Dark Orb is the final result of some experimentations in game-design. It has turned out as a tactical space-simulation with RPG elements. You get put into control over a small fleet of ships and have to struggle against pirates, make money by trading and solve quests.
The main map shows your current position and the travel-routes between the systems. It gives enough information for you to figure out where to fly and what to trade.
The system overview shows possible places to land and any other fleets that may be there.
The combat screen. The combat is extremely tactial. It was intended to make the combat feel 'ancient'. Not only that it is turn-based - far away from any action: It feels more like a logic-puzzle. There aren't too much good moves in each situation so one really has to spend a thought on how to keep all units alive. The battle-zone is divided into ranks (indicated by the vertical lines). Each rank can be occupied by one or more units of the same side. Some units can cross ranks with enemies on it, but not all. In particular the bigger units can't. Before begin of combat yours and the computer's units get distributed evenly but randomly among the ranks. When combat starts one has to find a balance between eliminating the biggest threads and clearing ranks from enemies to have a place to safe heavily hit units from attacks.Demo