Geometrix in Review: Flat but compelling?

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Glyphic Entertainment, LLC have added a unique arcade puzzler to the App Store with Geometrix:  Flatland Unbound.  Fast and furious, it is a great addition to the catalogue of games that Chillingo have brought to the App Store.  For fans of Edwin A. Abbott’s novel, this game gains instant wuffie but fails when compared to the seminal literature.

As you can see, it is a lightning-paced game of flicks, touches, swipes and escapes that needs a quick eye and reflexes. Flatland is really as simple as you see: you must guide the protagonist, A. Square through an onslaught of enemies, most of whom happen to be other polygons.  There are many different scenarios that will really use your eyes, hands and brains in order to survive but ultimately, it is a formulaic concoction of flick, swipe and escape.

Presentation and Gameplay
More than many games in the App Store today, Geometrix is a reminder of old-time arcade hits. It is simply drawn with few animations and features a Nicholas Cage style simple protagonist:  A. Square. He can smirk, smile and at times run with horrified expressions around the screen at your direction.

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Glyphic Entertainment make extensive use of the multi-touch controller inside the iPhone, with hairy split-screen action that involves moving A. Sqaure independently on each side of the split-screen with flicks of the finger. During the game, there is no space or time to wish for better graphics or facial expressions. You have to avoid other polygonal shapes and dash for open spaces and power-ups. Geometrix is simply fast and very hard. In my review run, I have died more times than I have fingers and toes and that in only 30 minutes.

However, I think I found a brilliant way to cheat: get another player. It is actually quite simple if you use two brains, each concentrating on one screen. There are cute hair-raising bonuses for near-misses, adding a finesse to this game of avoidance and with two players, you are ensured a good score.  If you need more challenge, simply bluster through the level till the game realises you need a kick-in-the-pants.  Triangles will begin to rotate, making near-miss bonuses nearly impossible. There are few innovations in terms of gameplay though. Each level will build on the simple drag or touch to escape play that the first level introduces. While not a bad thing, it is tiring after a bit of play.

Sound
Hair-raising action and cute old-school graphics alone do not a good arcade game make and fortunately Glyphic Entertainment understand this and created a dancy and upbeat soundtrack that mates perfectly with Geometrix. If you have some bassy headphones, by all means plug in and enjoy. Unfortunately, if you cannot stand the catchy tunes, Geometrix does not allow access to your iPhone’s music library. You can however, turn the music off.

Innovation
We have all seen cutesy graphics before and heard fast-paced dance tracks. On those fronts, Geometrix stands among its peers but it brings with it a great use of the multitouch screen of the iPhone. Whether you cheat and play two-players or play by yourself, it is challenging and fun and has enough charm to keep games exciting and addictive. The accelerometer is left out as much as more than the barest of nascent ties with Edwin A. Abbott’s novel. Glyphic Entertainment may be fans of Flatland, but it is a shame that other than in name and the feeblest of attempts at backstory, there is little to connect the game to the novel.

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Conclusion
Is it worth 99 cents though? Yes it is. Cute and fast, Geometrix is a good arcade game with a great dance track. According to the iTunes page however, the price will go up to 2.99$ when the ‘first wee’ sale is over. Whenever that week ends, my recommendation will have to change. Fun as it is and though it is loosely based on a compelling piece of literature, it is not worth 2.99$ – not yet at least. If players had access to their iTunes library to make better use of their Monster Turbines® earphones, Geometrix would be worth another dollar. However, there is little gameplay innovation to tip the scale in favour of a higher price.

Fun, but ultimately 2-dimensional. Geometrix is a Tap.

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App Summary
Title:Geometrix: FLATLAND UNBOUNDDeveloper:Glyphic Entertainment, LLC
Price:$0.99App Size:10,8 mb
  • Fast and Addictive
  • Difficult
  • Great Soundtrack
  • Repetitive
  • Little gameplay options
  • No real ties to Flatland novel

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