Orbit: A Minimalist Platformer Inspired by Knytt, Drone Music

By Graham Smith on March 18th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

It sounds like his shoes are full of water, and that's great.

Part way through this trailer for Orbit, a side-scrolling platformer about exploring a space ship, I noticed the particularly fine pitter-patter sound effect of the main character’s feet. The whole game sounds lovely; low drones and cavernous rooms and squeaky machinery and laser fields. “I wonder if it’s made by a sound designer,” I thought.

It is. I’m proud enough of myself for deduction that you should reward me by watching a video of it, embedded below.


Can a platformer survive in this frightening, modern world without an immediate hook? Orbit doesn’t seem to be about controlling time or creating clones, but it does embrace the simple satisfactions of jumping and dashing. I wonder if that’s enough.

There’s more to draw you in from the email I received about it, mind you:

The game is super minimal, inspired by our love of drone music, sci-fi and games such as Another World, Knytt and Dark Souls. We’re attempting to make a platformer with open level design housing a lot of player options, I’m a big Thief fan and that series’ approach to level design has formed a bit of a template with Orbit.

Orbit doesn’t seem to have a website yet, but you can keep up with the game, I guess, by following it on Twitter.

Bonus video, a “cancelled” joke game from the same pair of creators called Waiting In Line 3D:

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10 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Tinus says:

    I am a teensy bit biased here, but this game is turning out so well.

    tip-tap-tip-tap-tap-tip-tap-swiiieeshplunk!

  2. Guvornator says:

    Its look is INCREDIBLY similar to Stealth Bastard. I will admit that my love of that game is possibly clouding my vision on that, though.

  3. lordfrikk says:

    This looks great even without music thanks to the various sounds and ambiance. Can’t wait to see more.

  4. Wonkyth says:

    Wows, that is some meaty sound-design alright. ^_^

  5. ironman Tetsuo says:

    I want this game! The deciding factor? The KSP poster in the kitchen…

    The lovely style and sound design helped too!

  6. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    You know what? Sound design like that is probably enough to win me over when all the gimmicks in the world have failed to carve out any of my oh-so-limited gaming time. Something about the huge spaces implied by the reverb unspools in my mind to a vision of an eerily empty cargo hulk, full of mystery and industrial grandeur.

  7. Tom Walker says:

    The style is clearly The Swapper + retro. Sound and all.

  8. dfuse says:

    This looks so good! I tried to make a game about my love for drone music but failed miserably. And finally a platformer that’s doesn’t want to be a puzzle game. Also reminds a bit of biolab, that ImpactJS demo game.

  9. postrook says:

    well, i love drone music. you have my attention, game!

  10. Nixitur says:

    This looks intriguing. However, I also fear whether a game as simplistic as this one could work. In fact, I wonder if it could hold my attention.

    Right now, it’s hard to see where they’re going with this. The gravity shenanigans and block pushing could mean that it’ll be more of a puzzle platformer while the dashing, smashing, laser-dodging and wall-jumping could mean that it’ll be more of a precision platformer.

    Personally, I’m not sure whether upside-down blockpushing puzzles are really going to be enough for a puzzle platformer given that there are a ton of rather original ones with interesting mechanics already existing.
    But I think that the general speed of the character and the mobility upgrades, combined with the gravity shenanigans would make for a great precision platformer.

    However, I am completely biased because I absolutely love precision platformers and the way the game forced the player to string together dashing, smashing and a wall-jump gave me some good vibes.