Geon is unique. Available for download from PlayStation Store, it plays like Pac-Man as Georges Braque might have seen it, with the player moving a cube across grids of varying shapes and sizes, collecting pellets as quickly as they can. Pellets add colour to a meter which, when full, allows the player to make a Goal Run by moving to the edge of the grid, flipping onto the opposite side, and heading the goal in the centre.
In Time Trial mode, the aim is to score five goals as quickly as you can, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded for particularly fast times. Strategy and planning are very important here, as is an inclination towards tidiness, as leaving pellets spread disparately across the grid wastes precious time when you're clearing up for the final Goal Run. There are 32 grids, each radically different from the last, with later ones featuring loop-the-loops, moving platforms and barriers that prevent you flipping to the other side for the Goal Run.
Beating grids in Time Attack mode unlocks the eight mini-games, which entail collecting pellets and avoiding harmful blocks while negotiating more linear grids.
One cube or two?
Geon is at its most interesting when playing against an opponent, be it controlled by the Artificial Intelligence or a friend, as this is when the game's strategy element is fully fleshed out. The aim is still to score five goals, but with your opponent attempting to do the same on the opposite side of the grid, which is transparent, so you can see their movements. You can even attack them by performing a double jump on the square corresponding to the one they occupy on their side, causing them to lose pellets, or you can use a temporary shield to stop them attacking you. Goal Runs entail flipping onto their side and heading for the centre, and if they get in your way, you'll lose the pellets and have to return to your side.
At the beginning of each game you are given a choice of cubes, each possessing a unique power-up that adds a further layer of strategy. Some cubes aid conservative play - the Greed Cube, for example, sucks up surrounding pellets - while others are more aggressive, such as the Rage Cube, which creates a bed of spikes on your opponent's side that can trap them temporarily. Selecting the right cube and using its power at the right time is the key to success in these duels.
A league of its own
In League mode, you start in Division 4 and must work your way up to Division 1, where the toughest opponents can be found. Or if you become too good for the AI opposition, you can seek out a real challenge online. The game's three multiplayer modes, playable either offline or online, are a standard one-on-one duel; Team Geon, where two teams of two players fight it out; and Last Man Standing, where four players compete against each other and the last player to score a goal is eliminated. There are also online leaderboards, as well as 12 PlayStation Trophies that can be unlocked through various achievements.
Geon is an intriguing PlayStation Network title that mixes a distinctive and colourful visual style with addictive gameplay that is far deeper than you realise at first. It has the makings of a cult classic and you can expect to see a healthy level of competition amongst the PlayStation Network community.