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A pretty standard moment for any of the games in the series.
Geometry Wars is a Shoot 'em Up series by Bizarre Creations, similar to Robotron: 2084, where you control a claw-shaped concave octagon in a quest to destroy many other shapes. Primarily notable for reinvigorating the stale genre and for having insane amounts of stuff on the screen at once (due to the minimal computational power required for each object).
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Originally an Easter Egg in the Project Gotham Racing series for the Xbox. The series' second incarnation, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, and its sequel have been released as stand-alone games for the Xbox 360 Arcade, in 2005 and 2008, and were eventually made available on PC via Steam. Before that, it had clashed with the creators of Grid Wars, which started out as a pretty clear clone (but with more features): its development was reportedly stopped at the request of Bizarre Creations, but the issue was eventually sorted out, by making Grid Wars 2 free to download. Lastly, the game has a DS and a Wii version, Geometry Wars: Galaxies.

At Gamescom 2014, Activision announced that Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions was in the works, being developed by Lucid Games, a company made up of former Bizarre Creations staff, including the actual people behind Geometry Wars. It was released under Activision's revived Sierra label on November 25, 2014.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: Gravity wells if they consume to many enemies without getting shot at explode into a bunch of protons. Protons move and track the player FAST, but bounce off of walls.
  • Arrange Mode:Starts off in 2, and more are added in the campaign of 3.
    • 2 adds
    • Deadline: 3 minutes and unlimited lives.
    • King: 3 king zones are active at any given time. While outside of a king zone, the player(s) cannot shoot. When inside of one, they can. Enemies and geoms cannot enter king zones. King zones shrink after being entered 3 seconds later, and a new king zone will spawn to take its place. Only one life and no bombs.
    • Evolved: A spin on the original Retro Evolved, no special rules are applied to this game mode. 3 lives and 3 bombs, you gain 1 life and 1 bomb every time your score multiplies by 10 at set intervals (100,000 1,000,000 10,000,000 etc.)
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    • Pacifism: You cannot shoot. You must run into gates and lure grunts into the ensuing explosion. 1 life.
    • Waves: Rockets spawn in waves, taking up the entire side that they spawn on. This game escalates very quickly. Do not expect to survive more than a minute. 1 life.
    • Sequence: You are given a series of 20 levels, and 30 seconds to complete each level. Each level spawns the exact same enemies every time you play. Dying in a level skips it, but if you lose all your lives, the game ends early. 3 lives and 3 bombs, you gain 1 life and 1 bomb every time your score multiplies by 10 at set intervals.
    • 3 adds
    • Rainbow: Special painter enemies spawn in and will paint the grid behind them as they move. The game ends when either you die, or the painters cover a set amount of grid.
    • Checkpoint: A variant of Deadline, you have unlimited lives, but a much shorter amount of time (usually between 1 to 15 seconds.). Enemies spawn in waves. Killing all enemies in a wave extends your time by a small amount. Dying incurs a small time loss penalty.
    • Sniper: You are given a set amount of ammo. Run out of ammo or die and the game ends.
    • Claustrophobia: The walls are slowly closing in, restricting the play-field size over the course of the game.
    • Titan: Enemies spawn as large, passive titan versions of themselves that need to be broken down into smaller forms. When small enough, enemies behave like their normal selves.
    • Scorpion: A variant of Pacifism, instead of using gates to kill enemies, you trail a laser tripwire behind yourself.
    • Stock: A variant of Sniper, you must run around collecting ammo packets to replenish your supply of bullets. You won't lose the game if you run out of ammo.
    • Boss: A boss must be defeated to win. Your score is not counted if you do not kill the boss. Each boss has multiple timed phases, and if you run out of time, the boss unleashes a shock wave that kills you instantly.
    • Retro Evolved: While not in the campaign, Retro Evolved is a recreation of the original Geometry Wars, with some minor mechanical differences (i.e, Gravity well explosions kill enemies instead of merely shoving enemies away).
  • Asteroids Monster: Spinners split into 3 Tiny Spinners when killed. Also, Galaxies has an entire level based on the Asteroids game, only the captain ersatz asteroids may turn hostile depending on their shape, especially if it is a Weaver or Spinner asteroid. The Battenberg splits into 4 seperate entities, 2 stationary blockers, and 2 tracking darts.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Many shapes, Weavers notably will only charge when not shooting and make great effort to avoid your shots, slowing to a possible stop should you even aim in their direction. In waves they most opt to sweep every single part of the screen rather than attack directly.
  • Attack Drone: Several in Galaxies, but they have to be bought.
  • Cap: The highest composite score obtainable on Galaxies is 26,843,545,575.
    • The DS version also has some unfortunate (or maybe fortunate) limits to onscreen objects.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Sweep drone in Galaxies. It doesn't fire, instead sweeping around your ship and damaging any enemies that happen to touch it. At higher levels, it makes faster and more precise circles around your ship, serving as a very useful defensive barrier.
    • Attack and Defend fire forwards and backwards respectively. They don't do much else, but more importantly, higher levels of these drones can help augment your firepower very effectively. A max-level Attack drone effectively doubles your firepower, while a max-level Defend drone keeps you covered in large, crowded spaces.
  • Bullet Hell: A variation. While there aren't really any projectiles to speak of, the screen tends to get insanely crowded with enemies, forcing you to use precise maneuvers while simultaneously destroying anything in your path.
    • 3 has a level specifically named Bullet Hell, and focuses on spawning enemies that can shoot at the player.
  • Call-Back: Super Sequence in 3 is a reference to the Sequence mode in 2.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Bars and certain circles in two.
  • Collision Damage: Pretty much all other shapes other than the harmless NUFO targets; walls are usually safe however. There is a group of red enemies that will shoot you if given the chance. Luckily their range is shorter than yours. Also, your shots will bounce off gates so you have to run into them.
  • Embedded Precursor: Retro Evolved, minus the Retro mode, is playable in Galaxies. Waves is playable in PGR4.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Weavers (green squares) will attempt to dodge any shot that isn't directly aimed at them, and they can move fast when dodging.
  • Elite Mooks: Some of the enemies in Geometry Wars can be especially problematic.
    • Weavers, shaped like a green square will dodge your shots with astounding speed if the shot isn't aimed dead center at them.
    • Repulsors have a frontal shield/armor, negating any attacks from the front. Explosions (Gates, Gravity wells, Smart Bombs, etc) however can bypass the shield.
  • Endless Game: Except for sequence and deadline.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: While not on the level of Beat Hazard, 2 can get pretty crazy with the visuals.
  • Every Five Thousand Geoms
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Except for the NUFOs, who simply avoid you once fired on.
  • Flying Saucer: Comes in 3 flavors, the yellow NUFO, the red UFO and the blue UFO
    • NUFOs are harmless in Galaxies, but will attempt to dodge any shots aimed at them. In 3 however, they move in a straight line and gain collision damage.
    • UFOs in Galaxies spawn with an alert sound, zoom relativley close to you, then immeidetly flee in another direction. 3 has them spawn and directly charge you down in a straight line extremley fast, and can easily kill you if you don't pay attention.
    • Blue UFOs are exclusive to 3 and behave similarly to UFOs, but take multiple hits to kill. However, they move much slower.
  • Sinister Geometry: In a game called Geometry Wars, what did you expect?
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Flippers in Galaxies are completely invincible, but they don't kill you. However, they do let enemies pass freely through themselves while blocking you and your shots.
  • Level Grinding: In Galaxies, you have to level up your drones by playing stages.
  • Mercy Invincibility: A protective bubble that blinks out a moment later.
  • Mighty Glacier: Slow moving white shapes surrounded by multiple blue bubbles are slow, but tough to destroy.
  • Money for Nothing: You'll unlock everything in Galaxies long before you receive all the bonus geoms for hitting score plateaus,
  • Money Spider: In Galaxies, you'll occasionally stumble upon a red UFO that swoops in, then vanishes very shortly afterwards. Hitting it will yield a large sum of points.
  • Mooks Most of the enemies are relativley straightforward and simple to deal with. Even a novice will end up killing thousands on their first go.
    • Wanderers are shaped like purple pinwheels and passivley wander around
    • Ducks are two rectangular prisms stuck together, and slowly flip to move randomly like the wanderer.
    • Grunts are shaped like blue diamonds and slowly home in on the player. If left alive for an extended period of time though, they will speed up.
    • Spinners chase the player like grunts, but are much faster. However, they don't home in as hard. When killed they split into 3 tiny spinners.
    • Jacks/Mayflies spawn in the hundreds and chase the player erraticaly, making them hard to hit individually.
  • Mook Maker: They can already spawn at incredible rates, but these guys make them come in even quicker.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: In Retro Evolved, Gravity wells that explode form eating too many enemies and smart bombs are punctuated with a temporary silence.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: In "King" you have bubbles the enemies cannot pass through, but you and your shots can (though they don't last for long). Galaxies turns this around on you for a few levels.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: You are a claw-shaped object inserted into the game grid. Other simple geometric shapes are generated, and they try to destroy you. What would you need more for?
  • One Game for the Price of Two: the DS and Wii versions of Galaxies unlock content on each other - the same content on both - but are otherwise identical.
    • Also inverted in that Geometry Wars started out as a game inside Project Gotham Racing, and has since had some form in its games. Geometry Wars Retro in PGR2, Evolved in PGR3, and waves in PGR4.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The protagonist in all games. However, you can get extra lives through an 1-Up equivalent.
    • Even more so in Galaxies's "Sur-" (Survival) stages, where you get one life, no bombs, and no way to get more of either.
  • Pacifist Run: The "Pacifism" mode in Geometry Wars 2 is of the Technical Pacifist variety, as you cannot shoot but you can still destroy shapes.
  • Pinball Scoring: The "Min-" levels in Galaxies. Using the mines in conjunction with a maxed-out (x150) score multiplier, a Mook Maker, and the harmless NUFOs will allow you to rack up hundreds of millions in points within seconds. Heck, on the earlier "Min-" stages, you can go from below Bronze to exceeding the requirement for a Gold medal in the span of less than three seconds.
    • Gravity well enemies have a decent point value on their own, but for every enemy they consume, they add that enemy's point value to itself. Let it eat a sufficient amount of enemies and you can easily get 3 million points from a single gravity well.
    • Gates explode when you run through one, and the explosion multiplies an enemy's base point value by 5. Combine that with the geom multiplier or a well fed gravity well for truley massive point values.
  • Ramming Always Works: The Ram drone in Galaxies, which rams into enemies, but needs a little cooldown between uses.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: Galaxies uses "Particle Man" here.
  • Scoring Points (The point of Retro Evolved and Retro Evolved 2, and what you need to do to advance in Galaxies.)
  • Segmented Serpent: The snake enemies, which can only be attacked in the head.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Due to how Min- stages have disproportionately higher scores than other stages, some players will make files where they don't play Min- stages at all so that their total scores don't end up skewing towards these sorts of stages.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Repulsors have a frontal shield/armor and can only be hit on the parts where they are not shielded/armored.
  • Shout-Out: The "Wax On" and "Wax Off" Achievements.
  • Smart Bomb: Unlike many other games with a bomb system, your bombs don't reset count each time you die. Instead, the only way to gain bombs back is through points or geoms, and that's if the game allows extra bombs.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Each enemy has its own spawn sound, cluing you in to what's about to come after you if you can't see what spawned.
  • Spread Shot: Like many other games it the genre it gets wider as you do better in Retro Evolved and Galaxies. Unlike others it periodically switches between wider spreads and More Dakka.
  • Super Mode: 3 introduces super states, a cluster of small stationary enemies that spawn in a formation. When killed, they will greatly enhance the player's weapon or ship in some way.
    • Quad Fire: Gives you 4 times the shots. Most common.
    • Split Fire: Gives you two additional projectiles per shot to the front of the player's ship that fire at a 45° angle from the main gun
    • Reverse Fire: Gives you an additional weapon that shoots directly behind where you are aiming.
    • Missiles: Gives you a pair of missiles that are automatically shot out from your ship. Missiles home in on enemies.
    • Magnet: Increases your geom collection radius by a very large margin. Uncommon.
    • Trail Bombs: As you move, you leave behind explosions. Rare.
    • Shield: Makes you invinicble. Very rare.
  • The Swarm: Mayflies/Jacks usually spawn in the hundreds, move towards you erratically and are very tiny. If you aren't careful or paying attention, a single one can easily end you. While they don't score much themselves, they can easily increase your score multiplier.
  • Tele-Frag: You usually get a split second to move away should an enemy spawn in your exact location, usually.
  • The Tetris Effect: Given the simple designs of the enemies, it's not too far-fetched to suddenly imagine shapes around you to start moving in Geometry Wars patterns.
  • Theme Naming (levels in Galaxies follow a strict format - three letters for the type, then something denoting a cardinality; e.g. MinDuo is Mine level 2.)
    • Scorpion levels are all named after... well... scorpions.
    • Rainbow levels are all named after various art styles.
  • Third Is 3D: Well, its not exactly the third game in the series, but Geometry Wars 3 changes the formula up by adding levels where the playfield warps around several 3d objects while maintaining the top down 2D movement and shooting.
  • Timed Mission: Deadline obviously while sequence throws a sequence of these at you. Checkpoint in the sequel gives you a short amount of time to kill all enemies in the allotted time, with each wave wiped out granting you more time.
  • Turns Red: The Battenberg is initally passive, wandering around the map in a straight line, but when shot, it divides into 2 stationary blocker enemies, and 2 tracking darts. The tracking darts move absurdly fast and while not perfect, can home in on you extremley competently.
    • Mutators inflict this on enemies, turning them into Mutated. Mutated, regardless of prior behavior will beeline straight at the player, and cannot be dodged at all.
  • Variable Mix: King's soundtrack in 2 and 3 becomes dulled whenever the player is out of a king zone, and becomes clear when inside of one. Checkpoint alternates between two different songs as you clear each wave, and the songs get more intense as the timer approaches 0, but it rewinds a bit if you clear a wave.
  • Weapons That Suck: Gravity wells are common enemy type in Galaxies. Fortunately, they affect all shapes, even each other and they do not start until you shoot them. Described in more detail on Unrealistic Blackhole.

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