Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Geometry Dash

Go To
Expect more spikes. A lot more spikes.
In the wide, weird world of The Impossible Game clones, some random guy from Stockholm called RobTop figured it would be a good idea to jump in on the bandwagon and make one himself. Somehow, his creation got more popular on YouTube than the original, and that's how Geometry Dash was born.

Geometry Dash is a deceptively tough rhythm platformer that was released on iOS on August 13, 2013, and was ported to PC on December 22nd, 2014. In and of itself, it is quite simple. Dodge the spikes. Jump on platforms. Don't hit the walls or the ceilings or, heck, avoid the saw blades as well.

There are several modes of play: the simple Impossible Game-based jumping square, a spaceship that you must fly up and down, a rolling saw blade that can change gravity, a Flappy Bird-like UFO, a "Wave" which can only move diagonally, a Little Stomper-like robot, and a spider that flips between the floor and ceiling. Update 2.2 added a "Swing" gamemode resembling a spherical rocket that changes gravity every time you click on it.

There is a lite version containing the first few levels. There are also several sequels on mobile platforms, called Geometry Dash Meltdown (2015), Geometry Dash World (2016) and Geometry Dash SubZero (2017).

This game provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Doomsday does not appear in the 10th anniversary video's official rendering of The Eschaton, nor does the Dominator appear in the subsequent rendition of Ultra Violence.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The 10th anniversary video's animated segment is an official portrayal of several "boss fight" levels from the community. Their climaxes and endings, which are usually when the boss appears, are changed to look like an actual one-on-one fight rather than the original appearance of the player simply outrunning them:
    • In Deadlocked, the player absorbs the monsters' lasers to charge up an Elemental Punch, destroying all of them with a single left hook.
    • In Sirius, the titular monster is destroyed by a Diving Kick from the player's robot.
    • In Kappa Boss Fight, the player takes a cross emote from a Twitch chat scroll and breaks it apart into twin swords, parrying the giant Kappa head's laser fire and slicing it to ribbons.
    • In B, the player rides a bee of their own and kills the giant bee attacking them with a charge attack.
    • MasterGame's portrayal uses the player's ship to defeat the boss with a laser cannon instead of the model used in the original level.
    • In Slam, the killing blow is delivered through another Diving Kick (this time in cube form) instead of with the ship.
    • Against the God and Ouroboros's bosses are made a single character, and is then defeated by a sword and shield.
    • In Ultra Violence, the level ends with the Abomination consuming the Player Character, rendering all of their efforts for moot. The official animation used in the game's 10th anniversary celebration instead has the player chuck a bomb into its mouth, destroying it.
    • In The Eschaton, the player triggers the titular machine's Self-Destruct Mechanism, rather than the Eschaton frying its own systems.
    • Omorfia's boss is killed before it can consume the player when a charged punch is blocked by a piece of debris, causing the energy that was supposed to be channeled through its fist to backfire and explode.
    • CastleMania's fight on the Reaper path becomes a send-up to its namesake, where instead of outrunning the reaper's destruction of the castle, the player channels Simon Belmont and duels them to the death with a chain whip. Additionally, while the castle still falls, it's because the player chains up the reaper and slams them into the bridge, killing them and cracking it in half.
    • Although Boom Slayer already ends with the boss defeated with a sword, the animation adds a dual portal to the sequence.
    • In Crazy III, the clown monster is disintegrated with a blast from a magic hat.
  • Ad Reward: Geometry Dash World lets you watch advertisements for Mana Orbs and, occasionally, exclusive icons.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Downplayed. Meltdown's second level, Viking Arena, has a wall of monsters chasing the player near the end...but it can't actually harm them, due to the game's nature as an auto-scroller.
  • Aerith and Bob: There are only really two prominent characters in Geometry Dash (the vaultkeepers) as a whole (three with the Gatekeeper), being known as Spooky and the Keymaster, them having named their secret coins "Sparky" and "Glubfub" respectively. Spooky lampshades this trope post-Update 2.1:
    Spooky: (after the Keymaster calls the player out for taking Spooky's Secret Coin) "What does "Glubfub" mean anyway?"
  • Alternate Reality Game: During the official 2.0 Rewards, an ARG called "Octocube" was started. Beginning with a hidden image of a tentacled 2.0 monster on top of a series of glyphs and messages, it's noticeably more serious than even the outer narrative of 2.1's characters, and features someone trapped in a place that they only call the Vault, stuck with the demon that owns it. They mention that the demon's unstoppable and that there's no way they can only get out by themselves. All this suggests that there's more to one of the game's Vaults than we can see. Shortly after, a follow-up called "Cod3breaker" began. It adds some time-travel themes to the ARG which suggests that the "Vault" and its keeper correspond to the prison inside the Keymaster's basement. Because of the entity's Slasher Smile, it may very well be the Eldritch Abomination depicted in the glyphs. Both ARGs, however, only led to two 2.1 codes for the Vault of Secrets, which of course only gave icons once entered.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: All the achievement rewards are purely aesthetic, except for two of them.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In official levels at least, fakeout orbs and jump pads are either sightreadable enough to identify them as traps or have labels that indicate what to jump on (or not to jump on).
  • Ascended Glitch: The achievement for beating 2000 user levels was initially labeled "Title" and rewarded nothing. When fixed in a minor update, it was renamed to be "No Title!" instead.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Cube #287 consists of nine reddish dots arranged into the shape of a square. As in, the level Nine Circles.
    • "Check Steam" was the message used to announce 2.2's release on all social media platforms.
    • Several new variations of “FIRE IN THE HOLE” were added to the game’s sound effect library, in a folder simply titled “Dont”.
    • One of the Chamber of Time’s codes calls the game’s second level, Back On Track, impossible to complete.
    • A code for the Vault mentions a “Final Boss” demon difficulty, referencing a fan-made set of difficulty ratings going beyond the game’s highest.
  • Author Avatar: RobTop exists influencing the few characters in Geometry Dash. He was responsible for trapping the Demon Guardian inside of the Keymaster's basement, and seems to be looking for Scratch and his black market.
  • Automatic Level: The player can create automatic levels in the level editor and the difficulty rating for automatic levels is "Auto".
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Every level that's not a platformer level. Even the ones that don't seem to move are actually moving at the same speed as your character (averted in 2.2, where the player can seemingly do this).
  • Bottomless Pits: More like a Ceilingless Sky. If you fall out of the level while in reverse gravity, you fall until the eighty block height limit, where the screen stops scrolling and you die.
  • Big Bad: The now-insane and evidently disgraced Demon Guardian.
  • Bowdlerise: Fingerdash is the only level whose name is significantly changed from that of its song, which is "Fingerbang" by MDK.
  • Broken Bridge: The Demon Gauntlet doesn't open until you find the missing key to it. To quote the Keymaster:
    "It's no use, that Gauntlet's locked. The Demon Guardian was the only one who could open it. Not sure what happened to him. He was always a bit crazy."
    • That key comes from the basement. The Demon Guardian went off the deep end which led Rob to seal him off from the outside world.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: There are none in normal mode. Averted in practice mode and platformer levels - practice mode lets you place all the checkpoints you want, while platformer levels have checkpoints built in.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The orbs, the pads and the portals are differently colored according to the type and intensity of their effects.
  • Company Cross References: You can unlock several icons that resemble the Boomlings from RobTop's earlier game series of the same name.
  • Cool Gate: One of the elements in the game is a portal that teleports you vertically. Additionally, the Tower is accessed by clicking on a blue portal in the level select menu.
  • Creepy Basement: The Keymaster has one, and tries to convince you to stay away from it (or at the very least not to touch anything after beating his level.) Why's he so anxious about keeping you out? A Man in the Iron Mask lies imprisoned down there. Heavily implied to be the former Demon Guardian turned insane, he seems like he’s completely secured off from the world of Geometry Dash, but he has the location of the keys keeping him locked crystal clear in his mind. He tries to convince you to find the keys needed to release him. He succeeds.
  • Deadly Walls: If you touch the side of any block, you die. You also die in most instances if you hit the bottom of any block as a cube or robot.
  • Dem Bones: The icons you obtain while completing Update 2.1's mini-narrative are, in order, a skull cube with a gradient, a robot that's a straight-up skeleton, and a skeletal version of the default spider.
    • The Tower has a skeleton that appears in a couple of levels and speaks in voice lines from the game's sound effect library.
  • Downloadable Content: Any user created level.
  • Down the Drain: The second level of the Tower, the Sewers.
  • Earn Your Fun: Some levels are incredibly difficult but incredibly satisfying when you beat them.
  • Easier Than Easy: Exaggerated with the Auto difficulty.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"/Spell My Name with a "The": One of the vaultkeepers is simply known as "The Keymaster".
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Blocks. Gears. Monsters. Even the floor, on some occasions.
  • Fake Difficulty: Many harder levels have hidden obstacles, separate paths and traps that you can't know how to pass on your first play-through, although you can use practice mode to learn these beforehand.
    • A common complaint of updates 2.0 and 2.1 is that the introduction of complex graphics, moving objects, the z-axis, and the shake triggers are adding this to a large majority of featured levels.
    • The final cube sequence in Clutterfunk is... bugged, to say the least.
    • Levels of longer length (such as Electrodynamix or Blast Processing) have a tendency to lag on some devices.
      • Some newer player-made levels tend to use a heavy amount of detail, lagging mobile devices. Thankfully, most of these levels add a "low-detail mode" to reduce lag. Not that this always works 100%...
    • Spider sequences in general can be "guilty" of this. Often one will try to teleport from this platform to that one, only to find that they are instantly killed by an in - between sawblade or hazard. Especially in 3x or 4x speed, where it is very easy to get flustered quickly.
  • Fake Platform: A typical level component which can be found in the editor.
  • Feed It a Bomb: The Abomination in the 10th anniversary's animated segment is defeated by the cube throwing a bomb into its mouth.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Not really a boss, but Theory of Everything includes every obstacle from the preceding updates. Averted with TOE 2, which doesn't have mirror portals.
  • Fragile Speedster: Most of the time, your square travels at a fast speed, but it can only stand one hit before exploding into a bunch of smaller squares.
  • Foreshadowing: In any update after 1.9, if you press the info button on the coming soon page, it remarks a hint about the update.
  • Gravity Screw: Some gameplay elements flip the gravity upside down.
  • Gravity Master: The character in ball or spider form can instantly switch gravity.
  • Guide Dang It!: Most of the Vault's answers contain "clues" that make little sense until you search up the answers.
  • Harder Than Hard: Exaggerated with ''many'' difficulties above hard. The official levels have a "Harder" difficulty which is harder than the "Hard" difficulty, an "Insane" difficulty harder than the "Harder" difficulty, and a "Demon" difficulty harder than Insane. For fanmade levels which can get far harder than the official ones, extra rankings are added, with demon divided into Easy Demon, Medium Demon, Hard Demon, Insane Demon and Extreme Demon.
  • Here There Be Dragons: The "coming soon" popup for The Map shows a few monsters scattered about on it. Update 2.0, the one they were added, was also teased with the line "here be dragons".
  • Indie Game: Robert Topala has been the sole developer of the game.
  • Invisible Block: User levels sometimes use these to make levels harder and occasionally for effect.
  • King Mook: The boss of the Tower's first floor: The Cursed Thorn, which is a bigger and far more dangerous version of the smaller ball-like monsters.
  • Last Lousy Point: A few of the achievements, which include liking/disliking 1000 levels and beating 1000 user created levels.
  • Leap of Faith: Sometimes a platform will appear out of the ground after you jump.
  • Level Editor: One feature of the game.
  • Made of Explodium: Death effects cause the player character to explode violently in one of fourteen ways upon crashing, ranging from electricity to collapsing in on itself. The last death effect plays it straight where crashing simply causes the icon to produce a large generic explosion.
  • Malevolent Architecture: A lot of the levels are comprised of bizarre structures and deadly traps.
  • Man in the Iron Mask: The Keymaster has the Demon Guardian trapped in his basement. He's a threat so big one can wonder why he even kept a chest (with an icon, no less) down there.
  • Mickey Mousing: The levels are usually designed so that the times you have to click to avoid getting killed match with the background music. Platformer mode is an exception, though some of the Tower's levels have obstacles moving to the music instead.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: Two player mode is hardly ever used because of the controls and difficulty.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: By breaking all three locks in the jail, the Demon Guardian grins with a Slasher Smile and threatens to destroy the world of Geometry Dash. To top the magnitude of what you've done, the Keymaster comes down to the basement and discovers the jail open. Then he shifts to Non-Standard Character Designnote  and begins screaming at you. The Demon Guardian escapes, leaving the narrative on a cliffhanger and leaving behind a blue chest containing a skull icon, a death effect, and a fourth key, to unlock the Demon Gauntlet so that the player can complete it to be ready for his return. To be continued.
  • No Fourth Wall: Completing the Tower's first floor has Scratch wondering if Geometry Dash really is "a simple cube game", the Mechanic is seemingly busy "bugfixing the whole game", and Scratch and The Keymaster will complain about Versus Mode's delay if you try to open it in Update 2.2:
    The Keymaster: "Yea...It's still delayed."
    Scratch: "I blame RobTop."
    The Keymaster: "Who else could we blame? We're not even real."
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Just enjoy the music as you precision-platform.
    • Averted in Update 2.1, where there is a short storyline (which goes nowhere)
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: Certain levels used to be rated far easier than they actually were. The most well known example was Fake A Doom which was rated harder 6 stars but was considered demon difficulty until it had its rating changed to demon.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Your character. Averted in some fan-made levels where multiple lives are integrated using triggers such as toggle and count.
  • Platform Hell: Cube, robot, gravity ball, and spider modes. And occasionally UFO mode.
  • Player Nudge: If the player dies repeatedly on the first batch of spikes in Polargeist, the game tells them to "Tap while touching a ring to jump mid air".
    • If the player only taps the first dash orb in Fingerdash, the game reminds them to hold instead.
  • Play Every Day:
    • A new custom level is featured every day as a Daily Level, which rewards bonus Diamonds for completion. The Weekly Demon is similar, but it updates every week instead and is always a level with the tougher Demon difficulty.
    • Reward chests are available from the main menu which grant Diamonds, Mana Orbs, and Shards. One is a smaller chest that can be collected every 4 hours, and another is larger and available every 24 hours.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Keymaster. The Demon Guardian lies sealed away in his basement. He knows exactly how to get out, exploiting the player's likely thirst for more icons to accomplish this. Suddenly the purple demon's constant anxiety about his own basement is truly justified...
  • Rainbow Speak: Exaggerated. Nearly every line of dialogue colors certain words or phrases, with seemingly no consistent pattern (though the word "shop" is always yellow, "diamonds" is always dark blue, the Master Emblem is purple, and Zolguroth is red). It goes beyond the dialogue though, with the level editor’s help windows coloring the names of trigger options and several other popups coloring important words.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Gatekeeper, RobTop's pet, reveals himself to be at least 1,000 years old when he mentions that his encounter with the player is the first he's had in 1,000 years of slumber. Which makes it odd that he seems to want a pizza for some reason.
  • Retraux: The music for Electroman Adventures is in chiptune. Additionally, most blocks and obstacles in Dash are pixel art.
  • Rhythm Game: Downplayed because some sections or levels are not timing based, especially in the spaceship mode.
  • Running Gag: Most characters introduced in Update 2.1 that has lines mentions a baked chicken long overdue in some way:
    The Keymaster: "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?... The egg laid the chicken, and then the chicken said the password is on fire... I need to get some rest." (after the player types in "thechickenisonfire") "Indeed it is."
    Scratch: "...Do you smell burning chicken?"
    Demon Guardian: "RubRub promised me chicken. There was no chicken..."
    The Gatekeeper: "Can you smell it? Chicken, burning chicken... El pollo ardiente..."note 
  • Sandbox Mode: There's practice mode, where the player can set checkpoints (while the base game has Checkpoint Starvation on) in the levels, from which you instantly respawn. This makes it very useful for practicing all the hard parts of a level, and is outright vital if you wish to take down a demon level of any kind.
  • Saw Blades of Death: Circular saws act as a deadly obstacle after Clutterfunk.
  • Schmuck Bait: There's a narrow pathway to the rocket ship in Stereo Madness. Try to jump to the ceiling now...
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The name of the shopkeeper for the Community Shop is Potbor, which is Robtop spelled backwards.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Demon Guardian lies imprisoned in the Keymaster's basement and threatens to destroy the world of Geometry Dash if ever released. The Keymaster's quotes also suggest he wasn't like this before.
  • Self-Contained Demo: Geometry Dash Meltdown, World, and SubZero are free to download and have served as previews of their respective updates to Geometry Dash, but their levels are not available in the main game.
  • Sensory Abuse: Some levels like Electrodynamix as well as some user created levels have flashing colors which can give the player epileptic seizures.
  • Speedrun Reward: All of the Tower's platformer levels have a secret coin that can only be collected by reaching it fast enough.
  • Spikes of Doom: Spikes are all over the place.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Glowing jump pads are featured in several levels and launch the player into the air.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Opening the Demon Guardian's prison requires some serious dedication. The three locks won't budge as easily as the doors to the other vaults:
    • The first key is hidden in a chest that can only be opened once 50 other regular chests have been unlocked. This requires 25,000 Mana Orbs.
    • The second key requires giving the Gatekeeper a rather rude awakening by tricking them into thinking you're RobTop.. This requires 500 diamonds to unlock Scratch's black market, where you can then purchase the Master Emblem, a key of Rob's identity, for 1,000 Orbs.
    • The third key requires completion of the Chaos Gauntlet. It is one of the harder gauntlets, with long and tough levels like Scarlet Surge and Kappaclysm.
  • Take That!: invoked The above Running Gag about chicken is a reference to a throwaway gag made by RobTop (as in, the developer) that was misconstrued as a release hint for Update 2.1, which has suffered from many Schedule Slips.
  • Take That, Audience!: In the sneak peek for 2.2's second level, RobTop and Scratch (who seem to have since reconciled since 2.1) are discussing the level he just previewed when the latter pokes fun at the game's massive Spanish-speaking following:
    RobTop: Did [the audience] like it?
    Scratch: I don't know, I don't speak Spanish.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: A lot of the more difficult levels, especially ones made early in the game's lifespan, where fake blocks and orbs were commonly used to make levels much harder.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • At least one user-made level, Swiftness, was rendered impossible due to a change in orb mechanics. It used to be that placing two orbs on top of each other would allow one of the orbs to only be usable at the edge of the hitbox, creating timing challenges; this was called orb masking. The 2.1 update changed it so only one of the orbs would do anything, breaking any level that required it.
    • The 2.2 update changed the way the physics engine works. In the past, the game calculated your position and velocity at a speed equal to your monitor's refresh rate (a 60hz monitor would cause the game to calculate 60 "ticks" per second), whereas in 2.2, it calculates 240 times per second, regardless of your monitor. This made levels not compatible with 240 FPS much harder (e.g. Windy Landscape until it was bugfixed by its creator) or outright impossible (e.g. Black Blizzard).
    • The 22nd main level, Dash, is impossible on most mobile devices due to the extreme number of moving objects at 70% lagging or outright crashing the game.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Silent levels are a group of levels that are created by the community to be deliberately impossible. Silent Circles, for instance, is made to be deliberately impossible, and it requires over 30 clicks per second to clear; most people can't even manage a third of that! Only two (technically 3) Silent levels have ever been beaten, with all three regarded as among the top 100 hardest levels in the game, with one of three (Silent Clubstep) regarded as among the top four hardest levels.