Why the Bizarre Creations “Geometry Wars” was so acclaimed?? An unique mixture of Basic and addictive gameplay with retro-taste and vector graphics! This exclusive Xbox Live Arcade game gives you both the original Retro action and a new Evolved mode, which combines modern graphics with old-school fun.
So you don’t own an XBox 360 with live Arcade?? No problem, stop at here and try all the best clone available for free by indie developers, for PC Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. All the games mentioned in this article bears some semblance to acient Vector games and Geometry Wars.
Grid Wars

Grid Wars

Probably the most popular Geometry Wars clone, partly due to the fact that it’s free and playable on at least two platforms. The dual analog controls work well, but players without a joypad can play using a combination of mouse and keyboard. No levels, but the difficulty increases slowly with the addition of new types of enemies. A black hole appears from time to time, which you can use to your advantage since it sucks everything into it. Blow it up, and the amount of points you earned depends on how many objects were drawn into the dark matter. This particular technique called black hole harvesting is a heated discussion among many fans of Mark Incitti’s shooter.

Most power-ups upgrade your shots or gives you a temporary shield, while bombs can be used to clear the entire screen. The game has gone through many revisions and what we have is the final version, plus it’s unlikely to be updated since the author has moved on to other projects.

Name: Grid Wars
Developer: Mark Incitti
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC, Mac
Size: 3.3MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 8/10
Rating: 9
Download page: http://www.incitti.com/Blitz/
Alternate download page (working):
http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/grid/wars.htm

Rainbow Wars

Rainbow Wars

A side project from Volition designer Luke Schneider, part of the team responsible for the development of the Descent series. The background is practically empty, but destroying enemy ships will cause glowing particles to appear on screen. Bombs only appear as a power-up item, and is activated on the spot when collected. A power-up item will appear for every five thousand points earned which includes a black hole that only sucks in enemy ships.

Your ship is equipped with three layers of shield, and you lose one whenever an enemy ship touches yours. Destroying each wave of enemies will increase the level number by one, also replenishing your shields automatically. Losing all your shields ends the game, but you can continue from the last level attempted by selecting it at the main menu. Note that the easy difficulty will only allow access to the first ten waves.

Your ship also has the ability to warp and charge it’s shot. Tap the left shoulder button on your gamepad to teleport, and hold the right shoulder button to prepare for a special attack. It’s interesting to note that Rainbow Wars is an effort made with Game Maker in only thirty hours.

Name: Rainbow Wars
Developer: Luke Schneider
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 2.2MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 7/10
Rating: 8
Download page: http://www.volition-inc.com/Staff/LukeSchnieder
(click on design ideas to download)

Veck

Veck

(Watch the gameplay video on YouTube!)

Veck was originally a competition entry for the Retro Remakes vector competition, which it won by garnering more than half of the votes submitted even though there were nine other entries. The level number increases for each minute that your ship remains intact, up to fifteen. Then the game loops back to the first wave but your score remains.

Weapon upgrade is automatic as well, bestowing the ability to shoot more bullets whenever the minute counter changes. No lives or shields, instead health is measured by energy which increments slowly but depletes if a collision with another object occurs.

Has the distinction of most bullets fired by your ship among all the games mentioned. The soundtrack is great as well, generating plenty of adrenaline rush as it reaches a crescendo. Full screen can only be enabled using a command line parameter, stated in a text file that comes with the zip package. For users with no gamepad, the mouse is not part of the control option although directional firing is still possible by mapping four other keys in addition to the standard movement.

Name: Veck
Developer: smayds
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 2.4MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 7/10
Rating: 9
Download page: http://smayds.googlepages.com/games

Bullet Candy

Bullet Candy

Bullet Candy is more like Robotron: 2084 than Geometry Wars, although the inclusion of dual analog controls make it a worthwhile inclusion into this list. You control a ship stuck in space much like the others, but enemies are able to shoot at you in many different ways. Lives can be earned either by collecting red power-ups or scoring 100,000 points.

Power-ups include lasers, triple shots and temporary invincibility. Bullet Candy includes a survival mode and an Asteroid Belt game, plus some secrets as well. Only fifty levels in the normal mode although most are designed to offer different challenges. For players without the luxury of a gamepad, the standard mouse and keyboard control combination can be used.

Name: Bullet Candy
Developer: Charlies Games
Type: Demo
Platform: PC, Mac
Size: 8.2MB
Online High Score: Yes
Geometry Wars-like scale: 3/10
Rating: 8
Download page: http://temp.macdock.com/charliesgames/index.html

RetroBlast

RetroBlast

RetroBlast uses vector shapes for objects and enemies, much like Geometry Wars but that’s where the similarities end. Only mouse control is available, and players used to a dual analog gamepad will be disappointed with this effort. To shoot at an enemy, your ship must first be rotated to face it by using the left or right mouse button to turn. Bombs can be used to clear the screen.

The full version features a hundred levels but only the first eighteen can be accessed in the demo.

Name: RetroBlast
Developer: JGOware
Type: Demo
Platform: PC
Size: 2.8MB
Online High Score: Yes
Geometry Wars-like scale: 5/10
Rating: 5
Download page: http://jgoware.com/retroblast.htm

HGEWars

HGEWars

HGEWars is a work in progress by Yuriy O’Donnell, and there is still plenty of development to be done although it’s been around longer than any of the other Geometry Wars clones. The rating should not be taken seriously since scores are not based on the final version. Some fiddling with the ini file is required for the gamepad to work.

Weapon upgrade is automatic. The gameplay is quite faithful to the original but it may be months before the final version is released.

Name: HGEWars
Developer: Yuriy O’Donnell
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 0.3MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 7/10
Rating: 3
Download page: http://yurka.org/gamedev/

Mu-cade

Mu-cade

Using vector shapes for shmups is practically a Kenta Cho hallmark, but the celebrated Japanese developer had been toying around with dual analog controls since Gunroar. A combination of both Robotron: 2084 and Snake, your objective is to stay on the rectangular platform and knock other enemies off it by shooting at them repeatedly.

For each enemy pushed off the platform, the tail of your ship grows longer and the score multiplier increases. A longer tail does complicate matters a little as it gets harder to stay on the platform. If the tail of your ship is over the edge, the weight will drag the rest of the ship with it as well.

Fortunately players only need to worry about the front portion of the ship. The tail itself can be blown apart in exchange for a short burst of additional firepower. You will lose the multiplier in the process though.

It gets increasingly harder to stay on the platform as time passes, but an extra life is awarded for every 200,000 points earned.

Name: Mu-cade
Developer: Kenta Cho
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 6.02MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 2/10
Rating: 7
Download page: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/windows/mcd_e.html

Base 2

Base 2

Base 2 is a game that plays more like Every Extend than anything else. The player controls a bit with the mouse, using the left button to activate the shield. Coming in contact with enemy ships when your shield is up will cause them to explode.

Some enemies are too large to eliminate in this manner, so your only option is to maneuver around them carefully. The green bar at the top of the screen indicates the amount of energy you currently have, and will depreciate whenever your bit touches an enemy ship with the shields down. Some energy is lost regardless of shield status when collision with large enemies could not be avoided.

Pressing the right mouse button activates the freeze bomb, which freezes all enemies on-screen momentarily. Extra lives can be earned by destroying enemies of the same color in a row, using a process called linking. Multipliers are awarded for long links.

The screen tilt can be rather helpful or distracting to players, depending on their preferences. A higher score would have been awarded if the toggle option was available from the main menu.

Name: Base 2
Developer: SimSimGames
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 6.02MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 2/10
Rating: 5
Download page: http://www.simsimgames.co.uk/

Mono

Mono

Mono is a shooter from Binary Zoo that uses Robotron 2084-style controls, where the aim of the game is to change the color of the entire screen from black to white or white to black. Enemies will leave a splash of color on the playing field when destroyed, and the behavior of a hostile unit will change depending on the patch of color that they traverse on.

Power-ups can be collected replenish energy, shields, or radically alter your ship’s firepower, although they only lasts ten seconds. Playing this game can be disorienting after a while because of the bright colors used.

Name: Mono
Developer: Binary Zoo
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 5.5MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 3/10
Rating: 5
Download page: http://www.binaryzoo.com/games/mono/

Mutant Storm

Mutant Storm

Mutant Storm is an arena shooter developed by PomPom Games, in which you control a ship equipped with directional firing much like Geometry Wars. Instead of vector shapes, most of the objects in the game are represented in 3D.

It’s quite unfortunate that your progress is only saved every ten levels, leaving most users replaying the same stages just to arrive at a save point.

Name: Mutant Storm
Developer: PomPom Games
Type: Demo
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Size: 4.3MB
Online High Score: Yes
Geometry Wars-like scale: 6/10
Rating: 7
Download page: http://www.pompomgames.com/mutantstorm.htm

Vector Infector

Vector Infector

Vector Infector is another release by Oddbob that resembles Geometry Wars, featuring fifty rooms filled with geometric shapes bent on your ship’s destruction.

There are some notable differences when comparing this version with the console hit. For example, the only way to power up your weapon’s attack strength is by collecting gems that vanquished enemies leave behind. The game also has a wrap around playing field, where sprites that go over the edge of the screen will appear on the other side.

Two control options are made available to the player. Pressing the Z key will cause your ship to fire in the direction it is currently facing. Shots can also be directed by using W, A, S and D keys. Looks very promising even if it’s still in early development stages.

Name: Vector Infector
Developer: Oddbob
Type: Demo
Platform: PC
Size: 15.0MB
Online High Score: No
Geometry Wars-like scale: 7/10
Rating: 5
Direct download link: http://www.merseyremakes.co.uk/previews/testbuild8thJan.exe

Some notables which uses dual analog or features vector shapes that did not make the list (for various reasons), but very playable nonetheless.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,