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.
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