App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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“Impossible” games are something of an acquired taste. They aren’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, and can become frustrating by their very nature, however that’s sort of the point. While they’re incredibly difficult to complete the best ones are always fair, and the sense of satisfaction one gets from making it to the end can make it all feel worthwhile. Geometry Dash walks this tightrope quite well, and even tosses a few bones to those who may not be familiar with the genre.
Geometry Dash’s gameplay is simple: tap to jump, or tap and hold to jump repeatedly. A few environmental objects such as glowing disks that make midair leaps possible are thrown into the mix, but all the player has to worry about is timing everything. Of course that’s a lot tougher than it sounds. Each level is packed with obstacles to avoid, and touching anything that isn’t solid ground or one of the few special interactive elements means instant death. Fail and it’s back to the beginning of the level. Succeed and earn copious amounts of bragging rights. Plus every time a stage is beaten for the first time it unlocks a new character icon players can use to customize their runner.
The core mechanics in Geometry Dash are solid, but we’ve seen games like it before. What really helps it to stand out - and possibly be worth the attention of less “hardcore” iOS gamers - are the extras. Character customization is great of course, but it’s also possible to turn on a special Practice Mode that will intermittently drop checkpoints that make getting through a given level much easier. Of course playing “for real” is the main focus here, but being able to do a few runs without constantly having to go back to the beginning after failing is a great way to get used to a layout. And if that’s not enough, players can also create and share their own levels with a surprisingly simple editor.
Naturally, coming to within an inch of the end of a level only to slip up and get sent back to the start in Normal Mode can still be irritating. No amount of practice can totally prevent simple human error, and anyone who gets frustrated easily by stuff like this may want to look elsewhere. Even despite the friendlier Practice Mode. It’s also a shame that there aren’t any custom levels being shared at the moment, but that has more to do with the community than the game itself.
Geometry Dash is a tough game. But it’s a tough game that still gives players a fighting chance. And if they’re into stuff that’s extremely difficult but fair then it’s definitely worth checking out.