Updated: Geometry Wars: Touch Review

Geometry Wars: Touch was an iPad-exclusive title back when the new device launched, leaving many iPhone owners feeling left out. Now this major franchise that popularized dual-stick shooters in the console market is available as a universal binary for smaller-screen Apple devices.

Nothing has changed content-wise, although the controls feel tighter on the smaller screen. The update also brings a price drop to $4.99 and a slight name change, eliminating the “for iPad” tag. However, we’d like to see Activision add a little extra to the game before we raise our score. At the moment, we’d recommend PewPew 2, which is cheaper and also universal, before Geometry Wars: Touch. Still, this is a solid purchase for franchise lovers.

Geometry Wars made its big splash on the Xbox 360 as an early downloadable title. It instantly drew a crowd with its flashy art style, particle effects, and addictive nature. Since then, Geometry Wars has been re-released for various systems and has helped popularize the dual-stick shooter.

Once iPhone developers started to pick up this gameplay mechanic, it was only a matter of time before the shape shooter came to the touchscreen. In a surprise move by Activision, it finally has, with the launch of the iPad.

The iPad version comes packed with seven different gameplay modes. You start with a three-minute survival mode and unlock each new mode by completing a cumulative amount of waves throughout every mode. All seven can be unlocked quite quickly, which is a big plus in our book. They all have online leaderboards, which is a must for any high-score game.

Action so intense, it warps the boundaries of space.

Some of the other modes are quite interesting as well. Some of our favorites include one that allows you to shoot only inside special zones on the map, and another where you have no weapons at all, meaning you must destroy enemies by moving through explosive gates.

Geometry Wars: Touch for iPad also has a device-exclusive mode called Titans. This mode plays like a Russian nesting doll: You start off by destroying a big enemy that splits into smaller and smaller drones.

As for the dual-stick controls, this iteration of Geometry Wars hits the nail on the head. Wherever you touch the screen, a joystick will form under your finger, allowing you to find the most comfortable position without having to manually adjust the interface. However, the bomb button’s placement isn’t very natural. In order to reach it, you must tap the center of the screen, which means you will usually not hit it quickly enough. A shake method might have been more efficient.

Death by a thousand purple pinwheels.

One of the key features in some console versions of Geometry Wars is the multiplayer. This mode has you working with other teammates to achieve a massive score and often leads to frantic fun. Some form of this is something we would be happy to see in the future on the iPad as well.

If you’ve enjoyed Geometry Wars in the past, or just want to try out the current best dual-stick shooter for the iPad, this game is the way to go. The bomb button’s placement is a dud, but otherwise, this game is shape-smashing mayhem at its best.

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