Geometry Wars is back on Xbox Live with its latest edition, Retro Evolved 2. While keeping the same basic idea as the first Geo Wars, new game modes have been added to enhance the experience.

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is a simple fly and shoot style game with different game modes and high scores to achieve. Add in exciting visuals, fun music and a unique style of gameplay and you will keep coming back for more. For about $10 (800 MS Points) you’re bound to have a great time.

If you’ve played the first Geo Wars you can skip this part, but if not here we go. The basic idea is to fly around a small square and shoot. What do you shoot you ask? Well they can only be described as geometric shapes which all have different purposes. Some shapes slowly move in a pattern, other fly around, some chase you and dodge your bullets while snakes and black holes try to get you and suck you in. The basic controls are as follows; the left analog makes you move about the screen and the right analog shoots in the direction pointed, while the right trigger unleashes a bomb that empties the screen. Sounds simple enough, but trust me it gets addictive quick.  The point of the game is to complete the goal in the selected game type and get a higher score every time. To get a higher score you collect little geoms, which are small green squares released by enemies after you kill them. These geoms act as a multiplier, each one collected gets you one more multiply point.

There are two main gameplay types, single and multiplayer. Unfortunately for Live fans there is no online multiplayer, so looks like your friends will have to go over and play at your house. Each mode has six game types. Single player is you against all the little geometric shapes and the main goal is to get a higher score every time, while multiplayer has the option of co-op or VS. If you choose VS it’s pretty simple, you battle your friend for the high score, you can’t shoot each other so it doesn’t become a game of who can kill who more. Also VS is the only mode with power-ups, unfortunately, but the power-ups include such things as shields, bigger guns and the ability to freeze your opponent. On the other hand co-op you and you partner work together to get a combined high score. You can achieve this by either each flying your own ship or doing “co-pilot”. Co-pilot is when one of the two people fly while the other on shoots, while this can be fun it’s more enjoyable in the end to try and rack up big points together in your own ships.

There are six different game modes all in which and relatively the same but do have different traits. The first is deadline, a pretty simple mode. The goal is to get as high a score as possible in the allotted 3 minutes; there are no lives so you can die as many times as you want, but reviving takes precious seconds off the clock which could result in failing to get a higher score. The next game mode is King; in King the goal is to fly from circle to circle, the point of being in the circles is that you can only shoot from inside them. Of course they do disappear after a few seconds so smart movement is important. Pacifist is one of the toughest modes, instead of shooting the enemies the goal is to fly through little gates, which explode and destroy the ensuing enemies. The other 3 game modes are about the same, Wave, Sequence and Evolved. Evolved is very similar to Deadline, only, instead of a 3 minute time limit with unlimited deaths, you have 3 deaths with unlimited time. Wave has a long line of orange missiles coming off the screen along with many normal enemies which you must kill. The final mode is sequence, which is more of a puzzle type shooter than anything.

The graphics in Geo Wars 2 are incredible for a $10 online game. They’re fun and very visually pleasing. When enemies explode it’s almost like a big fireworks show. It’s extremely hard to tell where you are once there are 30 enemies on screen trying to attack you. The colors are very vibrant and keep you playing more and more. The sounds are just as fun as the graphics. There’s a techno style song for each different game mode. Also every time you shoot or destroy an enemy there’s an interesting sound. All in all the graphics and sounds are great.

Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 is excellent, a visual and audio experience which should be played by any gamer. It’s a simple shoot and fly style game but can become highly addictive. As I mentioned the whole point of the game is a high score basis, but the addictive part is simple, to try and beat your high score by those 5 more points. The single and multi player modes are both fun. In multi player both the VS and co-op are fun but the co-op is much more fun than the VS. For the $10 the game is on XBOX Live Arcade, it is definitely worth trying it. You’re sure to have fun for quite some time, and even if you get bored of the game quickly you’ll come back to it at some point and try and beat the elusive 2,000,000 high score in deadline.

Final Score: 9.3

Reviewed by Chris Gagne | 09.12.08

  • Vibrant graphics and sound
  • Addictive gameplay
  • Fast paced action
  • New game modes
  • Screen can get too cluttered
  • No online multiplayer

Geometry Wars
Retro Evolved 2


Bizarre Creations


US Release
August '08


Xbox Live Arcade

Player 1-4
Co-op Multiplayer
HDTV 1080i
Dolby 5.1 Surround
800 MS Points