For Android users who would prefer to get their physics-based kicks from a simulation with a cluttered interface rather than by flinging colorful birds at colorful pigs, Orbitals might just be the overlooked charm you missed.
Presented as a simulation rather than a game, Orbitals places you in command of several Lunar Lander-like “singleships,” which you can pilot one at a time, or – if you’re up for the challenge – manage all at once. Your task is to fly back and forth between a spinning space station and one of Saturn’s moons, collecting orbs for money. As a fan of Lunar Lander who has often been disappointed in the lack of orbital docking maneuvers in such games, I really enjoy flying back up from the moon’s surface and matching the station’s rotation in order to dock.
It seems that Orbitals isn’t for everyone though. With the marketplace reviews fluctuating from five-star appreciations to one-star rejections, I feel that the interface and Newtonian mechanics leave some players confused or alienated. Knowing the basic gameplay, and seeing the screenshots, you likely already have an idea if this sim is for you. For those not sure, but willing to try, there is a help section at the official website, as well as an in-game tutorial function.
Unfortunately – and I suspect due in part to the Android playerbase feedback – the available “Beta 2” release appears as though it might be the last release, but at least a working product is available. And at a price-tag of free, why not give it a try?