Marco Mazzoli’s Spirit, a frenetic arcade style app for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms, may remind you visually of the addictive 2D shooter Geometry Wars at first glance, thanks to its neon fireworks and simple graphics.
It’s not a clone, but something akin to a touchscreen adaptation, perhaps, a game inspired by Bizarre Creations’ shooter with old school sensibilities.
Spirit, originally released for iOS early in 2010, was recently updated with sharper, higher-definition graphics for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It recently made its debut on the Android Marketplace as well, so it’s worth another look – or your first look.
In Spirit, you control the eponymous spirit – the creature that looks vaguely like EVE from Pixar’s WALL·E – that sucks up enemies. Using the touchscreen, players can swirl the Spirit in swoops and circles, drawing shapes around enemies to absorb them into a wobbly vortex. Loop them together for combos and higher scores, all of which is made perfectly clear with a simple, visual tutorial. Avoid touching abstract enemies during your sweeps and swoops, but feel free to slowly move through them in space safely.
Two modes, Classic and Extreme, explore that vortex-drawing mechanic, each with its own level of difficulty. A more relaxing mode, Pulse, in which the player touches glowing rings that emit their own vortexes, an experience more laid back for short burst gaming sessions.
Spirit is a more defensive spin on the arcade thrills of Bizarre Creations’ Geometry Wars, not quite as compulsively playable as that Xbox Live Arcade game, but amusing and visually delightful.
The iOS version is currently on sale as a universal app for $1.19, with the Android version launching at $1.90.