Indie studio Betelgeuse Zero have created a potentially interesting 2D title in their game Orange Moon. A relatively basic premise that presents the player with a story set on a distant planet. You are tasked with exploring a strange, dark world while information is gradually fed to you by a mysterious character who appears to be the leader of whichever organisation sent you there. The world you find yourself traversing is littered with harmful plants, strange dangerous orbs and unfriendly machinery. As you manage your ammo, health and fuel while dodging these various dangers you must undertake tasks for the organisation. Orange Moon is certainly a decent concept, if a little basic, but in it’s current stage of Early Access there are a few things holding the game back.
The entire feel of the game feels quite sluggish. The animations and controls are all quite jittery and the controls in particular do not feel very smooth at all. Fairly significant things like being able to reliably control the direction of the gun or aim grenades makes the combat extremely frustrating even by the end of the first level. The enemy types are also fairly limited and feel quite boring, which is at odds with the apparent difficulty level of the game. Unfortunately this difficulty level is borne simply of the controls being not implemented that well and not really through any actual challenge in the game. These all seem to be downsides that can be fixed and worked on easily through early access.
Orange Moons’ artistic style feels much like the rest of the game. Visually, the game feels a bit lacking and definitely seems like it could do with an overhaul while in early access. The colour scheme fits well with the atmosphere the game is trying to create, giving off a dark and ominous feel, but on the whole the graphics just seem a little lifeless. This isn’t aided by the slightly jittery animations. The visual style is enhanced by the soundtrack which carries enough weight to effectively build on the feel of the visual style.
A potentially intriguing setting and a foreboding atmosphere gives Orange Moon a decent basis for an interesting game, but currently the asking price of around $10 doesn’t offer the buyer a great deal for their money. With some work the game could happily provide the content it’s asking price suggests.