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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lost Orbit is a downloadable adventure game. In the style of old-school console games such as Mario, your goal in each stage is to simply cross the finish line unscathed, dodging asteroids and stationary intergalactic detritus and scooping up power-ups to level up your astronaut to add additional wrinkles to that action and trajectory.
What's it about?
In LOST ORBIT, you play as a marooned astronaut who, while doing repairs outside his ship, ends up getting a perfect view of his ride home getting destroyed. With rapidly depleting oxygen levels, you race your way to send up a signal back to base and hopefully get scooped up. Along the way, a probe accompanies you on your journey and starts to narrate about the story, adding more layers and lots of foreshadowing about what your fate on this quest becomes.
Is it any good?
Lost Orbit is deceptively both simple and complex, if you want it to be. The power-ups you scoop up let you unlock different abilities that, interestingly, can be used to tweak the difficulty: If you want to go faster, you can incrementally bump up how much fuel and speed your jet pack gives you. Or, if you think it's plenty hard enough, you can invest in brakes and bombs, which help obliterate the obstacles up ahead that will cause you to die if you crash into them. All it takes is one hit to end your journey and have you start over from the last checkpoint, but it isn't like you only get one opportunity to explore the skill trees. At any point, if you want to make things easier for yourself, go right ahead.
But once you get about halfway into the game, you'll have to rely much more on the skill you've built up so far to really exploit the ins and outs of wrapping around the screen (steer all the way to the right to pop back on the left and vice versa), and you can use naturally occurring celestial bodies to give you a boost or send you careening after a few circular revs up. All these are risky, but at a certain point, no matter how much easier or harder you want to make the game, the action remains the same: You're always moving forward, being propelled by gravity. It's a short journey, and a simple one, but Lost Orbit isn't one to miss.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.