Geometry Survivor Logo
Geometry Survivor Icon
Geometry Survivor

Developer: Brain Seal Ltd

  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    Answering the question of what would it look like if you combined Geometry Wars and Vampire Survivors on a budget

    It is difficult for me to communicate how much it pains me to the core that Geometry Wars, in any of its iterations, has still not been brought over to the Switch. Sure, there have been plenty of great twin-stick arcade shooters I’ve loved on the system, but there’s just something about its very old-school look and sensibilities that made me smile. At a glance, Geometry Survivor actually got my hopes up, as there’s no question that it has cribbed that visual style pretty hard. Rather than being an intense old-school twin-stick shooter as you could rightly expect, Geometry Survivor is instead built in the same style as Vampire Survivors, and that doesn’t need to be a bad thing.

    What impresses me about it is that though there have been many other games that have tried to emulate the style of Vampire Survivors, so few of them have done as good a job of it. Part of what works is tied to the variety of weapons, a few of which feel pretty original. To be successful, you’ll generally want to have a mix of both offensive and defensive upgrades, but what I like here is that some skills can be a bit of both. The further you get into your capped 20 minute runs, the trickier the variety of foes you’ll face will be. It isn’t enough to be quick, you’ll also need to either anticipate their patterns to find a safe gap, or be equipped in a way that you’re able to make ones on your own. Playing through several times, continually choosing different combinations, it was satisfying to see how effective you could be without feeling trapped to choosing the same core sets. In particular, once you’re able to max out and evolve some of your skills, there are a couple that can be very hard not to want to stick with though since they can be quite effective.

    Even with those positives, that isn’t to say there aren’t areas where the game is a bit of a letdown. The first may be the most crippling, and that’s the fact that it isn’t terribly deep. You’ll always be in the same arena, facing the same progression of enemies, playing to try to survive the full 20 minutes. Yes, you’ll be able to slowly unlock some permanent perks, some of which will make your ability to survive far easier, but outside of that there isn’t all that much to get you to keep coming back. There are a variety of ships you can unlock and use, but honestly aside from simply saying you unlocked and played with them all, the majority of them don’t even seem that appealing to play with. The fact that there are no leaderboards or other clear incentives to muscle through 20 minutes with each ship underscores the ultimate lack of value their inclusion brings to the table. 

    In conclusion, there are absolutely some things the game gets right, and for the pretty low asking price they may well be enough to justify giving it a shot. While Vampire Survivors (which is also quite inexpensive, but more feature-rich) clearly remains at the top of the heap, in most regards this is what I’d consider among the very few that deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as it. While it comes up short in long-term playability, there’s no question that for a while it can be a blast. I’d love to see a follow-up with a better plan for keeping you on the hook longer, but as a first attempt I’ll admit it was able to make me into a fan at least.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.7]

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