orbital defender
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Think of the hardest, most frustrating Android game you've played thus far. Is it Angry Birds, with its unparalleled addictiveness? Or how about Plants vs. Zombies, which has a seemingly infinite number of levels and is within spitting distance of Angry Birds' can't-put-it-down factor?

Or - dare I say it - perhaps none of the games you've downloaded from the Android Market have been difficult enough for you. Perhaps you're on the lookout for something a tad more complex - a tad more like this:

Indeed, if a vexing mobile game is what you want, you couldn't do much better than Orbital Defender. Due mostly to the fact that moving around is an automatic ordeal rather than a user-controlled affair, Addictive Zone has a seriously hard-to-play game on its hands - but, at less than $1 for the full version, also one that probably won't break the bank.

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The plot is simple enough: it's 2012, and our solar system is under attack from a variety of otherworldly assailants, ranging from gargantuan spaceships to comets and meteors of all shapes and sizes. You're in charge of a comparatively tiny aircraft that routinely orbits planet Earth (which starts out as a misshapen brown sphere but, with the help of a few 'Repair' power-ups, evolves into the blue and green globe we know today). Your mission? To gather up the most powerful weapons possible and use them to stop the raiders dead in their tracks.

Thing is, there's a lot of those raiders, and there's only one of you. As you'll find out after playing the game for, oh, half a minute, that can be quite problematic.

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Your one hope lies in the power-ups you can collect with the aid of your bullets. Whether they're new types of missiles, powerful bombs capable of temporarily obliterating your foes, or repair pills/shields that protect your planet, power-ups are a core part of Orbital Defender's gameplay, and you'd be lost without them - as you well might be if you don't shoot them down while you can (they gradually fade into oblivion if not captured).

To make the game harder still, you can't control how slowly or rapidly you orbit the planet. You can't shoot through it, either; if you attempt to do so, you'll only damage it. Ergo, you must simply keep going 'round and 'round, hopefully managing to kill some enemies along the way.

Again, all this makes for a very difficult game - one so difficult, in fact, that it almost takes away from the app's appeal. Nonetheless, I found it equally difficult to put Orbital Defender down, and its challenging (if occasionally frustrating) nature also means that it'll entertain you for quite some time.

At a very reasonable $0.99 ($0 for the five-level lite version), I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Orbital Defender - just know what you're getting into; otherwise, you might find yourself being regularly and uncharacteristically late for dinner with no one but your phone to blame.

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • jack

    Hmm.. Sounds like i have to try it... Dont really agree with the examples of the hardest games... Angry birds and p vs z are easy games imo, so im not sure ill find this hard at all.... Well, off to download. Have a good day

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      I was using Angry Birds and PvZ more as examples of frustrating games than as examples of difficult games - both are insanely hard to put down and have a large number of levels. I see where you're coming from, though - those probably weren't the best examples I could have chosen, and perhaps the way I worded it was misleading.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        You did say frustrating, and while Angry Birds could be that sometimes, PvZ is actually really easy (the only frustrating bit is how slow it can get sometimes without a way to fast forward). You should have mentioned Battleballz Chaos though.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

          PvZ actually gets a lot harder after the first few levels, though it's still nowhere near as difficult as Battleballz Chaos or this.

      • http://addictivezone.com/ Addictive Zone

        Jaroslav > Thank you for the review! :-)

        Addictive Zone team

  • Jason

    It looks like a great game, sadly it's "incompatible" with my phone. I'd love to know why.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      What phone are you using?

      • Jason

        HTC Slide running CM7

    • http://addictivezone.com/ Addictive Zone

      Jason> Try this version and let us know if it works: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.addictivezone.odefenderfarm6

      Addictive Zone team

      • Jason

        That one seems to work just fine, thanks!

    • Someone

      If you go onto the market using a web browser (not the stock one though -- it redirects to the market app), clicking install, the tooltip when you mouse over your device in the dropdown will tell you specifically why apps aren't available.

  • Scott

    Why does a game need to "read phone state and identity"?

    • http://addictivezone.com/ Addictive Zone

      Scott> The “read phone state and identity” permission is there because of an identification for the Top Score list.

      Thank you for your feedback,

      Addictive Zone team

  • worldbfree4me

    Was that a 10 inch screen or a baby finger or both?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      ... What?

  • http://stuarthalliday.com Stuart Halliday

    Since when is 'Plants Vs. Zombies' available on Android??

  • Someone

    that hand is just weird lol. I suppose it's a stand-in for the mouse pointer ?

  • Someone

    Just saying: It's not very much of a bomb if it only "temporarily" obliterating your foes ;)