8-Bit Software
Back to Electron Games




Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only


Game Type          : 3D Arcade; 'Marble Madness' clone

Authors            : Jonathan Temple & Miles Burton

Standalone Release(s)   : 1988: ORBITAL, Impact, £4.95

Compilation Release(s)   : None

Stated compatibility    : Electron Side A, BBC Side B

Actual compatibility    : As stated

Supplier            : IMPACT, Neepsend House, 1 Percy Street, SHEFFIELD S3 8AU.

                    Tel: 01742 769950

Disc compatibility     : CDFS E00, DFS E00




"Poor old Ozzy the Orbital. He always gets the tough jobs. His latest mission has landed him in the weird worlds of the Octopodes and they are far from pleased to see him. Ozzy's mission is to collect the plutonium marbles that the Octopodes produce with their deadly tentacles. But why...? Because the Octopodes are hell-bent on annihilating the whole Orbital race by polluting their planet with the lethal marbles.


"Ozzy is going to need your help. There are twelve Octopode worlds to visit and Ozzy will have to work fast on each of them before the Plutonium dissolves him. The worlds have been designed to make capture of the marbles increasingly difficult and there are transporters with unknown destinations to both help and hinder him. Further problems are created by the patrolling Octopodes which are fatal on contact.


"The worlds are split into groups of four and once a group has been completed you can jump straight to another by using security passwords. Unfortunately for Ozzy he has not been told about the Octopodes contingency plan in the event of successful capture of all the marbles. They have a spare set of marbles and can make all the worlds invisible! The madness has just begun."


You start the game with three lives. The worlds are in groups of four and after completing a group you are given a security password allowing you to skip a completed group. However, to complete the first part of the mission you must complete all twelve worlds from start to finish without using any passwords.


If you manage this feat then you will start with three lives again (if you lost any) and then will come the real challenge. You must now complete all twelve worlds again, only this time they will all be invisible and you will only see the marbles and the patrolling Octopodes!


The survival of the Orbital race is in your hands.


Playing Guidelines

Getting Started

When you first arrive on an Octopode world you should first of all try to work out a safe route to collect all the marbles. There are several ways to complete any world. However as there is only a limited amount of time it may be necessary to experiment to find a different route that is fast enough.


Ozzy can only fall a short distance without breaking into a thousand pieces. He cannot climb or fly so he should be careful about descending to lower levels.



Octopodes are fatal on contact. They will always follow a set patrol route and you will need to remember their routes in order to avoid them on certain worlds.



On any world there will be one or more transporters. The destination of any transporter is fixed to the appropriate destination pad. If there is more than one transporter then the only way to find out its destination is to try it!


Transporters can be used as often as you wish and in fact it will be necessary to use certain transporters more than once.


When you transport it will take a little time to fully materialse at your destination. During this time you will be immune to the Octopodes.


The Orbital Snatch

Some marbles may seem to be placed so that if they were collected you would not be able to continue. The solution is The Orbital Snatch.


The exact use of this is for you to discover but requires you to grab a marble from a lower level without actually moving down to that level.


Invisible Worlds

The layout of the invisible worlds is identical to the visible worlds. Probably the best way to complete them is to draw maps of the visible worlds as you progress. Use the PAUSE key to give yourself time to do this.


Game Controls

Movement Controls                 Other Controls

A ....... Move Up Left            S .............. Sound On

K ....... Move Up Right           Q .............. Sound Off

Z ....... Move Down Left          COPY ........... Pause Game

M ....... Move Down Right         SPACE .......... Continue Game


                                  ESCAPE ......... Kill Yourself

Redefining Keys                    SHIFT/R ........ Restart Game

You can redefine the about keys

at the start of the game by       P .............. Enter Password

pressing R                                         (Hi-score Table Only)


N.B. The password for the first group of worlds is ORBITAL.



Instructions' Source   : ORBITAL (Impact) Back and Inner Inlay


Review (Electron User) - "Antidote To Poison"

Following the great success of CLOGGER and ZENON, Impact has produced a neat little game called ORBITAL and, while it is by no means a future classic, it does have quite a lot going for it.


It's simple to play but is difficult enough to keep you interested and entertained. The idea is that you move Ozzy the Orbital around the twelve tiny worlds that make up the home of the deadly Octopodes.


The fact that these worlds appear to be made up of building blocks is a bit disconcerting at first. But you don't really worry about that as you only have a limited amount of time to move around, collecting the plutonium marbles which are liberally sprinkled about. The marbles have been created by the Octopodes in order to poison the Orbital race. Also patrolling the world are some of the Octopodes, and they will kill Ozzy if they catch him.


As Ozzy, you move around the world and when you touch a marble, it vanishes. The problem is that you can only move along flat surfaces or drop down to a surface one layer below - fall too far and you shatter. The only way of regaining the higher ground is by moving on to a teleporter which transports you to a fixed point. It can be used as many times as you wish.


The twelve worlds are divided into groups of four. When you complete a group, you acquire a password which gains you entry into the next four.


Once all the worlds have been emptied of all their marbles - a task I have so far failed to perform - the Octopodes have a contingency plan. This involves them placing a replacement set of marbles and making the world invisible.


The game has neat graphics which look good in colour. There is the usual high score table which, when you start playing, is filled with the normal selection of witty names like J. T. Kirk and Old Reptonian.


If you like games which need a little bit of thought, this is one for you. It isn't complicated, but it contains a few interesting problems which should keep you amused for a few hours.



* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)

Here's fun in the traditional arcade style. It reminds me of CRYSTAL CASTLES, and has its roots in that old chestnut, Pac Man. You race round a maze collecting marbles while avoiding the monsters. Special transporter squares must be used in the right order and working this out is a bit of a brain teaser.

Janice Murray


Sound ........................... 6

Graphics ........................ 8

Playability ..................... 8

Value for money ................. 9

Overall ......................... 8