I’m on the record as saying that Geometry Wars’ Pacifism mode is the greatest arcade game of all time. It isn’t hard to lose hours to it, always chasing the next highest score on the leaderboard. You’ll beat that score, you just have to wait until you’re in the zone. Then it’s two hours later and you give up and pass out because it’s 4 am.
It’s incredibly simple, doesn’t take long to fully understand , and impossible to put down once you know the rules. ABA Games‘ newest arcade title, Gravity Bomb, gives me a strikingly similar feeling.
You play as a tiny blue ship floating in space. If you touch any of the spinning yellow enemies that fly at you, it’s game over. You’re not entirely defenseless, because one bomb is placed on screen at all times. Touching the bomb triggers an explosion, which kills anything in the blast radius. This should sound slightly familiar to anyone familiar with Geometry Wars, because it feels like a mode that would fit right into any of the previous games.
Gravity Bomb resembles Pacifism most closely because, one, you can’t attack anything directly, and two, points are given based on how many enemies you can strategically take down at once. Enemies will always fly toward your ship, so goading them closer to a bomb before a well timed explosion will net you the most points you can get. Unlike Geometry Wars, you aren’t given a score multiplier for each kill, so the snowball effect of scoring more and more points doesn’t take place here. You aren’t constantly getting more points just for surviving longer, you’re only getting the most points for the smartest moves you make. It’s a big difference, and one that forces you to play in a different way than any mode in Geometry Wars.
The music and sound effects are top notch, as the enemies spawning in provide a constant beat, and bombs add another note to the thumping track. Gravity Bomb doesn’t always feel quite flawless as its arcade brethren, though, mostly thanks to some wonky mouse controls as times, but it’s a fun diversion that’s totally free to play. ABA Game’s site has a multitude of small games like this, and exploring the site feels like walking around an old arcade with machines that aren’t so quarter-hungry.
Check out Gravity Bomb, and then spend some time checking out the other great work there. Each game also has a worldwide leaderboard, so you can get your ladder-climbing fix with ease. If you’re as into score-chasing arcade games as I am, I think you know what to do.