Developed By : Team Jolly Roger
Published By : Team Jolly Roger
Category : Action, Strategy, Multiplayer
Release Date : Oct 18, 2019
Strategy games are a widespread genre, and if you’ve read any of my reviews on here (or my own site) relevant to the genre, you know I’m a huge fan. Specifically, my fan-girlness is more with the turn-based style strategy games. So when taking on Worbital for the Nintendo Switch, I was a bit hesitant as to what I could expect since this game was billed as a real-time strategy. However, after firing it up I soon realized this label was at the very easiest and loosest of the terms.
Welcome to space and the future. Our story should be very familiar to you because it’s one that is used quite a lot in such a setting. You are far out in the depths of space on a planet who’s resources are dwindling. The only option (after several are eliminated) is to colonize nearby planets, but this just leads to arguing and ultimately the breakout of a war. Now, you’ll need to make sure your side isn’t destroyed, leading one of three factions to victory in space.
As I said above, the game is listed as being a real-time strategy game. After playing for about five or ten minutes, the reason why is quite easy to see. From my point-of-view, the one that usually keeps a game labelled as such is that you don’t have the ability to pause and stop the action to plot out your series of next moves. Everything in Worbital must be done on the fly, or purely out of reaction.
Your target through the game’s campaign will be…well basically every other planet that isn’t your own. You can build items on the surface of your own planet such as weapons for attacking, defensive items to protect yourself, or units of colonizers to expand your territory to other worlds. These are all items that require resources and time to build, and patience to operate.
Seeing as how you’re entirely operating in outer space, the one thing you’re going to have to worry about is going to be the system of planets around. Everything is always active, with the planets themselves rotating, and on top of that rotating around a sun. To collect resources or squash your opponents, you’ll need to fire off rounds from your own planet and make sure they navigate the solar system to get to their intended target.
How do you do this? Either by getting lucky and firing off a straight shot, or utilizing the gravitational pull of every object floating around the sun. This style of combat is what makes the game extremely tricky to master, but once you do it’s tons of fun. Luckily you’ll be graciously given a trajectory line, so you won’t have to deal with a guess-and-check style of shooting. But the fact that literally everything is rotating, orbiting, and has different strengths of gravity, means that no two shots will be exactly the same.
Once a planet is destroyed, it’s obliterated into a handful of pieces that are projected out into the system. These can be your friend or your enemy, since they don’t play favorites with where they land. When you’re attacking other colonized planets, any of their weapons or colonization tools these will act as shields for the ground, preventing it from being hit directly for a short while.
The campaign features three factions which each offer their own strength and special ability while waging war. One faction is able to swap orbits with another planet to facilitate a quick escape from a dangerous situation. Another can send itself flying freely from orbit on a collision course for…whatever it wants. The last faction can self-destruct which seems like the last thing you’d want to do, until you factor in what I mentioned above.
Worbital offers players the chance to take the space dueling out of the campaign and against other players. As is the case with any game, this just takes things and dials them up a few notches. These matches can be played on or offline, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find much activity online. Hopefully this changes because this is a really fun game.
Earlier I pointed out that I felt labeling this game as an RTS was just a loose usage of the term, and despite how much I love this game I still feel that is the case. That is because as soon as I got into the first level, the style of gameplay reminded me of another series that most might recognize, and that’s the Worms franchise. The only difference between this game and those is that here things are constantly moving instead of turn-based.
That being said, Worbital is an amazing play, and so much fun no matter what mode you play it in. If you are familiar with the Worms games you’ll fall right in with this one and be ready to blast away some planet cores. If you’re coming in completely fresh though, this is a title that’s extremely easy to pick up. It’s perfect for a quick session to take down a single level, or get comfortable and run as long through the campaign as you can. Either way, pick this one up and enjoy every moment you spend in it.