Geometry Dash Meltdown Review: Squarely A Challenge

The Good

Great soundtrack and synchronized visual effects.

Just challenging enough to hook you into playing one more time.

The Bad

Playing with soundtrack on can be disorientating.

The word “impossible” floated in front of my mind’s eye as my gameplay session with Geometry Dash Meltdown continued on longer than I anticipated. “This game is impossible,”  a frustrated part of my subconscious seemed to say. Logically, I knew what I was attempting was possible. It was just a matter of getting there. A matter of enough one-more-try‘s.

Geometry Dash Meltdown is the first game in a long while that has maintained my interest due to its difficulty alone. But the thing is …it’s not mechanically a difficult game at all. The entire game is about bouncing and flying a little shape through a 2D obstacle course by just tapping the screen. Geometry Dash Meltdown is a runner-type game, so once the player begins a level there is no stopping unless the player is eliminated by touching an obstacle, or by completing the level.

Trust me, the former happens exponentially more often than the latter does.

Geometry Dash Meltdown review

Throwing modesty out the window, I feel comfortable in saying that I’m really good at video games. MOBAs, first/third-person shooters, platformers, card games — you name it, give me an hour and I can probably beat most people at it. So understanding that, when I come across a game that challenges me, yet is as simple in concept as Geometry Dash Meltdown is, you can understand why I’d have difficulty putting the game down. I love a challenge, and that’s what Geometry Dash Meltdown is in a nutshell.

The surname “Meltdown” probably comes from RobTop Games figuring that many players would experience just that as they played through the game. While I was certainly frustrated, cursed various profanities at my iPad, and took a few needed cool-down breaks, I was never really angry at the game. It was not the game’s fault that I couldn’t complete the levels, it was my own. That, in itself, says a lot about how great the game is.  Sure I could go on YouTube and verify the game is winnable by watching some kid beat the entire game in twenty minutes, but I didn’t have to, because I could see myself progress a little bit more with each attempted run.

Geometry Dash Meltdown review

The game tracks your progress in percentage-completed counts, so when you finally complete an obstacle that’s stumped you, watching that percentage go from, say, “52% complete” slide up to “53% complete” is immensely satisfying.

Beneath the challenging gameplay elements stuffed into the game, Geometry Dash Meltdown has a nice surprise for players in the form of a fantastic soundtrack. The audio and the visual effects are synchronized together in a way that makes playing Geometry Dash Meltdown a standout experience all on its own. The music pulsated through the graphics and the monsters you jump over chomp their jaws to the rhythm of the music. When you switch from the platforming segments to the flying segments, the music transitions seamlessly.

Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my end, but I would have absolutely loved it if the platforming segments were also synchronized with the music. Occasionally this happened, and I found myself hopping my little block to the beat of the music. But the gameplay is largely out of sync with the music, which is disappointing at best and downright disorientating at worst.

Geometry Dash Meltdown is not the sort of game that I’d normally play, which makes me that much happier that I decided to check it out. The gameplay is a tried-and-true obstacle runner, but it’s the almost-impossible difficulty, well-designed levels, and the treat of getting to watch the audio and video work together to deliver a surprisingly energetic performance that really kept me hitting the replay button.

“Just one more time.”

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