By Dr. Serkan Toto – On Japan's Game Industry

Orbit Saga: Gamebank’s First Smartphone App Goes Live


GameBankreleased Orbit Saga in Japan today, a 3D action RPG for smart devices.

It’s the first app released by the developerset up in January this year byYahoo Japan (4689), the country’s biggest online company (see my previous Gamebank posts).

Orbit Saga is trying to blend typical mobile RPG (questing, one-finger-controls, gacha,fusion/evolving of characters, etc.) with city-building elements.

In this case, players are taking on the role of “summoners” who haveto build up and protect stars in the shape of islands (orbits) that are floating in outer space.

Before each quest in the story modebegins, players can choose between a total of 350 so-called guardians, creatures that can be summoned at any time during battle and help fight enemies. Just like in Puzzle & Dragons and countless other mobile apps from Japan, it’s also possible to choose a friend’s character to add to the party before starting the stage.

During the quests, the game changes into a 3D mode and lets players move around their character(s) on the field by tapping on the spots they should move to.

What’s interesting is that GameBank made the battles veryeasy, much more so than in similar apps like White Cat ProjectfromColopl(3668).

All that users need to do is to tap on the enemies they want to fight, and the game takes care of the fighting automatically when the enemies are near enough.

It’s just thatskills can be activated by swiping, while choosing and attacking a single opponent is possibleby tapping on it.

The goal is to reach a big glowing orb that is placedat the end of each stage and is usually guarded by a boss.

What sets Orbit Saga apart from similar apps is the “island-building” element: between quests, players can customize their islands (or orbits), which are essentially their bases.

These basesmust be defended against other players. Here, the task is to place guardians, traps and landscape elements in a way that makes it harder for other users to invade one’s island/base. It’s also possible to test how hard this actually is by trying to clear one’s own islands with one’s own party.

Here is a gameplay trailer(note that the app is available in Japanese only):

It will be interesting to see how GameBank can use Yahoo Japan’s branding and marketing power to place this app in the market place andacquire users through the parent company’s plethora of online properties.

As I mentioned previously, GameBank’s end goal is to capture Japan’s market for hardcore mobile games in particular – and Orbit Saga is certainly a very interesting start on the way to get there.

The game can be downloaded for iOS and Android since today.

About the author

Dr. Serkan Toto

I am the CEO & Founder of Tokyo-based Kantan Games Inc., an independent consultancy focused on Japan’s game industry.

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By Dr. Serkan Toto – On Japan's Game Industry