Developed by Forze Field Studios, this Geometry Wars look-alike goes beyond the predecessor to enhance just about everything that made it popular. Dubbed what is often referred to as a “retro-arcade” game, this title is a dual-stick shooter, similar in respect to Age of Zombies.
However, there are no undead dinosaurs here. Instead, you’ll find a deluge of brightly-colored shapes representing spacecraft. That’s the impression I get anyways.
The game works more or less like Geometry Wars. But before fans get up in arms, Infinity Field actually improves the original with better gameplay and visuals.
Infinity Field is about as basic as they come from a conceptual perspective. Players are in the middle of a star field, and they must shoot down the various geometric shapes that collide with them. With infinite supplies of ammunition, players control movement with one half of the iPad and shoot with the other half. Highly responsive and easy to pick up, the controls work perfectly (as a side note, the game has a great autopause feature that occurs whenever the user lets go of the iPad). That said, make sure you have dry thumbs, because you’re going to be moving them a lot.
The basic game play mode is a campaign which progresses through a series of levels with increasing numbers of enemies. Each level has a set amount of time in which the user must survive for and earn a star rating based on how many lives they have remaining. As they destroy enemies, their score increases, and so does their in-game currency.
This is the first major improvement in this Geometry Wars iteration. As you play, you will be able to not only upgrade your ship, but buy power-ups as well. This includes extra ships that shoot down force fields and even bombs. Unfortunately, sometimes the game never tells you what the benefit of each purchase or upgrade is.
Forze Field also puts a lot of effort into improving the visuals in this game. It’s even incorporated a mode where users can just watch the game play automatically.
When you play, the screen is literally saturated with a psychedelic smorgasbord of colors and effects. As users move about and destroy enemies, sparks, explosions and hue changes litter the screen. Even dying in the game is beautiful.
But don’t think it’s all just visual appeal: As the game progresses, new challenges and enemy types also appear. There are enemies that attack in swarms and others that dart away from bullet streams.
To make things even more challenging, game modes will often change. For example, in one level, you can’t shoot. You can only dodge enemies. In another, the only way to destroy opponents is to collect bombs. As if this were not enough, some levels even have environmental obstacles that hinder the user; such as a multihued vortex that slows them down.
Different game modes can also be accessed in the form of single and multiplayer modes. Basic forms of play such as “Survival” are present, but Infinity Field also has different modes such as “Zombie” (where enemies can only be killed via a randomly spawning item) or “Snake” (player’s control and elongating ship with a laser connecting the head and tail, which must be used to kill enemies). Each one adds a different flavor to the game, but their multiplayer modes are, sadly, only same device. Luckily, there is a wireless connection mode between separate devices coming soon.
Another plus to the game is that it is connected to the Crystal social gaming network. While the social integration itself is not deep, players do have access to leaderboards, friends lists, achievements, and so on.
The leaderboards are implemented particularly well. It may be simple, but each of the noted game modes puts the top scores right on the mode icons, thus putting the challenge to beat them right in the face of more competitive players.
One other feature worth mentioning is that while Infinity Field has a pretty good soundtrack, you can even create your own playlist from iTunes.
In the end, many are going to scream “Geometry Wars clone.” But Infinity Field definitely feels like an improvement, not a cheap and lazy imitation. With its different game modes, social integration, and hypnotizing visuals, this $1.99 is an excellent addition to any iPad app collection.