Retro Recap

Retro Recap: Geometry Wars

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A jump over to the arcade scene this week with a game that once held the record for most XBL Arcade sales, and it’s all thanks to a racing game. This week’s Retro Recap is none other than everyone’s favorite, Geometry Wars.

So shapes, eh? Who would have thought that the time would come where mathematics would come into play? Bizarre Creations took a very simple concept, a snake-like game and made it their own. The objective is to simple survive as long as possible, whilst surviving an onslaught of enemies. Naturally, these weren’t your garden variety enemies and as the name implies, various shapes made it their mission to destroy your very being. For those of you who have played Geometry Wars, the last sentence can be taken quite literally, sucking the life force out of you, whilst gluing you to the screen. It’s an odd experience, indeed.

More Gameplay

I feel it’s my solemn duty as a Shape Assassin Master to inform others of some of the dangers they may face in the 2 dimensional plane. The simplest shape, known as the Wanderer float aimlessly around the screen. Although seemingly harmless, they can surprise you but suddenly changing direction. Get rid of them fast as nothing is more annoying than losing a life to one of these. The Spinner can cause you some grief if left unchecked. A pink spinning shape that splits into 2 smaller Spinners that rotates in a circle upon being shot. Make sure you have some distance between yourself and this enemy or face a surprise death. Another enemy to be wary of is a Weaver. A green square that has the annoying habit of avoiding your shots. Strafe and trap them in the corner, it’s the only way…

You didn’t think I was going to give you all the hints now did you?

Facts about Geometry Wars? Here they are:

  • Geometry Wars was originally a minigame that could be accessed via an arcade machine in the players garage in Project Gotham Racing 2
  • The soundtrack for Geometry Wars, and all subsequent titles, was done by Chris Chudley who worked on a number of Bizarre Creations games
  • Bizarre Creations, the creators of Geometry Wars, originally were named Raising Hell Software, but was ultimately changed as Sega were unhappy working with a developer with “Hell” in the title


Some days, I could breeze through the game, blasting through the squares and diamonds without a care in the world. Other days, I get simply overwhelmed by the raw power of the circles. Nonetheless, the experience from a simple game was one that would happily go back to time and again. In fact, the only reason I bought my second copy of PGR3 was to play Geometry Wars again (for some reason, the thought didn’t cross my mind to get the XBL Arcade version).

Did you stumble across Geometry Wars during a playthrough of Project Gotham Racing, or somewhere else? Have you played any of the sequels? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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