Chillingo do Geometry wars, with surprisingly good results…
When I first heard about Infinity Field, I was a little puzzled. Essentially it’s Geometry Wars, which is a already a great game, and the iPad version is up there with it’s console edition in terms of playability. Why then did Chillingo feel it was necessary to clone it, apart from the obvious financial benefits.
Once I played it though, I realised that there is definitely room for both games to co-exist. Infinity Field offers enough variation on the formula as well as bringing new ideas to the table in it’s gameplay, that you could almost be forgiven into dubbing this an unofficial sequel to GW.
For those of you not familiar with Geometry Wars style of play, it’s a twin stick shooter, with one v-stick for movement and the other for direction of attack. The game takes place in an arena, slightly larger than the screen, and it’s basically a game of survival from wave after wave of enemies. Infinity Field is the same basic principle but offers a few new variations on that gameplay.
The bulk of the game is played through the campaign mode. Each level has a set time limit, for which you must survive until it reaches zero. Make it, and you warp to the next. Keeping things fresh, the game throws multiple variations of play at you, as well as some boss-like scenarios.
Outside of campaign mode, you have survival mode. This allows you to play any of the variations individually. These include ‘unarmed’ mode, which leaves you with no primary weapons. Instead you must lure your enemies to nukes that are tethered to your ship, a real test of survival; ‘insane’ mode, which chucks a tone of fast moving enemies at you while offering up multiple weapons types for you to take them out; and ‘zombie’ mode, where your weapon doesn’t kill, and instead is used for crowd control, to keep the enemies at bay. All modes of play include power ups, compared to GW these are more fun and plentiful. I particularly like the helper drone.
Adding to this well rounded single player experience is multi-player. Multiple device mode is yet to come, but what you do get is a ‘same-screen’ mode which allows two of you to go head to head, quite literally in a cocktail style layout. The action takes pace in the middle of the screen, with each of you sitting at each end. It works a treat, and is crazily addictive.
Graphically it’s no slouch, going for a neon look and feel – think Pac Man Championship – as opposed to GW’s more retro vector look. The sheer amount of mayhem on screen at any given time is sight to behold. I also like the various viewing modes, and the 3D effect is cool. However, the flat 2D mode is probably the best way to play. The auto pause when you lift both thumbs of the screen can be a little disorienting, and is better switched off.
Musically, while fitting, it isn’t in the same league as GW’s techno compositions. Most of you you won’t notice, but to the trained european ear (like my own) GW’s music is of a higher calibre.
In conclusion then, yes! this is heavily influenced by Geometry Wars, both in terms of gameplay and look and feel. But if clones are this good, and perhaps even better than the original source material, then a little bit of unoriginality isn’t always a bad thing.
Video of the game in action can be seen in our medley of games suitable for the Fling game controller: