Have you ever bought a game thinking from the description it will be one thing and it turned out to be something very different, whilst technically matching its premise and theme? That’s how I feel about Geometric Feel The Beats. It’s a Tron-inspired shoot em up that has some musical elements to it and its a game that is all of that but manages to not bring any of it together in a cohesive way.
The player controls a ship with three colours to switch between and each colour can be fired when your ship is that colour. Geometric shapes sway into the screen in all of these colours and you have to shoot the right colour to match the shapes to clear them and score points. If you hit the shape with the wrong colour, you’ll lose points and so there is an element of precision over speed. This is the case initially at least as you can’t die or lose in this game. Unlike most shooters, the shapes just vanish when they reach you so on the surface, you don’t have to be very skilled to advance through the game. To clear a level you’ll be given a numerical target of a few types of geometric colours like green triangles or pink hexagons. Once you’ve cleared that quota, the level ends and you move on.
Whilst the level structure doesn’t change throughout the game, addition game mechanics to stop you hitting these targets easily are introduced. These include bombs, enemy fire taking out other shapes, black holes that explode everything on screen when you hit enough incorrect shapes and meteor styled shapes that will fly around the screen smashing everything it touches. None of these hits count to your overall score but they all occur at random, alongside randomly generated shape patterns, all on top of each other. This is where a simple but functional game starts to have serious problems. Sometimes you’ll be left waiting a good 60 seconds for the shapes you are looking to shoot and as soon as they are on screen any number of the above will take it out straight away. As all those meteors and bombs take out additional wrong shapes, they fill the black hole and the screen gets cleared. You’ll then wait another 60 seconds for the same thing to happen and you’ll be snatching a few shapes here and there to just advance forward in the game.
Advancing is a long drawn out slog. Level designs do not change and the rhythmic/musical element just seems to be that the shapes pulsate a little to the music sometimes. It doesn’t affect the speed or amount of shapes, nor their journey across the screen and if it does, its so obscure I have no idea how they are connected. There is also an odd accessibility problem where the colours all have excessive neon bloom on them which make the green and yellow shapes look quite similar. Outside of a lengthy campaign with little reward or progression, there is a co-op mode of the same thing and a versus mode but both are extremely dull, long drawn out affairs that offer little peril or incentive to plug through.
It’s a shame as Geometric Feel the Beats has some decent ideas for a game but the execution is just not here. If you can’t lose but the randomised mechanics aren’t balanced out to make you feel skilled either, the player just feels lost. I was intensely bored and disengaged and that’s quite rare for me and so I can’t recommend the game personally. When a level takes over 15 minutes to complete and half of that time is waiting for something you actually need to shoot to come onto the screen, it feels like a waste of time. However, if you just want to idly shoot at shapes into oblivion, you may get more mileage from it.
Review copy kindly provided by publisher. PS4 version reviewed.
Geometric Feel the Beats
Long, arduous, without reward or incentive to continue, Geometric Feel the Beats is an exercise in unbalanced game design stretched into thin boredom.
Ship handles well and the game runs smoothly.
Co-Op and versus modes are nice additions.
Woefully unbalanced RNG for hazards and shapes.
No peril or incentive to show skill to continue.
Ship power ups do very little to offer additional gameplay.
Some of the colours look too similar.
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