too similar to Thunderstruck II, it is nevertheless a game well worth looking out for in its own right.