Orbital Bullet is a 2D platformer/roguelite title from SmokeStab studios. As the name might suggest, something that makes it noteworthy is the cylinder-like design of the levels. Players are equipped with different types of ranged weapons and they must clear each level to proceed and reach the boss.

The experience is fast-paced and action-packed. Players start a run with a pistol and a primary weapon from the four different weapon classes — shotguns and other shell-based weapons, bullet-based weapons such as machine guns, weapons that use lasers and finally, launchers and explosive weapons. Weapon boxes offering pickups can be found throughout levels to add some variety, and each run also provides weapon parts that can be used for unlocking new firearms.

A great gamer once said “With great weapons comes great replayability” and that’s true in case of Orbital Bullet as each weapon has its own pros and cons. For example, laser weapons have a long range, but they can be dangerous to the player as well. In this game the player is not immune to their own weapons, and since each level is shaped like a cylinder, it’s possible for the laser to ‘wrap around’ and act as self-inflicted friendly fire!

Enemy design and variety in Orbital Bullet is also notable — different enemies require different strategies, and the sheer number of bullets fired won’t determine who’s victorious. For instance, armored enemies need some old-school Mario-style head-bops before they’ll can take weapon damage. Other enemies are completely invincible against frontal attacks. so the player must roll behind them and shoot them in the back.

 The current Early Access version of Orbital Bullet offers three worlds, each with its own ecosystem comprised of different environments, enemy types, platforming elements and environmental hazards. The only negative aspect of my experience was the color palette used — dark and monotonous colors used are not suitable for a high-octane action game.

Diversity is abundant in Orbital Bullet, and considering the fact that it’s still a work in progress, we can hope that the final product would bring even more surprises when this attractive indie title hits full release.

— Ali Arkani

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