I enjoyed my time playing Way of the Orb by new developers Brimstone Brothers, as it gave me a extremely warm fuzzy retro vibe and I found the gameplay fun and the progression style unique, and if it weren't for the fact that my playspace currently forces me to play somewhat gingerly due to surrounding furniture/items that my wife insists stay in place, then I know I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It may have had simple graphics, and the core gameplay may not be anything we haven't seen before multiple times, but it really did have its own old school charm to it and I really enjoyed the style of progression, which really suited the game.
You start off the game in a wooded area, and a quick press of the thumbpad reveals a menu that lets you choose between sword, shield, or magic staff, for each hand, so you play the game dual wielding any combination of those. I chose the shield and sword to begin with and both felt really good in the hand.
One strange thing I did find at this point was that to initiate the game I had to be armed with the staff, which fires magic, and I needed to fire it at a giant blue orb in order for the first level to start. It wasn't a major issue, I just found it odd and a tad annoying, unless of course I was missing something, which is entirely possible.
Once the game had begun, you were thrust on to a path that winds its way through the woodlands, and up ahead blocking your path would appear an often very large bad guy, who found great delight in throwing countless orbs your way which you had to block with your chosen combination of weapons. As you block them, it seems to send back negative energy at the bad guy, slowly depleting his health until he eventually dies and vanishes. Miss one orb, and it takes health away from you, and if you are anything like me, you're going to miss a lot as it does get challenging with orbs coming at you thick and fast during some of the stages, with some very quick reactions needed at times.
If you do block enough to win against your foe, you then progress further down the path to face another big bad guy, and then another, and eventually the bad guys get really big, and the amount of orbs they throw definitely seems to increase.
I did like this style of level progression, and it really suited the game, giving it an adventure type feel to it, as you round corners and discover more of the tree laden landscape, I just wish I could have got further than I did to see what's further ahead in the game and if the landscape changes.
The graphics were nice(ish) - very basic but suited the old school vibe that I think the developers have gone for, which also included the rather charming 80's style computer game music that again was a good fit for the game. Perhaps growing up in that era I have a slightly skew vision of the game, but I definitely enjoyed the look and sound more than I probably should have, it just seemed to take me back to a better time when the power of your imagination was more important than the power of your graphics card, it just seemed very uncomplicated, but fun and exciting too.
I'm not sure how much playtime exactly is available here, as I didn't get very far for reasons already mentioned, but I definitely plan to go back in and have another bash at some point, after perhaps toying around with my chaperone so I can coordinate myself a bit better in my available playspace.
All in all I enjoyed the game and if it wasn't for the (in my opinion) hefty price tag of 15GBP I would be telling people to definitely go buy it and support these guys as the game is fun, however the price is a real turn off right now as I just feel it's way to expensive, I'm therefore going to say grab it when it's on sale or wait for a price drop.