Lost Orbit : Terminal Velocity
Developed By : PixelNAUTS Games
Published By : PixelNAUTS Games
Category : Action, Adventure
Release Date : July 16, 2019
When I was preparing to boot this game up for the first time, I was planning for a nice casual experience, drifting through space towards a then-unknown goal as I avoided obstacles and the like. The last thing I expected was an emotional journey that pulled at me occasionally, whilst drifting through space towards a then-unknown goal. However, that was exactly what I got when I embarked on the journey contained in Lost Orbit : Terminal Velocity on the Nintendo Switch.
Our story begins with Harrison, a deep space repairman who is sent way, way out on a job, when a freak accident causes his ship to be destroyed. Unwilling to give in to his dire situation, Harrison decides that his jetpack is all he needs to navigate his way through space and make it back home to civilization. It is up to you to guide him through the planet systems and ensure he makes it.
Between you and home are five systems of planets, with plenty of locations in each to keep you occupied on your journey through space. Each level is littered with tons of space debris you’ll need to navigate around in order to make it to the end safely. Once you make it to the end, you’ll be able to zip through the massive relay that transports you to the next area.
As you move through the levels, you’ll be able to move side to side and control the level of boost on the jetpack. Moving to the extreme sides of the screen will transport you to the opposite side, so no matter what comes up in your way there’s always a way to escape. You’ll need to avoid things like rocks, working bits of machinery, and entire planets if you want to stay alive. The levels are filled with green checkpoint gates though, so if you happen to crash into anything you’ll be transported back to the last one of these you passed through.
Also scattered in the levels are pink rocks called Obtanium. These will serve as a form of currency as you traverse the galaxy, allowing you to upgrade a few things. These include things like learning how to perform a barrel roll, a bomb tool that will let you shoot any perilous space rocks in front of you, and unlocking the Mega Boost. This last move is a way to move at incredible speeds through the levels, but it uses up fuel so it is limited in it’s use. The fuel regenerates slowly over time, but you can also replenish it by zipping into a planets orbit, or reaching the next checkpoint gate.
The simple gameplay of Lost Orbit really lets the story shine while you play, and having it narrated only helps to ensure the right emotion gets put into it. Rather than being narrated by Harrison himself, the game is instead narrated by Attlee, an android assistant droid that witnesses Harrison’s situation and decides to observe (and eventually join) him. Attlee constantly comments on the situation at hand, how serious it is and just how admirable Harrison is for committing to making his journey alone.
At the end of the levels, you’ll be presented with a score, and it’s this score that is really going to determine how much of a challenge you wish to get out of the game. You’ll be graded on a few things, including how quickly you beat the level, how much Obtanium you’ve obtained, and how many deaths you had. Each one of these has it’s own individual platinum, gold, silver and bronze score, which are then combined to give you your total level score.
Again, I was expecting a simple relaxing experience from this game. While that is one approach you can take, it’s not the only one available to you. Making use of Harrison’s boost, mega boost, and other maneuvers is a perfect way to really ramp up the difficulty for yourself and put your skills to the test. If you are one that doesn’t really care about experiencing that challenge, then by all means don’t touch the boost and coast through space listening to Harrison’s story. No matter how you choose to experience this game it’s one you’re sure to enjoy. So boost on over to the eShop and grab your copy today!