It’s not Geometry Wars on Switch, but it’s not far off.
There was a time in my life where I would sit in front of my Xbox 360 and play Geometry Wars 2 endlessly, trying desperately to tackle former NWR Director Jonathan Metts’ high score in Pacifism mode. For my money, I’m not sure I’ve ever played a better arcade-style video game on a home console than Geometry Wars 2, but I’ve long been searching for the next best thing. When I saw an opportunity to review Tachyon Project by Eclipse Games, a dual-stick arcade shooter very clearly inspired by Geometry Wars, I couldn’t pass it by.
Tachyon Project is presented as a set of 10 missions, each with six waves. Each of these waves has a distinct objective, usually something like “survive 120 seconds” or “defeat 100 enemies of this type.” A good variety of mission objectives are present, but most of them boil down to the same basic gameplay - dodge and shoot. You’ll do plenty of dodging and plenty of shooting trying to clear these missions as they get very, very difficult the closer you get to the ending of the story.
In fact, probably the most notable thing about Tachyon Project is its unforgiving difficulty; I routinely attempted waves 10, 20, 30 times trying to complete them. To the game’s credit, I never felt it was unfair and was always ready to try again. It’s the fun sort of challenge, but unfortunately a few small things get in the way. A fair amount of slowdown crops up as things get intense. I found that it got worse and worse until I closed the game and then went back in, which seemed to resolve the issue for a while.
Everything in Tachyon Project just feels a bit undercooked: the presentation is minimal, the story is forgettable, the slowdown is annoying. The one exception is in the gameplay itself. This is a very good dual-stick shooter. I was particularly impressed by the stealth enemies that can only see you when you are firing your weapon. This introduces a type of gameplay not seen in other dual-stick shooters I’ve encountered where you can’t simply mash the fire button constantly. In this game, you have to be willing to let go of the right stick to escape from a crowd while they can’t see you. his mechanic can be used to bait all of the stealth enemies into a single crowd, and then open fire on them. It’s very clever, and the way they mix it up with radar enemies provides an interesting twist.
If you’re a fan of the Geometry Wars games or other abstract dual-stick arcade shooters that take place in a rectangular playing field, you’ll feel right at home here. It’s not the most imaginative game I’ve played, but it definitely earns its keep with fun twists on an old, favorite concept. If you’re looking for that itch on the go, Tachyon Project will get the job done.