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Video Game / Geometry Wars

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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).

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.


This series provides examples of:

  • Asteroids Monster: Purple squares. 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 of the Pink/purple squares.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Many shapes, the green ones notably will only charge when not shooting an 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.
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    • 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.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Bars and certain circles in two.
  • Collision Damage: Pretty much all other shapes other than the harmless yellow UFO 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 the bars so you have to run into them.
  • Embedded Precursor: Retro Evolved, minus the Retro mode, is playable in Galaxies.
  • Endless Game: Except for sequence and deadline.
  • Every Five Thousand Geoms
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Except for the yellow ovals, who simply avoid you once fired on.
  • 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.
  • Mook Maker: They can already spawn at incredible rates, but these guys make them come in even quicker.
  • 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 bonus-point golden UFOs 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.
  • 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 worm 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: Orange things that can only be hit on the parts where they are not orange.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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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