April 17, 2017

Andreas Betsche

Orbiz: Local Co-op Zombie Slasher on Miniature Planets (Early Access)

April 17, 2017 | Andreas Betsche

What are some of the most popular game elements nowadays? One might assume this was the question when the development of Orbiz began. Indonesian developer Anoman Studio’s answer to this question: zombies, local co-op and rogue-like elements!

local coop
Much more fun: Team up with friends!

Orbiz is a mix of most important gameplay elements of the past years. And it does surprisingly well at not making this feel bland. Despite being in Early Access, Orbiz offers a simple and polished top-down shooter experience: choose one of four characters, kill lots of zombies and reach the portal to the next world. Each hero has a special perk: Ray deals more damage, Max has a bigger health pool, Leo carries more ammo and Ash moves faster than the others. In each world, you have to destroy zombie spawners to unlock a portal to the next world and the eventual boss fight. Fight off waves of zombies (normal ones, exploding monsters and poison-spiting spiderlikes) and collect healthpacks, ammo and better weaponry. Once you die, it’s game over and you must restart. It sounds simple, it is simple and it works perfectly well.

A lot is going on here: Spawner to the left, zombies at our heels and destroyable cars!

In Orbiz, each world is set on a tiny planet that can be traversed in each direction and offers destroyable environments. This style brings back memories of Mario Galaxy. Graphics and sound fit the retro theme introduced by the gameplay: pushing 80s sounds and low-poly 3d graphics. The sheer amount of effects and filters makes it sometimes hard to keep an overview of the chaotic action.

full view
Get a full view of the game’s tiny planets when you successfully destroy a spawner!

While it is possible to play Orbiz on your own, it is much more fun to engage with up to three friends and do some zombie hunting together in the game’s local co-op mode. Game controllers are strongly recommended though, as playing with mouse and keyboard is possible but clumsy.

character selection
Lone zombie hunt? Better invite some friends!

Anoman Studio (formed in 2014) is a small indie developer from Indonesia and Orbiz is their first game. It received quite some attention on game jams and was released on Steam’s Early Access in February 2017. The developers claim that the game will be in Early Access for one or two years and that they will add more content and use their resources to polish the game.

hub world
The game’s hub world is so 80s!

Unlike other Early Access games, Orbiz is completely playable and runs very stable. Most gameplay elements are in the game already. Anoman should work on improving the controls and visuals as well as the zombie AI which is quite erratic and gets stuck a lot. Overall, Orbiz is a good debut game and a fun pastime with friends who like a challenging retro experience. Good zombie hunting!

Andreas Betsche

Andreas Betsche founded Virtual SEA in early 2016 after researching Cambodian mobile games for his Master’s thesis. He has a background in Southeast Asia studies and has worked and lived in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Since he has been actively playing games since the early 90s, combing both worlds in Virtual SEA brought together both of his passions.

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