The new game GeoSpin [99¢] from Lazrhog Games takes its name quite literally. It's a fast-paced puzzle game where you must spin a geometric 3D shape while matching each of the flat panels that comprise the shape from a row that borders the game screen. It's hard to explain on paper, but easy to instantly pick up when playing. Lazrhog has nailed the controls, leaving only your speed and dexterity to determine how well you can perform. Graphics are basic but colorful, and pop on the Retina Display at a rock solid frame rate. GeoSpin is a simple idea executed beautifully, and is one of the more original games as of late and quite a bit of fun to boot.

In GeoSpin there are 11 increasingly complex shapes to tackle. Time Attack mode presents these linearly across 3 difficulty levels - easy, medium, and hard. You are timed on how long it takes you to place each panel into the shape, with a minimum time requirement to unlock the next level and additional time goals for earning bronze, silver, and gold medals for each one. In all, Time Attack has 33 levels to earn medals on. It's a decent challenge to earn golds on easy, but on medium and hard only the most nimble-fingered players will be able to achieve the qualifying times, let alone earn medals.

It's a fun kind of challenge though, one that keeps you coming back over and over to try and earn a better time. The real hook in GeoSpin is its excellent OpenFeint integration. There are leaderboards for every shape in every difficulty category, and it even updates your leaderboard position in real-time on the level select screen so you always know where you stand. I've found myself frantically retrying levels just to inch ahead of someone on my friend list, strictly for bragging rights, and it's a very satisfying feeling when I finally do surpass someone or place high globally.

The other half of GeoSpin is the Score Attack mode. Here you'll tackle each shape one after the other with a set countdown timer for each one. Your score is cumulative and based on how much time is left after completing each shape. There are time bonuses you can earn too, like matching certain shapes or colors in a row. The bonus requirements are displayed before each level and add tremendously to your score, and are practically required in the later levels in order to earn enough time to complete some of the more complex shapes. If you fail to solve a shape in the given time, the game ends. Score Attack is like GeoSpin's survival mode, and is a really fun diversion from the regular game.

I like GeoSpin because it just feels like an iPhone game, very well-suited to the platform. Spinning the shape feels perfect by default (but you can adjust the sensitivity if you choose) and dragging the shapes from the outer row is simple and painless. The UI and controls stay out of your way so you can just enjoy playing, though my biggest complaint is that the game doesn't currently support fast-app switching which can be annoying. The OpenFeint integration ensures a lot of replay value chasing high scores, and even if you're not into that sort of thing it will take a long time to earn gold medals throughout the game.

It may not blow you away with high end visuals, and the core gameplay is pretty simple and won't appeal to everybody, but GeoSpin is a catchy and original game that is executed very well. I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the title, and players in our forums have been enjoying it as well. If you're looking for something fun and unique, definitely give GeoSpin a try.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Halion

    It's a nice article, but I fail to see the appeal. Not only is the presentation (graphics, menus, layout) extremely boring, but the gameplay just looks too stressful. I sense that the drag-and-drop together with the drag-to-spin controls will create some awkward gaming moments.

    I do like the concept of the game though, and I've yet to pick up a great puzzle game for my phone, but without polished graphics and more thought-out controls (maybe use the gyro to spin the globe?) this will be far down on my list of games I'd like to purchase.

    • Mark

      using the gyroscope to spin the object would be apsoluteley awful (and would only work on the gen devices). It would be less precise and alot more work, because you actually have to moove more than just your fingers.

      Your post shows that you have never played the game.

      • Halion

        I never implied that I have. While you might be right concerning the gyro-use, the game still looks way to boring for a purchase from me.

    • Mature gamer

      What planet are you on? This is a brilliant game.

  • cheenbean

    looks fun, but the graphics are awful, especially color choice. beginning to the think the whole "retro" look is another way of saying "we were too busy to bother with the graphics." :/ I'll probably spring for it though, maybe they'll make a few bucks and use the $ to upgrade the graphics.

  • TheTheory

    For a game like this I'm more interested in gameplay than graphics. And from the write-up it sounds like this gameplay is spot-on. I'll keep this on my to-do list for when I have some $$.

  • AGP

    Never a good sign when just watching a gameplay video inspires all kinds of feelings of boredom.

  • Chluverman

    I can't believe all the negative comments...

    Since when was graphics the be all and end all in a puzzle game....

    I've been playing this since the beta last year and am still playing it now... One of the only games that puts a dent in my bejewelled time...

    The action is fast and smooth can be picked up for that 30 secs of gaming when required and the hook of the open feint times keeps me coming back for more... I,ll beat you yet nbrickers67!!!

    I completely agree with the review and feel that it's well worth a punt at $0.99. In fact for all the entertainment it's given me in the past month or so i wish all my entertainment was such good value for money....

    Appearances aren't everything!!!!!

  • Gregariou1976

    This is not a puzzle game. It is not a game at all. It is a color and shape matching exercise appropriate for nobody over the age of six.

  • Lukwtwz

    If the gameplay is indeed simple, as the reviewer stated, and if indeed it was surprising to the reviewer how much he/she ended up enjoying the game, AND IF the big draw is that it "just feels right," then that gives much pause.

GeoSpin Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 3.5