You have probably heard of Geometry Wars, though you might not know the game began life as a simple mini-game inside Project Gotham Racing 2, and its various iterations have been improving on the original formula ever since. Simply, the game challenges to you to to pilot a tiny ship around a finite area and avoid and/or destroy various enemies - all of which are simple 2D objects.
There’s plenty of content to be found here at least, with adventure mode initially offering 50 levels of increasingly taxing shape-based destruction, littered with boss fights which push your patience even further (like the arcade games of old the title was no doubt inspired by). On top of that there’s classic mode, which drops you back to two dimensions to tackle each of the game’s modes exclusively in a never-ending, relentless assault.
There’s certainly a knack to it, and one which can take a while to kick in, and as you attempt to gain the number of stars necessary to move forward, the irritation of dying from something almost too small to see can begin to grate. Leaderboards pit you against your Xbox Live friends (though they do occasionally lose connection for no apparent reason and are then blank, rather than just showing the last set of numbers displayed, which is odd), but they can be a double-edged sword as you find yourself both spurred on to beat another’s score and sitting, close to tears in disbelief that such a high number actually exists.
Really the biggest drawback to the game is that it suffers from a lot of the difficulty spikes found in an entire generation of games, a style which many love. For others used to recharging health and generous checkpoints, it could find the limit of your patience quite quickly.
It’s not a game for everyone, but it does its job well albeit simply riffing on a single theme.