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Adapted from 2008's brilliant Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 on Xbox 360, Geometry Wars: Touch maintains most of the addictive thrill of its console counterpart, even adding a worthwhile new play mode, but the touch interface cannot fully compete with the precise, analog-based control scheme the game was originally created for.
While previous Geometry Wars shooters had focused on surviving amidst ever-increasing numbers of neon-lit enemies, Retro Evolved 2 expanded that core conceit into several strong play modes, all of which are maintained in Touch. Certainly, you can still blast foes with lasers and bombs in timed and endless modes, but it's other modes like King, Waves, and Pacifism that really demonstrate the flexibility of the franchise. Pacifism in particular is a treat, as the ingenious mode eschews weapons altogether, placing you in the role of bait as you guide enemies through a series of explosive gates. New to Touch is Titans, a sharp new play mode in which you battle super-sized enemies that reveal many smaller versions of themselves once defeated.
Geometry Wars: Touch maintains the series' distinctive aesthetic approach, with simple-but-flashy vector-like visuals and thumping electronic tunes, and the prominent online leaderboards let you compare your high scores at all times for extra competitive edge.
Touching a finger to the left and right halves of the screen creates virtual thumbsticks for movement and firing lasers, respectively, and while this approach is largely sound, it just doesn't offer the immediate, pitch-perfect response provided by actual control sticks. It's certainly an adequate approach, and we had several enjoyable hours reliving our favorite Geometry Wars modes, but frustration can set in when you're unable to make a quick cut in Pacifism, or need to stop firing to reach over and launch a bomb.
Still, while we wouldn't call it a perfect re-creation of the excellent shooter franchise, Geometry Wars: Touch is still a very strong offering on iPad, presenting the tried-and-true arcade-style action without the need for a console or television.
Geometry Wars: Touch