Editors' reviewThe mildly addictive Orbital Sniper places you above a crowded cityscape where throngs of normal citizens in gray mingle with a smattering of "VIPs" in blue and "dissidents" in red. You move a crosshair around the screen, zooming in and out with the right mouse button and firing with the left. Your job is to kill the dissidents before they can get to the VIPs. The game starts out easy but quickly gets harder as more and faster VIPs and dissidents take to the streets, and you'll have to prioritize targets, a bit like in the classic Missile Command. The graphics are passable, the sound less so. At minimum zoom, the city looks slightly fuzzy, like a satellite photograph. Close up, though, you can hardly tell the rooftops from the sidewalks. Also, shooting a dissident produces only a red blot and an odd honking sound. Still, it's not bad for a one-time work break.
The year is 2174, and you have been ordered to function as an orbital sniper. In your world there are only three kinds of people: VIPs, dissidents, and normal citizens. VIPs run the world: they must not come to harm. Dissidents must die. If a commoner or two get wasted in progress, it'll count against you when your post ends.
You were a normal citizen only moments ago. If you manage to prove yourself and keep VIPs safe in your area, they might make you a VIP--or do poorly enough and they might decide you're the enemy. Onscreen, VIPs are designated blue, threats are designated red, and the normal folk are white.
You control the target with the mouse; right-drag or use the mousewheel to zoom. Different zoom modes are useful for different things. Zoom full-out to see the whole situation at a glance (with all that useless clutter removed), or zoom full-in for better aiming. Several levels of zoom in between give different information. The left-click fires your gun (which is based on some new physics laws we haven't invented yet, as the target is destroyed instantly). The gun reloads for three seconds, so make sure you hit. A typical game round lasts about four minutes. It starts out easy, but gets rather nasty later on.