Geometry Wars Retro Evolved was originally an Xbox game released for the Xbox 360 in 2005, which features the player as a small geometric shape floating through space, able to emit a destructive beam of other geometric shapes in order to destroy larger geometric shapes. The game was almost a cross between Tetris and Space Invaders with a dash of Kula World thrown in.
Geometry Wars was highly addictive for players in that each level increased in difficulty, but you, as the tiny geometric speck, also increased in power and ability. As you improved, so did your opponents and the difficulties you were to face. The game, which held the record for being the most downloaded Xbox Live Arcade Game, began as a minigame in Project Gotham Racing 2 before evolving into a world of its own.
Developers, Bizarre Creations, struck gold with the discovery as to how popular the would-be Easter Egg ended up being. So, with the success of the game almost happening entirely by chance, just how much has it influenced popular gaming culture?
There is a slew of games that cropped up under the influence of Geometry Wars, from the PC’s Grid Wars to PomPom Games’ Mutant Storm. The former used the keyboard and mouse together to replicate the Xbox controls, allowing those who preferred the PC style of gameplay to comfortably play an ‘inspired’ title.
The game Mono is also arguably influenced by GW but adds its own twist. The aim of the game is to turn the screen black and white by eliminating enemies that represent color. Many players see Geometry Wars as the initiator of the alternative ‘shooter’ style of gameplay and, while this doesn’t detract from playing any of the titles, it does help cement the game’s reputation in the minds of both prospective and returning players.
No game will ever cause the same amount of anxiety that Geometry Wars 2 did for me. pic.twitter.com/a3RaAExuFV— Hutch (@hutchinson) March 26, 2019
Even games that aren’t available on the Xbox have taken influence from the re-worked arcade-style gameplay and design. Mobile gaming is awash with similar hand-held titles. For example, Geometry Dash, infamous for being one of the most infuriating games on the market, sees the player as a neon square on a platform-style arcade set-up rushing through a geometric world in an attempt to avoid obstacles.
In fact, this demand for a simplistic style of on-the-go gaming means that the industry demographic has made an interesting shift towards women aged over 34, which was seldom touched upon beforehand. In other sections of the industry, for example, in the world of online casinos, the Gemix slot at Regal Wins Casino uses the simple but effective motifs of jewels, gems, and geometric shapes to frame its 7×7 reel. It seems that because of the popularity of these styles of entertainment, simplistic, unpretentious and often retro gaming aesthetics are making a well-received comeback.
Many dreaded that Geometry Wars may be relegated to a distant memory as more involving styles of gameplay were launched, but with the recent release of the third installation of the series, fans of the game are certainly far from letting go. There is a sense of undying love for the game and what, aesthetically and thematically, it represents. So, it’s safe to say the original Geometry Wars will reside as a legendary-tier game, uncontested in its own niche corner of retro-revival gaming.