Space is a dangerous place, full of the dangers of the unknown. No wonder there are countless films and games based on all these dangers. From distant alien films to more semi-plausible Gravity films and games inspired by fictional eccentricities such as Dead Space and Tacoma. I recently had the chance to play Lost Orbit: Terminal Speed on Nintendo Switch and discover a mix of stories, speed steps and puzzles in an addictive package.

Terminal Velocity Review –

If we manage to colonize space and other places, there will certainly be a wide range of jobs, and it can never be ruled out that we will need repairmen. In Lost Orbit, you’re a worker named Harrison. During a single repair, a meteorite crashes onto your moored ship, tears it to pieces and suddenly ends up in the middle of space. However, don’t be afraid of your basic survival instincts when you set fire to your jetpack engines, which have an incredibly unlimited amount of fuel, and start your journey home!

At the beginning of the return journey, the gameplay looks like a mix of top-down SHMUPs with no real offensive skills or weapons, a puzzle game with navigation and a fast-paced scene game. What does all this mean? Now let’s break the elements down a bit more.

Terminal Velocity Review –

You see Harrison, your spaceman, from top to bottom, and he’s usually placed in the center of the screen from bottom to top. The controls are in the form of left and right navigation/direction. Later you’ll get skills that will allow you to hit the cannon, accelerate and brake in space in the blink of an eye. In this form, the game follows the camera and has the type of functionality that a space shooter game can have. However, your goal is not to fire shots or anything like that, but just to avoid all obstacles on your way home. You’ll get there slowly as you make your way through the stairs and find your way to the next jump gate.

At each step you will be assessed on several factors; can you pass the step largely unscathed? This means you don’t bump into anything and you don’t bump into yourself. She also appreciates how fast a scene can be finished. Here in Lost Orbit the players have an interesting rhythm. When I started the game, and due to many early levels, frankly, I played the game almost like a Sunday swimming in space. I didn’t push and carefully avoided flat obstacles when they came up. However, I gave this game a bad grade and it seems to me that this is the least fun way to play…. so to speak. In fact, the game wants you to push your limits and go as fast as you can in a level, and many permanent upgrades that can be built later by collecting shards of Obtainium help in this fast-paced adventure. The game balances these speed limits well from the start, and I was never wrong when I increased the ability to fly in the level.

Terminal Velocity Review –

When I mentioned the game, I also had the impression that it was a puzzle game. Indeed, each level is traversed by a well-defined path, with forked and other branches, but there are often many obstacles, or temporary obstacles, that must be overcome to win. One of the most interesting mechanisms in the game is also that the edges of the screen wrap around each other, which means that if you ascend from the left side of the screen, you land on the right side of the screen. This mechanism is improved for the player by the many levels created for its use, and although a little confusing at first, it becomes an acquired skill after a certain amount of time in the game.

These are the mechanisms that wrap around you to create your main gaming experience. The game is not too difficult, but there are certainly many levels where I have been reborn many times. There are checkpoints at every step, and passing them means that if you die further down the road, you will return to the last gate. And with a largely subjective rhythm to achieve, the game never brought me to the difficult breaking point of getting nowhere, which is always welcome. There are a few other modes in which the game fits, such as Challenge and Time Trials, but both just repeat the story with bigger goals for a more challenging experience.

Terminal Velocity Review –

Now, it would be nice to say that the game ends and ends there in level progression, but Lost Orbit takes the extra leap and comes up with a pretty clever and humorous story with dialogue throughout. He decides to follow you everywhere, observing what happens outside the screen (as if trying to eat some of those shiny obsidian points that are immediately visible), as well as the visible journey the player makes. Without getting bored, you’ll eventually meet him, and there’ll be some kind of bond throughout the story.

It is this story-based adventure that gives this game its whole life. If he wasn’t around, I’d play a handful of steps and feel a return to the grid where he could still play reasonably, and then I’d step out of the game. This conspiracy and the eloquent dialogue is what kept me from following the poor spaceman’s journey.

Job lost: Clamping speed overview

  • Graphs – 7/10
  • Sound – 6.5/10
  • Gameplay – 7/10
  • Late call – 6/10

6.5/10

Final thoughts: WARNINGS

Job lost: Terminal Velocity is the clever story of a space repairer who is in trouble and just wants to find his way back. The gameplay seems familiar to other genres, while finding its own unique mechanisms to create a fairly enjoyable experience. It’s not a very deep game, but the story set to music keeps players more in the game than the basic gameplay.

Terminal Velocity Review –

Alex has been in the gaming industry since Nintendo’s release. He has turned his hobby into a career, has been developing games for just over ten years and is now creative director of the studio.

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