Tuesday, December 3, 2013 16:34:42

Review: Geometry Dash Is a Super-Hard, Super-Fun, Musical Platformer

Platformers are one of the oldest genres of computer games. Geometry Dash is a classic platformer in many senses: You run along platforms, jumping like mad to avoid obstacles. It also shows why this is such an enduring class of games, with its intuitive one-button controls (jump), its extreme difficulty, and its sheer addictiveness. In the words of SGDJames:

Geometry Dash is a really fun but excruciatingly difficult puzzle platformer. The game sports a fantastic art style and a brilliant soundtrack too. The gameplay is addictive, but just be aware that you're in for a real challenge with this one.

The game made it into SGD's prestigious 5 Star Games channel, so you just know it has to be good.

Basic Gameplay: Jump Jump Jump Die, Repeat

On my way!

In Geometry Dash, the soundtrack matters: Each level has background music, and you will find yourself jumping to the beat to avoid obstacles, drops, and spikes. Gameplay makes it easy to die: You don't get multiple lives, and death is instant. Just touch something or drop from a ledge, and you're back to the beginning. Restarting the level is very quick, so gameplay is often a loop of jumping and dying again and again. This sounds frustrating, but it also makes for a real sense of progress: As you gradually master a level, you will find yourself making it to later and later parts of it before having to start over.

If you do find constant failure frustrating, you may want to try out Practice Mode. In this mode, every time you die you restart gameplay just a moment before you died, avoiding the need to begin the level anew. This usually works well, but it does have its frustrating moments: Sometimes you resurrect a fraction of a second before dying, which means you'll have to loop through that single instance again and again until you time your jump just right.

Unlike Angry Birds or even 14px, you don't have to pass a level before trying on the next. You can freely start any of the levels bundled with the game, and even download new player-created levels using the game's powerful and full-featured level editor.

Replay Value: The Level Editor

The level editor.

I admit it, the built-in level editor was not the first thing on my mind when I started playing Geometry Dash. But I'm happy I took the time to look at it: This is an incredibly full-featured piece of the game, and makes for very good replay value. Not only do you get an interface for designing your own levels with any components you can think of, but you also get access to a rich library of online levels created by other players.

Each player-created level shows a difficulty rating, how many people downloaded it, how long it is, and how many people liked it (you can "thumb up" and "thumb down" levels). The only frustrating bit is that most player-created levels tend to be quite difficult, and that's for a game that's not easy to begin with.

A Platformer To Try, and Try Again

Geometry Wars is not for the easily frustrated. But persist, and you will be rewarded with frantic gameplay and a real sense of mastering something incredibly hard. Not to mention you'll look like an absolute gaming whiz if anyone happens to be watching you play a level you've mastered. All in all, a great game.