>>Community Game Brief
The Xbox 360 has become a nearly encyclopedic resource for 2D, Robotron-inspired, twin-stick shooters. Geometry Wars got the ball rolling, and ever since then developers have explored nearly every possible twist.
Leave it to Community Game developers like Barryman to put one more spin on the formula. Their title, Groov, is shamelessly reminiscent of Geometry Wars, from the rectangular arena to the simple mob of colorful enemies. It’s only when you crank up the sound that you realize Groov is something a little different.
That’s because each action, from shooting to killing enemies, and even dying, is synced up with a funky jazz soundtrack. If it sounds like a gimmick, it is, but the synesthesic build-up of visual and aural complexity is undeniably cool.
Unfortunately, the gimmick seems to come at the expense of refined gameplay. In order to sync the music with the action, enemies glow white when you shoot them, and explode on beat. The lack of immediate feedback forces you to be overly cautious, usually getting yourself killed in the process.
It may not have the pedigree of Geometry Wars, but Groov’s smooth beats will entertain for an hour or two.
Price: 200 points
Go to Xbox Live Marketplace
Community Game Briefs are short but informative impressions on the ever-expanding Community Games catalogue on Xbox Live. These are not full reviews. The verdict comes in three flavors: AVOID, TRY, or BUY. Anything can be awarded an AVOID or TRY rating, whether I actually buy it or only sample the demo. You can be assured that any game awarded the BUY rating has been purchased and played extensively.