A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a downloadable arcade-style top-down shooter where a ship travels across geometric surfaces shooting colorful shapes. There's no story, and there are no characters or overt messages; your only goal is to shoot shapes -- which blow apart in pretty bursts of light -- before they collide with your ship. An online mode allows players to go up against strangers online but without support for any sort of communication.
What's it about?
GEOMETRY WARS 3: DIMENSIONS is a top-down multidirectional shooter set on the surfaces of a variety of two- and three-dimensional shapes, from flat planes to spheres to dumbbell-shaped objects. Players control a small, quick, agile ship with the left thumbstick while rotating the right thumbstick to control the direction of a constantly firing energy cannon, aiming fire at swarms of colorful geometric shapes. The main adventure mode plays out on over 100 levels with varying objectives. Other modes include scoring as many points as possible in a set amount of time, reaching a target score with one life, and adding time to a clock by effectively destroying waves of enemies. Dropped multipliers from defeated enemies boosts your score, while offensive and defensive power-ups can provide much-needed advantages in each level. There's also co-op play, online play, and classic modes carried over from previous Geometry Wars games.
Is it any good?
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions follows successfully in the intimidating footsteps of its beloved predecessors, providing a challenging and graphically spectacular top-down shooter experience. The simple geometric visual theme hides what turns out to be a series of stunning and dynamic environments bursting with movement and eye-popping special effects accompanied by a lively, pulse-pounding electronic soundtrack. The simple, highly responsive controls are instantly intuitive, allowing players new and returning to get their footing in seconds. Yet the diversity of levels and complexity of enemy patterns ensures players are well-tested from start to finish.
A broad variety of objectives, drones, and supers only adds to the challenge. For example, in levels where you have only one life, smart bombs and defensive drones can prove very handy, while levels on which you need to defeat enemy waves quickly to add time to the clock might benefit more from a sniping drone and a mine-laying super. The shooting action is anything but repetitive -- a mean feat for a game in what often proves to be an overly simplistic and mundane genre. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions lives up to the reputation of its predecessors, and then some.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about setting time limits on play. How do you avoid falling into the trap of spending more time playing than you originally planned with a game designed to get you in the "just one more level" frame of mind?
Discuss humans' natural interest in geometry. What is it about geometric shapes and their relationships to one another that has fascinated us as a species for thousands of years? Is there such a thing as a perfect physical geometric shape, or is that simply a construct of our imaginations?
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