Developer: Roman Uhlig
Publisher: Roman Uhlig
Release Date: 27 April 2018
Price: $1.99 / £1.75
Reviewed by Pat Lunn
We’ve all had that awkward scenario: you invite a few friends around to play a multiplayer game and either the game doesn’t support enough people, or you don’t have enough controllers.
Inevitably it ends up with compromises and an unsatisfying evening for all involved. Luckily, German developer Roman Uhlig has a solution for those multiplayer miscalculations in his 12-player arcade-party title 12 Orbits.
You spin me right round...
The premise is simple. Every player has a single button, either on the Switch’s touchscreen or on the JoyCon, and a small avatar on-screen. By pressing the button, you can dodge obstacles or, if you’re in specially designated areas, you can enter an orbit which allows you to turn and then release yourself with another button press.
It’s a simple mechanic, but it has more than enough depth to offer a range of tactics while keeping it simple enough to teach 12 people the game quickly (especially with the handy 3-minute tutorial).
The rest of the game is a series of different modes, which range from verses modes, like ‘Trails’ which has players engage in a competitive match of Snake, to team modes like ‘Blizzard’ which sees you having to collect pellets to fire at the opposing teams base in order to destroy it.
There are four modes in total with the two verses modes being repeated for team play to make six possible configurations. This gives enough variety for an hour or two of gameplay, which is decent for the party genre, although the lack of a single player mode or the ability to add in some computer players is a little disappointing
Despite the lack of a solo game mode, there is little negative to say about 12 Orbits. It promises to be a fun 12 player party game and it delivers just that. I managed to get around 8 players competing at the same time and, while it was a logistical challenge to give everyone a button, it was a fantastic experience and a lot of fun. If you need a way out of the ‘not enough controllers’ dilemma then 12 Orbits is a great choice.
Pros & Cons
+ Easy to pick up and play
+ Great multiplayer gameplay
- No single player
- No CPU players to fill out the numbers