Retro Review – Geometry Wars Galaxies (DS)

Geometry Wars Galaxies is a twin stick multi-direction shooter where the point of the game is to live as long as you can while trying to get the highest score possible. This is done by shooting the never-ending onslaught of enemies that the game continues to throw at you. You start the game by entering a solar system that is made up of a number of planets. Each planet is a different level with a different layout to it. Each level starts the same: your ship is the center of the 2D playing field. Almost immediately enemies start to spawn and come after you. And it never stops until you run out of lives. To stay alive you must move your ship as well as shoot in any direction simultaneously. Your ship is controlled with the D-Pad while shooting is done with the A, B, X, and Y buttons. Each button is a different direction your can ship shoot.

Geometry Wars Galaxies menu screen


Galaxies is the main mode in the game. As mentioned previously each level, or planet, has a different layout. The level is a self-contained 2D plain that can vary in shape and size. Each level may also contain obstacles to avoid as well. Even though the levels have the same general feel to them, the different layouts defiantly make each one feel unique at the same time. Also, to add an additional challenge, each level has a Bronze, Silver, and Gold score limit to beat. The better the score, the more bonus Geoms the player receives.

Geoms are dropped by an enemy once they has been shot. When collected they can help the player in a number of ways. The act as a score multiplier, they can award additional lives and bombs depending on level specifics, they are used to unlock additional helper drones (see below), and they are used as a currency to unlock new galaxies and levels too.

Before starting each level you must choose a helper drone from one of eight options. When you first start Geometry Wars Galaxies there is only one option available to you: the Attack drone. But after collecting additional Geoms you will be able to unlock the remaining seven options. Once a level has been started the drone will fly around you and will act accordingly based on its name. So the Attack drone will attack enemies, the Defend drone will help protect your ship, etc. The more you use a specific drone the more the drone levels up too.

Other modes and bonuses:

In addition to the Galaxies mode there are a few other modes to choose from. There is a multiplayer mode which allows a few different playing options for you and a friend.

Geometry Wars Galsaxies is a spin off game in the Geometry Wars series. In a nice addition the original Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is available to play too. This version of Retro Evolved plays really well on the DS. However it does not have all the original visual effects that its Xbox counterpart has. Also missing are the original Achievements and Retro mode. It is worth mentioning that the ‘shrunk down’ version is still a blast to play even if it does not have everything contained in the original release.

As a final bonus if you have both the DS and Wii editions of Geometry Wars Galaxies you are able to connect the two games together wirelessly to unlock an additional galaxy in both games.

Geometry Wars Galaxies cartridge

Final Thoughts:

This game will make your thumbs hurt, but in a good way. The original Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was made to be used with two sticks and not a D-Pad and buttons. But Geometry Wars Galaxies works very well on a DS. I did re-play Gemetry Wars Galaxies on my 3DS. One of the nice things about playing on this system rather than the original DS is that you can use the control stick to move your ship. This does feel way better than playing with the D-Pad. I have not tried this game on a New 3DS so I am unsure if the C-Stick on that system replaces shooting with the A, B, X, and Y buttons. If you are a fan of any of the other Geometry Wars games, and want to have a portable option, this is definitely the way to go. If at all possible I do recommend playing it on a 3DS vs. a DS. But however you decide to play this game it is definitely worth your hurt thumbs.

Originally released on: Nintendo DS

Reviewed on: Nintendo 3DS

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Matt Cudney is a gamer Dad who likes to write about video games and draw things from time to time. He can be found online here:

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